A Republican Senate in a Divided Government

The prospects for a split government alignment that arguably should be common but is in fact rare

Dear Readers: This is our last issue of 2023. We wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- One plausible outcome next year is that Democrats hold the White House and flip the House of Representatives while Republicans flip...

Notes on the State of Politics: Dec. 13, 2023

Comparing Biden’s approval to Trump’s from four years ago; Democrats hope for a new gerrymander in New York

Dear Readers: On the latest episode of our Politics is Everything podcast, former Virginia U.S. House Reps. L.F. Payne (D) and Barbara Comstock (R) discuss a new survey on the perspectives, beliefs, and experiences of former members of Congress, with a specific focus on concerns about violence in 2024. Payne...

Notes on the State of Politics: Dec. 7, 2023

The McHenry-McCarthy One-Two Punch; Santos Replacement Election Set; Georgia Remap on Our Minds

Dear Readers: This is the latest edition of Notes on the State of Politics, which features short updates on elections and politics. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The pending resignation of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20) and Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R, NC-10) retirement announcement are...

The GOP Primary: Lowest-Hanging Fruit Remains Out of Reach for Trump Rivals

Rising Haley has work to do even with college-educated voters, not to mention Trump’s strong non-college base

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican primary race. -- Despite some recent movement toward Nikki Haley, Trump’s rivals are not doing even close to well enough with college-educated Republicans—a group that is not as pro-Trump as Republicans who do not hold a four-year...

Putting Biden’s Troubles with Young Voters in Perspective

Youngest voters have been strongly Democratic in recent elections, but the president also has clear weaknesses with that group

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Recent 2024 presidential polling has shown President Biden performing poorly with young voters. -- The 18-29 voting bloc has been reliably Democratic leaning for at least the last several presidential elections. -- Biden’s weakness with young voters is not new, despite doing well among...

Book Excerpt: Party of the People

New book explores the opportunities for Republicans among nonwhite voters

Dear Readers: Today we are featuring an excerpt from Patrick Ruffini’s new book, Party of the People: Inside the Multiracial Populist Coalition Remaking the GOP. Ruffini, a Republican pollster and cofounder of the firm Echelon Insights, meticulously tracks the political changes in the wake of Donald Trump’s ascension to the...

The (Continuing) Congressional Retirement Flood

As more vacancies arise, central Michigan, Long Island races come into focus

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As the calendar year draws nearer to a close, more House members have looked towards the exit. -- In Michigan, Rep. Dan Kildee (D, MI-8) would have been favored for a seventh term, but without him, his Biden +2 seat moves into the Toss-up...

Notes on the State of the 2023 Elections

VA 2023 looks a lot like 2019; ads might help explain a PA oddity; Beshear and disaster relief

Dear Readers: We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving; the Crystal Ball will not be publishing next week. Before we move full speed into assessing 2024, we wanted to take a quick look back at a few notable findings from last week’s elections -- specifically in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and...

The Congressional Retirement Flood

How Manchin, Spanberger, and other recent candidate declarations have (or have not) changed the competitive landscape

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) decision not to run for reelection next year pushes our rating for the West Virginia Senate race from Leans Republican to Safe Republican. -- Next door, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D, VA-7) is forgoing reelection in her Biden +7 seat to...

Elections 2023: Democrats Enjoy a Strong Night

They score victories in five of the six key races we were watching, although off-year elections do not necessarily predict the following year

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democrats won five of the six key races we were watching in Tuesday night’s elections, turning in a strong showing just a couple of days after a series of bad polls for President Joe Biden left some Democrats shook as the presidential race looms...

A 2023 Election Mega-Preview

Places to watch in Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The key races we’re watching next week are gubernatorial races in Kentucky and Mississippi, the state legislative contests in Virginia, an abortion-related ballot issue in Ohio, and a state Supreme Court race in Pennsylvania. -- We continue to favor incumbent Govs. Andy Beshear (D-KY) and...

The Third Party Wild Card

Recent non-major party vote strongest out west -- and not in the states likeliest to decide 2024

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Potentially weak major party nominees paired with a long list of third party candidates could lead to a higher-than-usual level of third party voting in 2024. -- Recent third party performance has generally been strongest in western states and weakest in the South. --...

North Carolina Redistricting: Republicans Bring Out Their Golden Goose (again)

With new map, NC Republicans are poised for redistricting windfall

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- After North Carolina’s then-Democratic state Supreme Court blocked a GOP congressional gerrymander last cycle, the new court re-opened the door to a Republican gerrymander for 2024. -- A new map that legislative Republicans approved yesterday could up their advantage in the state’s currently evenly-divided 7-7...

Ohio Abortion Vote Leads List of Key 2023 Statewide Ballot Issues

Marijuana, tax, and energy policy to be decided by voters in several states

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In six states this November, voters will be asked to weigh in on statewide ballot measures. -- Four states contributed to our list of key measures this year: Colorado, Ohio, Maine, and Texas. More limited measures are on the ballot in Louisiana and New...