How to Tell if 2016 is a Wave Election

With Hillary Clinton taking a large lead in the polls following the Democratic National Convention, journalists have begun to discuss the extent to which Democrats may be able to capitalize on these gains in down ballot races for the House and Senate. As has been the case in every recent...

House Update: Handful of races move toward Democrats

In a recent meeting, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WI-1) warned donors that the GOP’s House majority might not be safe. Now, politicians don’t like to project overconfidence -- just check your email for campaign fundraising pitches with subject lines like “the sky is falling” -- but Ryan, who romped...

PROF. SABATO WELCOMES THE NATION’S NEWEST CITIZENS AT MONTICELLO

Dear Readers: Larry J. Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, will be the keynote speaker for the 54th annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization ceremony at Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson and a must-visit American treasure. This ceremony is the oldest continuous naturalization...

As deadline approaches, Rubio ponders

But his re-entry would not dramatically change the Senate calculus

The horrifying massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando forces us to ponder whether it will somehow change the national electoral calculus. The short answer is that it’s too soon to tell, but the grim reality is that the frequency of mass murder in the United States -- committed by...

House 2016: The Balancing Act

How expectations of a Clinton victory could hinder Democrats down-ballot

While Hillary Clinton still leads Donald Trump in most national polling, her margin is not what it once was: She’s up about five points in the HuffPost Pollster average, down from nine points in mid-April, and she’s up just two points in the RealClearPolitics average, also down from nine points...

House 2016: Incumbency Still Powerful in Primaries

Plus, half a dozen general election rating changes

On Tuesday night, scandal-drenched Rep. Chaka Fattah (D, PA-2) became the first House incumbent to lose a primary this year. History suggests a few others will join him, but only a few. Since the end of World War II, there has never been a year where every single House member...

House 2016: How a Democratic Wave Could Happen

More than a dozen rating changes, almost all favoring Democrats

Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District, which forms a misshapen U linking Greater Philadelphia in the east to the outskirts of Lancaster and Reading to its west and north, provides a vivid example of the challenges Democrats face on the current U.S. House map. It is a district that Democrats won in...

HOUSE UPDATE: The Waiting Game

Lots of rating changes but few clear trends

We are making 17 changes to our U.S. House ratings this week. On the surface, all that movement suggests that there is a lot going on in the battle for the House. Actually, though, the overall House picture remains largely where it has been for months: on hold until the...

The down-ballot outlook as 2016 approaches

Full Senate, House, and gubernatorial updates and ratings changes

The upcoming battle for the Senate depends to a large extent on the presidential race; Democrats should gain House seats but not truly threaten the GOP’s big lower chamber majority; and Republicans are positioned to add to their already-substantial majority of governorships. That’s the early line on next year’s down-ballot...

House 2016: Finally, a New Map in Florida

Democrats positioned but not guaranteed to net an extra seat or more from the Sunshine State

The long saga of Florida’s legal battle over redistricting now appears to be over. The state Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, approved a new map for the state’s 27-member U.S. House delegation. The remap is an improvement for Democrats over the current map drawn by the state’s Republican-controlled state...

University of Virginia Center for Politics to host 17th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the University of Virginia Center for Politics will host the 17th annual American Democracy Conference in Washington, DC. The conference will feature leading journalists and political experts discussing the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries as well as the overall political outlook for 2016. The conference will...