NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

House ratings changes, next week's primaries and Center for Politics wins an Emmy

House ratings changes A race-by-race analysis, as well as history, suggests Republicans are in line to make a small, mid-to-high single-digit addition to their majority, but there’s been little movement one way or the other in most races or in the overall climate. We’re planning to take a fuller look...

CANTOR’S FALL

The House majority leader’s shocking loss is more an outlier than a harbinger

Note: A version of this story appeared as “Your Theory About Why Cantor Lost Is Probably Wrong” on Politico Magazine Wednesday night. The Richmond Times-Dispatch called it a “political earthquake.” It was the “upset of the century,” added Fredericksburg’s Free Lance-Star. A powerful, veteran member of the U.S. House of...

MCDANIEL’S ‘FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS’

The fallout from Tuesday’s primaries

In his classic book Southern Politics in State and Nation, V.O. Key Jr. wrote about the importance of “friends and neighbors” in one-party southern elections. More than half a century after the book was written, strength at home powered yet another Deep South candidate. Tuesday night featured about as dramatic...

Notes on the State of Politics: Primary Edition

National Republicans get their men (and women) The key takeaway from Tuesday night’s primaries, and the primary season in general so far, is that national Republican leaders are getting the general election nominees they want in key races. What they do with those nominees in the fall remains to be...

NOTES ON THE STATE OF POLITICS

Arkansas now a Toss-up It’s become clear over the past few months that Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), despite the increasing Republican lean of his state, has been holding his own, or better, against Rep. Tom Cotton (R, AR-4). Several positive polls for the incumbent, including a too-optimistic 11-point lead from...

Are Republicans Really Doomed Demographically?

Much of the debate about elections today revolves around the “Emerging Democratic Majority” thesis, taken from the 2002 book of the same name. The thesis is pretty straightforward: Because of demographic changes, the GOP is on a path toward irrelevance unless it can remake itself and appeal to the rising...

PRIMARY ROUNDUP: NORTH CAROLINA REPUBLICANS VOTE FOR ELECTABILITY

Backed by an onslaught of advertising from outside establishment Republican groups and assisted by the lack of a top-tier opponent, North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) won his party’s Senate nomination on Tuesday night, capturing about 46% of the vote. He needed 40% to avoid a runoff against...

The Minimal Class Divide in American Politics

Why Growing Economic Inequality Does Not Explain Partisan Polarization

How deep is the class divide in American politics today? According to some scholars and pundits, it is very deep indeed. In a recent post on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University, the author of Unequal Democracy and a highly regarded public opinion scholar, presented...

Notes on the State of Politics

Primary season begins in earnest and Grimm tidings in the House

April quiet brings May excitement After two states, Texas and Illinois, held the first primary contests of the 2014 election calendar in March, April featured exactly zero. But a month and a half of inactivity will give way to a busy May primary season with 11 scheduled elections, as seen...

HELP! I’M DROWNING IN TV ADS!

It’s only April and the flood has begun

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week he takes a look at the first batch of campaign ads this cycle. -- The Editors Remember when someone could publish a book about TV commercials entitled The Best Thing on TV? It...

Big and little nothings

Reviewing this cycle's mostly minor but occasionally major mistakes so far

Yes, we know reporters have to react to news and find ways to make it relevant, but pardon us if we didn’t gag a little bit seeing headlines about the potential impact of Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy on her mother’s potential presidential campaign. Some said the baby was timed for the...

How Veterans Vote

Not that differently from the rest of the electorate

In Arkansas’ Senate contest, Rep. Tom Cotton (R) has a new ad that goes after Sen. Mark Pryor (D) for his comment that Cotton feels a “sense of entitlement” because of his military service. Cotton humorously utilizes his Army drill sergeant to talk about how his time in the military...

Exiting the House

The many paths to ending a career in Congress' lower chamber

Over the past 40 years, there have been many ways to leave the U.S. House of Representatives. Specifically, nine different methods. The main ones, beyond losing a primary or general election, are to retire or run for another office. But a member can also do one of the following: be...

The House retirements that (might) matter in November

The retirement of Rep. Tom Petri (R, WI-6) means that 41 members of the House are leaving the lower chamber at the end of this Congress in order to either exit public life or run for another office. There are clear governing implications for these retirements: For instance, several of...

Eleven Days to November

The key primaries leading to the 2014 midterms.

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week he provides an overview of the key primary election dates that will preface the November midterm elections. -- The Editors For political junkies desperate for clues to the hottest House, Senate and...