Sabatos Crystal Ball

Eleven Days to November

The key primaries leading to the 2014 midterms.

Larry J. Sabato, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics April 17th, 2014

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week he provides an overview of the key primary election dates that will preface the November midterm elections. — The Editors

For political junkies desperate for clues to the hottest House, Senate and governors’ races around the country, April is the cruelest month. While Illinois and Texas primaries were held last month, the 48 remaining state contests don’t start up again for three weeks. Here’s the good news for those of us hoping to determine whether Democrats or Republicans will be celebrating in the fall: From early May to early September, we’ll have a steady stream of conventions, primaries and runoffs to keep us busy.

We’ve already learned a little from the first two contests.

On March 4, Texas told us two contradictory things: The Tea Party has waned in Republican influence because U.S. Sen. John Cornyn won his re-nomination race easily over Rep. Steve Stockman, and the Tea Party is still strong because of its power in the GOP lieutenant governor’s contest and some other lower-level match-ups. Thanks for clearing that up, Lone Star State voters. Maybe the picture will come into focus after the May 27 runoff, when the top-two finishers in a number of Texas races face off for spots on the November ballot.

To read the rest of the column, please click here.