Sanders and the Senate

Why his potential nomination makes some Democrats worry; the low-hanging fruit for both parties

Dear Readers: Tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 21), the University of Virginia Center for Politics will be hosting a conversation between former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato on the Grounds of UVA from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. While registration for the event...

For Sanders, New Hampshire was a Glass Both Half-Full and Half-Empty

The battle is breaking in his favor, even as his own performance has not been that strong

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- There are mixed signals from Bernie Sanders’ narrow victory in New Hampshire, but for now he's supplanted Joe Biden as a weak frontrunner for the nomination. -- Overall, though, the race remains very uncertain as the scene shifts to the more diverse states of...

How to Fix the Presidential Primary Process

Dear Readers: In his book A More Perfect Constitution, Crystal Ball Editor in Chief Larry J. Sabato laid out several proposals to modernize the Constitution. One of those was a suggestion about how to better format the presidential primary process, which has evolved over the course of the nation’s history...

The Iowa Chaos: A Preview of July?

Muddled, delayed, and confusing result could end up contributing to more of the same down the road

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As of this writing, days after Iowa, the ultimate outcome there was still unclear. -- Joe Biden’s poor showing probably forecloses the possibility of him winning the nomination quickly. -- The odds of a rare, contested convention probably went up, although there’s still time...

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...

Take Two: Can Sanders Broaden His Base?

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Unlike in 2016, Bernie Sanders has a real chance to win the Democratic presidential nomination. -- However, he likely will have to broaden his base of support to do so. -- Namely, better showings in big urban and suburban areas are important, particularly as...

Democrats’ Dilemma: Ideology, Electability, and the 2020 Presidential Nomination in Iowa and the Nation

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The Democratic electorate has been getting more liberal, although at the same time, Democrats are not necessarily prioritizing ideology as they select a presidential nominee. -- Over time, both Democrats and Republicans have expressed increasingly negative views of the other party's presidential nominee. --...

Trump Not Immune to the Usual Down-Ballot Presidential Penalty

But the Senate remains a bright spot for Republicans amidst decline elsewhere

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- After just three years in the White House, Donald Trump is seeing a significant erosion of down-ballot seats held by his party. -- This erosion puts Trump in good company -- at least since World War II, presidents typically experience at least some erosion...

In the South, Congressional Black Caucus Members Win Uncommon Crossover

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Across the South, some members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) overperform the presidential lean of their districts. -- Incumbents like G.K. Butterfield (D, NC-1), Sanford Bishop (D, GA-2), and Jim Clyburn (D, SC-6) show that incumbents who fit their districts can build durable...