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...

The Electoral College: Maine and Nebraska’s Crucial Battleground Votes

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Nationalization has pushed urban and rural areas apart; Maine and Nebraska are no exceptions to this trend, and their unique electoral vote allocation systems are highlighting that division. -- The Omaha-based NE-2 supported Republicans in the past two presidential elections, but by decreasing margins,...

Republican Edge in Electoral College Tie Endures

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- If no candidate gets to 270 Electoral College votes, the U.S. House of Representatives would pick the next president. -- The House has not had to pick a president in nearly two centuries. In the event of such a tiebreaking vote, each state’s U.S....

Markey vs. Kennedy: Welcome to the most unusual Senate primary in decades

Over the past quarter century, there hasn't been another Senate primary challenge quite like it

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is facing a strong primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D, MA-4) in 2020. While challenges to entrenched incumbent senators aren’t an everyday occurrence, the Markey-Kennedy race is especially unusual in recent Senate history -- Most senators who attract...

The 2016 Electoral College Map: A Template for 2020

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In 2016, Hillary Clinton would have needed to flip 38 additional Electoral College votes to reach 270[1], thereby winning a majority in the Electoral College. -- Using 2016 presidential election results, we can map out the different paths that Clinton had to winning 270...

2019: The Year of Stability

Big events of the year, including impeachment, don’t materially change the odds in races for president, Congress

Dear Readers: The Crystal Ball will be away for the holidays next week. Our next issue will come out on Thursday, Jan. 2. We wish all of our readers Happy Holidays. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Impeachment is an unusual occurrence marked by usual partisanship. It...

Wisconsin: 2020’s Ground Zero

A closer look at the state that may once again decide the presidency; GOP narrowly favored in NJ-2 following Van Drew party switch

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- A perpetual swing state, Wisconsin seems poised to play a pivotal role in next year’s presidential election. Milwaukee will be especially prominent as the host of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. -- With a special election in Wisconsin’s 7th District on the horizon, we...

The Democratic Vice Presidential Derby: Look Beyond the 2020 Contenders

History suggests broad guidelines for the kinds of candidates who will be considered

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- The history of vice presidential selection suggests some overarching trends that will guide the eventual Democratic nominee’s selection. -- One piece of history stands out: Presidential nominees often, though not always, opt for a running mate who was not a candidate for the nomination....

The Democratic Race: Biden 2020 as Romney 2012

As one shaky frontrunner endures, we’re reminded of another from the recent past

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Biden’s endurance at the top of the Democratic race is reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s endurance in the 2012 Republican race. -- Despite considerable liabilities, Romney benefited -- and Biden benefits -- from splintered opposition and being the best fit for a significant bloc of...

Handicapping North Carolina’s New Districts

Democrats likely to net two seats

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- With a new congressional map in place, Democrats seem poised to flip two seats in the Tar Heel State, one in the Raleigh area and another in the Greensboro area. -- Since his election in 2014, Rep. Mark Walker (R, NC-6) has quickly climbed...

2020 House: Assessing the Open Seats So Far

Openings won’t match the volume of 2018, but Democrats may once again benefit more than Republicans

Dear Readers: The Crystal Ball will be away next week. Our next issue will be released on Thursday, Dec. 5. We wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. -- The Editors KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Of 28 open House seats, Republicans are defending 20 while Democrats are defending...