Blue Stars Fell on Alabama

Jones win another confirmation of Democratic momentum, even taking Moore’s horrible candidacy into account

Prior to the Alabama special Senate election on Tuesday night, there was an ongoing discussion in the media about whether the Republicans would lose either way in Alabama. But as bad as it would have been for Republicans to have had Roy Moore (R) in their Senate caucus, losing this...

Franken Out? How We’d Rate a Minnesota Senate Special

Plus two House ratings changes

As of Wednesday night, it appeared as though Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) was poised to announce his resignation from the Senate on Thursday morning. Franken has faced several credible accusations of groping women and making unwanted sexual advances, and on Wednesday, the dam finally broke and a slew of his...

Alabama Senate: Closing Time

As the race draws to a close, we look at Roy Moore’s advantages — and Doug Jones’ narrow path to victory

This coming Tuesday, Alabamians will go to the polls to decide their next U.S. senator in a rare December special election. While the Yellowhammer State is heavily Republican -- President Donald Trump carried it by 28 percentage points in 2016 -- the Senate contest is a Toss-up. The candidacy of...

Can Twitter Predict Elections?

One firm says yes, and they say the tweets point to a Jones win in Alabama

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, one couldn’t be blamed for looking beyond polls for indicators about who might be favored in difficult-to-predict elections. That’s not necessarily to supplant polling, which we still see as the best way to measure an electorate and its intentions, but rather to augment...

Alabama Senate: It’s a Toss-up

Post-Thanksgiving polls suggest Roy Moore is rebounding

With less than two weeks to go until the Alabama Senate runoff, we’re pulling back our Leans Democratic rating in the race and going to Toss-up. We just don’t feel comfortable making anyone a favorite at this point. The race is as stern a test of tribal partisanship as one...

Alabama Senate: Jones Now Narrowly Favored

The consequences of the awful allegations against Roy Moore; plus, stirrings of an upset in Tennessee?

Editor’s note: The Crystal Ball will not be publishing next week. We wish our readers a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s amazing to write, and there’s time for our outlook to change, but here goes: A Democrat is now a narrow favorite to win a Senate special election in Alabama. We’re changing...

Watch the 2017 American Democracy Conference

The Center for Politics’ 19th annual confab looks ahead to 2018 and 2020 while looking back on Trump’s first year

On Nov. 16, the University of Virginia Center for Politics hosts the 19th annual American Democracy Conference in Charlottesville, VA. The conference features leading journalists and political experts discussing the upcoming 2018 midterm election cycle, the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and early thoughts on the 2020 presidential election....

Democratic Domination in the Old Dominion

Danger signs abound for the GOP, with a few caveats

Editor’s note: This piece is based on unofficial 2017 election returns. Tuesday represented the best non-presidential election night Democrats have had since 2006. They swept the statewide ticket in Virginia for the second election in a row, and they picked up the New Jersey governorship. They also won a crucial,...

Primary Colors in Red

What are the prospects of a GOP purge? And could the president face his own troubles?

A Trump-Bannon move against Republican incumbents would not be unprecedented, but having widespread success would be... If President Trump actively campaigned against incumbents of his own party in primaries next year, it would be an unusual political occurrence. But it would not be without precedent. In fact, he wouldn’t even...

The Republican Senate edge

A look at all three classes shows the difficulties for Democrats in winning a majority in a polarized era

The U.S. Senate is a curious, unique legislative body for a lot of reasons. It has arcane rules, such as the filibuster, which limits the passage of most legislative items unless 60 members vote yes. Representation in the Senate is not based on population; instead, each state gets two and...

“This is the House that Jack Built” Premieres

New documentary examines new and little-known stories about JFK

On Wednesday evening, the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Community Idea Stations hosted the premiere of their new documentary, This is the House that Jack Built, at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Check your local listings for the documentary, which will begin airing on public television in...

When the Out Party Runs Out of Luck

The circumstances that lead to Senate incumbents from the non-presidential party losing in a midterm

The dominant theme in next year’s Senate elections is the confluence of two competing forces: The huge number of seats the Democrats are defending versus the usual boost that the non-presidential party, in this case the Democrats, enjoys in midterm elections. On one hand, Democrats are defending 25 of 33...

Notes on the State of Politics: Senate Shenanigans in Alabama and Tennessee

Reactions to the Yellowhammer State’s runoff and the first 2018 Senate retirement comes in the Volunteer State

Roy Moore’s Rolling Tide There were no surprises in Alabama on Tuesday as former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) dispatched appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R) by about 10 points, 55%-45%, in the state’s Republican primary runoff. Most of the final polls in the race showed a margin...

Unsweet Home Alabama

The state’s brutal primary runoff battle for the GOP Senate nomination enters its final days

In the midst of a grueling campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Alabama’s political sweet tea has acquired a distinctly sour taste. Appointed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R) finds himself in a vulnerable position against former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) in the party’s primary...

New Jersey Democrats: Growing Certainty at the Ballot Box

But not in the courtroom

Ever since comfortably winning the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in June, former Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy has seemed like a towering favorite to succeed term-limited Gov. Chris Christie (R) as New Jersey’s next governor. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican nominee, is being dragged down by Christie’s terrible approval ratings,...