The Crystal Ball’s Tweets of the Week is a look back at the highlights of the past week in politics in snippets of 140 characters or less. To get this analysis as soon as news breaks, follow University of Virginia Center for Politics Director, and Crystal Ball founder, Larry Sabato on Twitter by clicking here.
4:48 PM Feb 18th: Just what Ds didn’t need: another Senate retirement (Jeff Bingaman, NM). Obvious opportunity for ex-Cong. Heather Wilson(R).
4:49 PM Feb 18th: No slam dunk, though. Crystal Ball moves NM SEN from Solid D to Toss Up, pending clarity on candidacies. Will ex-Gov. Gary Johnson(R) run?
4:51 PM Feb 18th: Johnson isn’t going anywhere for POTUS. Will ex-Gov. Bill Richardson(D) run? Doubtful. ex-LG Diane Denish, Cong. Heinrich & Lujan(D) poss.
4:52 PM Feb 18th: Doubt Cong. Steve Pearce(R) will try again. 22-pt Senate loss last time should deter him.
4:55 PM Feb 18th: Candidate match-up vital–but so is prez coattail. Obama favored in NM ’12. Any R nominee may swim against tide. % of ticket-splitting key.
4:57 PM Feb 18th: Prez coattail strength vs. ticket-splitting will determine lots of ’12 Senate races, maybe inc. MT, NE, MO, FL, NM, MA, NV, OH, VA.
5:12 PM Feb 18th: Overall, Crystal Ball has only 6 pure Toss Ups (MO,MT,NE,NM,NV,VA). Just one(NV) is R, other 5=D. Lean R=AZ,MA. Lean D=CT,FL,MI,OH,WV.
5:12 PM Feb 18th: Prez race (once set) will reshape those totals, maybe dramatically.
5:16 PM Feb 18th: Crystal Ball Senate clean-up: ND (likely switch from D to R), & IN,TX,UT–Likely R almost regardless of GOP nominee.
9:57 AM Feb 20th: Little-noticed special election for State Senate gives LA Rs total control of state. Both state House & Senate now R, plus Gov. Jindal.
9:59 AM Feb 20th: 21 states now have total R control, just 11 D, 17 split-party (1 nonpartisan, but NE actually R-controlled, so total of 22 R more accurate).
10:02 AM Feb 20th: Since one-person, one-vote established in ’60s, Rs have never had this much influence on redistricting (201 U.S. House seats to Dems’ 49).
7:21 PM Feb 20th: “60 Minutes” showed why Crystal Ball rates Sen. Scott Brown LEAN R instead of Toss-up in ’12. Even Obama MA landslide may not beat him.
5:42 PM Feb 21st: Lesson on polling 4 POTUS Day. Surveys show Reagan rocketing into lead among 44. More Gipper luck: 100th B’day coverage coincided w/polling.
5:45 PM Feb 21st: Always look at dates of polls & compare to events in news. Big effect. Most poll results carved in sand not stone.
12:36 PM Feb 22nd: And then there were 18 (or so). Thune won’t run. Wise decision. Pure longshot, didn’t have belly fire. Maybe Pawlenty helped. A wee bit.
12:38 PM Feb 22nd: Congrats to Gov. Bob McDonnell, who’s joined the Gang of 50 in the GOP VP hunt. And 50 is conservative. Hispanic still makes most sense.
12:40 PM Feb 22nd: After heming & hawing, McDonnell finally admitted obvious: He’d take Veep. Ones to worry about are the deniers–rhymes with liars.
9:14 PM Feb 22nd: Sitting in Chicago O’Hare, watching Rahm get elected Mayor. (Looks over.) Soon flying to Madison WI. Feel oddly relevant tonight.