The Battles for Attorney General

Surveying this year’s 30 contests across the country, including many in key swing states

Dear Readers: Last month, we announced that Crystal Ball Senior Columnist Louis Jacobson would be analyzing several categories of state-level races for us this cycle. After looking at secretary of state races, Lou is now turning his attention to attorneys general, positions that often have a fair amount of power...

Next Week’s Biggest Statewide Ballot Issues

Five states feature notable issues, with possible redistricting changes in New York leading the list

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Voters in several states will be deciding significant statewide ballot issues next week. -- The most notable issues deal with topics such as gaming, energy, taxes, and more. But the one with the most national import is in New York, where voters could give...

How Democrats Are Losing the War for Counties

Tracking 20 years of county-level presidential election changes

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democrats, particularly at the presidential level, are maintaining or increasing their electoral strength in populated areas, but Republicans are strengthening their hold on more rural areas. -- This tradeoff has led to a decline in the number of counties won by Democratic candidates since...

Where Both Parties Overperform in the House

Comparing how many seats they have versus how many the 2020 presidential results would have suggested

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As we head into a once-a-decade redistricting cycle, we analyzed which states have one party that is currently overperforming in its House delegation compared to that party’s share of the 2020 presidential vote. -- Overall, the GOP has notched notable overperformances in 19 medium-to-large-sized...

Like His Predecessors, Trump Suffered Down-Ballot Losses — But the Declines Were Comparatively Modest

Biden now confronts the presidential party down-ballot jinx, but his predecessor's shadow might aid his cause

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Like every post-World War II president, Donald Trump witnessed a fall-off in his party’s numbers of U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial, and state legislative seats during his presidency. That said, compared to recent presidents, the erosion on Trump’s watch was more modest than it...

Ballot Measures: A National Rundown for 2020

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Quietly, 2020 is proving to be a major year for ballot measures, with 120 on statewide ballots. In this article, we’ll look at 70 with the potential to have a significant policy impact. -- Some of the most numerous this year are related to...

The Highest Courts in the States

Important races in Michigan, Ohio highlight this year’s state supreme court races

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- State supreme court elections are often overlooked, stuck at the end of long ballots and receiving little media coverage. But they can play decisive roles on policies. -- Below are rundowns of 10 states that have at least one contested supreme court election this...

A Golden Age of Gubernatorial Propriety

After scandal-plagued 2000s, there haven’t been many blockbuster gubernatorial scandals recently

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In the past decade, four governors faced either a criminal case or sexual misconduct allegations while in office. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually quite low by recent historical standards. -- Gubernatorial bad behavior peaked between 2003 and 2009, an era...

The Future Shape of the Senate

How 2020 sets up 2022 and 2024

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Constitution divides the Senate into three “classes” that face the voters on six-year cycles. Under today’s political dynamics, the class that faced the voters in 2018 was favorable to the Republicans, while the class that faces the voters in 2020 is favorable to...

The Rise of Ranked-Choice Voting

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- 2020 has been a banner year for ranked-choice voting. -- Several Democratic primary and caucus contests used the system, which asks voters to rank their choice and forces winners to achieve majority support, albeit through votes from those who did not pick them first...

One-Party Dominance Extends to Statewide Elected Offices

Up-and-coming candidates from the wrong party in one-party states, like Pete Buttigieg, don't have much practical chance for statewide advancement

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- For talented young political prospects who belong to the minority party in states dominated by one party, the path to statewide advancement is rocky. -- In 34 of the 50 states, a single party controls all of the statewide elected offices. -- Only four...