Midterm 2014: Where things stand now

Presenting the Crystal Ball’s 2014 range of outcomes in Senate, House and gubernatorial races

Election Day 2014 is now almost exactly seven months away, which is both near and far. On the one hand, more than half of the states -- 29 of 50 -- have passed their filing deadlines for major party candidates (the deadline in a 30th, Tennessee, is today). The late...

The limited meaning of Florida’s special House election

Rep.-elect David Jolly (R, FL-13) overcame money, some internal division among Republicans, and a name recognition and prestige deficit to defeat Alex Sink (D) in a much-watched special election in Florida’s Tampa-area 13th Congressional District Tuesday night. Republicans are of course gleeful about the results, and Democrats, despite immediately pledging...

The Six Most Overrated Races of 2014

As previously announced, U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato will be contributing a column every other week to Politico Magazine. With Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik, this week’s column highlights six races getting a lot of media limelight right now that probably shouldn’t by November, particularly the...

The Race for the White House – a follow-up

Programming note: The Crystal Ball is taking a pre-Labor Day break next week. Our next edition will be Thursday, Sept. 5. We hope everyone has a great holiday. -- The Editors Thanks to the many readers who sent us e-mails or tweets about our ranking of the 2016 presidential contenders...

2016 President: Republican outsiders rising

Plus: Could anyone beat Clinton in a primary?

Our most recent rating of Republican presidential contenders features a top tier of three notably different candidates: A Midwestern governor (Scott Walker) who is known best by the activists who will help decide the nomination; a leading national figure (Chris Christie) who has irked conservatives; and a firebrand senator (Rand...

Ratings changes — and non-changes

McConnell, Grimes and meaning of our ratings

The Crystal Ball has a number of rating changes in Senate, House and gubernatorial races to announce, but perhaps our most notable rating is one we haven’t changed. A couple of recent Democratic polls show Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) narrowly edging out Senate Minority Leader Mitch...

Take two

Readers react to our campaign advertising piece with suggestions of their own

Last week, we highlighted 10 classic or notable political ads that we thought 2014 candidates might consider studying (or “borrowing,” to use a euphemism for copying) for their upcoming campaigns. We then asked readers to respond with their own ideas. Five of the best suggestions follow, along with some words...

PRESIDENT TOO CLOSE TO CALL; DEMOCRATS HOLD SENATE EDGE PRIOR TO FINAL WEEKEND

Final predictions in Electoral College, other races, coming Monday

Remarkably, after a year of intense campaigning, this election is not in the bag for either major-party candidate. It remains on the edge of the butter knife; the state polling averages tilt the Electoral College slightly to President Obama, and the RealClearPolitics national polling average moved into an exact tie...

President and Senate: Where we stand now

There are a lot of fishy things going on in the presidential race. An incumbent president’s approval rating is historically a good indicator of how he will do on Election Day. By this measurement, President Obama should be in decent shape: according to the RealClearPolitics average from mid-day Wednesday, Obama’s...

The conventions: A national curiosity

(TAMPA, FL) -- Before the 1970s, the political primary process was usually little more than a charade; party leaders met after the primaries were over to do the real work of picking a nominee. Or maybe not even the party leaders. After being rebuffed for the Republican presidential nomination one...

Rating changes: Two new toss-ups

Wisconsin now a presidential toss-up Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan hasn’t appeared to have had much of a polling impact nationally -- at least not yet -- but it has seemed to move the needle in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. Four Wisconsin polls have come out since the...

Ryan Redux: Reevaluating Romney’s Running Mate

To see the Crystal Ball’s initial reaction to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate and how Ryan compares to previous selections, click here. Earlier this year, former Bush political strategist Karl Rove issued a mea culpa about his opposition to then-Gov. George W. Bush’s selection of...