States of Play: Georgia

Once-dominant Democrats need formerly Republican suburbs to come through for them in 2020

Dear Readers: In the next installment of our States of Play series -- in which we'll be taking an in-depth look at the key states that will decide the presidential election -- we look at Georgia, which Democrats are trying to win for the first time since 1992. Crystal Ball...

The House: Democratic Murmurings in the Texas Suburbs – and Elsewhere

11 rating changes, most in favor of Democrats

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Joe Biden’s currently strong lead in the presidential race is being felt in the suburbs, which if it lasts could imperil Republicans in some of their formerly dark red turf. -- Texas merits special attention, where as many as 10 Republican-held House seats could...

The Rise of Ranked-Choice Voting

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- 2020 has been a banner year for ranked-choice voting. -- Several Democratic primary and caucus contests used the system, which asks voters to rank their choice and forces winners to achieve majority support, albeit through votes from those who did not pick them first...

VA-5: Riggleman Loss Opens Door to a Competitive Race

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Rep. Denver Riggleman (R, VA-5) lost a bizarre, drive-through convention held over the weekend. -- We moved the race from Likely Republican to Leans Republican as a result. Table 1: House ratings change Member/District Old Rating New Rating VA-5 Open (Riggleman, R) Likely Republican...

Notes on the State of Politics

VP omissions; recapping Tuesday’s primaries

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) seems to be rising in the Biden veepstakes. -- Late Wednesday, Jon Ossoff (D) apparently captured the Democratic nomination to face Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), thus avoiding a runoff. -- Primaries in South Carolina and West Virginia saw...

King Dethroned, and Other Notes from the June 2 primaries

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Rep. Steve King’s (R, IA-4) primary loss makes his Republican-leaning seat easier for the GOP to defend. -- There weren’t many other surprises from Tuesday night. Table 1: Crystal Ball House rating change Member/District Old Rating New Rating IA-4 Open (King, R) Likely Republican...

Why 2020’s Third Party Share Should Be Lower Than 2016

Unified parties, lack of strong alternatives among reasons to suspect major party candidates will get a higher percentage of the vote than four years ago

Dear Readers: We wanted to let you know about two upcoming University of Virginia Center for Politics events. The Center for Politics in partnership with the UVA Parents Fund Committee and UVA Office of Engagement will present a live, online celebration this Saturday, May 16, beginning from 11:30 a.m. to...

How Nancy Pelosi Got to Congress

An excerpt from Molly Ball's new biography of the Speaker of the House

Dear Readers: UVA Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato interviewed Time national political correspondent Molly Ball about her new book, Pelosi, an intimate, fresh perspective on the most powerful woman in American political history. You can watch their conversation at at: https://livestream.com/tavco/mollyball. In an excerpt from the book below,...

The Democrats’ House Polling Lead: Remarkably Steady

Generic ballot, money edge point to retained blue majority; seven rating changes

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Democratic lead in House generic ballot polling has been very consistent over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency. -- Democrats also have a significant money edge in the lion’s share of their most vulnerable districts. Money is not everything, but it can help....

The Next Big Special Election: CA-25

Top-two primary results generally decent for Democrats, but a May special election held amidst uncertainty of the pandemic could give Republicans a chance to make up a little ground in California

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democrats netted seven House seats in California in 2018, winning 46 of the megastate’s 53 seats. -- The state’s top-two primary election system can provide clues for the fall. With results almost entirely complete, none of the newly-elected Democrats appear to be in serious...

Rating Changes: Electoral College and Senate

Democrats edge slightly ahead, but presidential race still a Toss-up; upper chamber battle gets closer; governors face what likely will be the biggest test of their tenures

Dear Readers: Please join Crystal Ball Editor in Chief Larry J. Sabato, Managing Editor Kyle Kondik, and Associate Editor J. Miles Coleman for a livestreamed assessment of the 2020 landscape from noon to 1 p.m. eastern today. The livestream will be available at: https://livestream.com/tavco/sabatoscrystalball and is free. We previously were...

Danger Signs Abound for Sanders in Michigan — and Elsewhere

He will have to beat the polls once again, but he may have benefited from an anti-Clinton vote not present this time

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Ahead of several delegate-rich contests this month, both national and state-level polls suggest that Joe Biden is solidifying his lead over Bernie Sanders. -- Though a handful of states will be voting tomorrow, Michigan, given its significance in the 2016 primary, will be a...

Texas: Welcome to the Rodeo

A closer look at the biggest up-for-grabs state today

Dear Readers: We’re pleased to welcome two young analysts for their Crystal Ball debuts today as we publish a bonus issue that provides an additional preview of Super Tuesday (we also looked at the battlefield yesterday). First, Katherine Clement breaks down the Texas primary, and then Niles Francis assesses two...

Super Tuesday Down the Ballot: AL-SEN & CA-25

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In Alabama, the three-way Republican primary for Senate will be one of Super Tuesday's marquee primaries; former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville are polling competitively, though Rep Bradley Byrne (R, AL-1) is also a serious candidate. -- Regardless...

Trump Holds Key to Republican House Chances

GOP banks on nationalization; 16 ratings changes

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Democrats remain favored to hold the House, but it’s not hard to imagine what the GOP’s path to the majority would be. -- Trump is crucial to that path: A highly-nationalized presidential election that devastates the roster of Democrats in Trump-won and marginal Clinton-won...