Senate 2018: Two Rust Belt Ratings Move in the Democrats’ Direction

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin look more and more like Republican reaches

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Crystal Ball has new ratings in the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin U.S. Senate contests, both in Democrats’ direction. In Pennsylvania, Sen. Bob Casey’s (D) reelection bid moves from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic, while in Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s (D) race goes from Leans...

What Happened in the June 12 Primary

Maine experiments with ranked-choice voting, the Virginia GOP backs Stewart for Senate, and Sanford loses renomination in South Carolina

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE: -- Maine became the first state in modern U.S. history to use ranked-choice voting (also known as instant-runoff voting) in a statewide election. But this was not the first time that a state used a form of ranked voting or preferential voting. In the early...

Virginia’s Busiest Federal Primary Day in Modern History

The main races to watch on June 12 are the Republican contest for U.S. Senate and the Democrats’ six-way race in VA-10

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- With nine contested U.S. House primaries and one U.S. Senate primary, June 12 will be the busiest federal primary day in Virginia’s modern history, surpassing the seven total contests held in 2012 (one Senate, six House). -- In the Republican primary for Senate, Prince...

A Post-Memorial Day Status Report

Where things stand in the battles for Congress and the governorships

KEY POINTS IN THIS ARTICLE -- Both Democrats and Republicans have about equal odds of winning the House majority. -- Republicans remain clearly favored in the battle for Senate control. -- Democrats should start 2019 with at least a few more net governorships than they hold now. Checking in on...

Mad As Hell: How Anger Diminishes Trust in Government

With politics increasingly defined by feelings of anger toward the opposing party, trust in government is bound to decline unless something changes drastically

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Over the past 60 years, trust in government has declined precipitously. Whereas high levels of trust in the national government were typical during the Eisenhower Administration, by 2016 only a fifth of Americans said they trusted the government “always” or “most of the time.”...

Ratings Changes: Senate, Governor, House

Both parties generally avoided bad choices in Tuesday’s primaries

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Republican primary voters avoided a self-inflicted wound in West Virginia when disgraced coal baron Don Blankenship (R) finished third in the GOP Senate primary. -- Much else went as expected Tuesday night. -- Five ratings changes this week affect races for Senate, governor, and...

Ohio’s Primary: The Heart of It All

The Buckeye State’s bellwether status may be fading, but a wild May and November to come reflect some major national trends

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The fissures emerging in both parties are evident in Ohio as the state holds its primary next week on May 8. -- The likeliest matchup in the state’s open-seat gubernatorial race is a rematch of 2010’s battle for state attorney general, as former AG...

California Dreamin’: Carving the Golden State into Thirds

Examining the hypothetical political impact of dividing California into three states

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The “Cal 3” initiative is the latest in a long line of proposals to divide California into multiple states. This plan aims to carve up the Golden State into three new states. -- While the proposal has little chance of success, hypothetically the fragmentation...

Notes on the State of Politics

Mirror images of vulnerability; two statewide Democrats get upgrades; electoral consequences from #MeToo

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The partisan structure of the races for governorships and Senate seats are now exact mirror opposites. -- Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) get ratings upgrades. -- Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s (D, CT-5) retirement gives Republicans an upset opportunity and is another...

Donald Trump’s Short Congressional Coattails

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Although Donald Trump is remaking the Republican Party in his image, he had among the shortest coattails of any presidential winner going back to Dwight Eisenhower. In 2016, Trump ran ahead of just 24 of 241 Republican House winners and only five of 22...

Senate 2018: Republicans Still Have Plenty of Targets

And Democrats need all the breaks to win a majority

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Republicans have better than 50-50 odds to hold control of the U.S. Senate even in the event of a Democratic wave in November. -- The reason is the map: Including the two independents who caucus with them, the Democrats are defending 26 of the...

Mixed Signals: Analyzing Elections since Trump Won the Presidency

KEY POINTS IN THIS ARTICLE: -- In 2013 elections, Democratic candidates ran behind Barack Obama’s 2012 two-party vote percentage by an average of 5.9 percentage points. A great Republican cycle in 2014 followed. In elections since December 2016, Republican candidates have run an average of 2.6 points behind Donald Trump’s...

For New Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, a lesser form of incumbency

Appointed senators have worse electoral records than elected ones in both primaries and general elections

On Tuesday, now-former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) officially resigned from the U.S. Senate following allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. As we discussed in our last newsletter for 2017, Franken’s resignation means that Minnesota will hold a special election for Senate this coming November, which will take place at the...