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COMMENTARY BY LARRY J. SABATO

  • The Map: 11 Angles on the Electoral College By Geoffrey Skelley, Kyle Kondik, and Larry J. Sabato

    Earlier this week, we debuted our initial Crystal Ball Electoral College ratings in Politico Magazine . We’ve reprinted that column below for those who did not see it. As promised, we have elaborated on the map and our reasoning for the initial judgments.

  • Republicans in 2016: Rubio Edges Ahead of Walker By Geoffrey Skelley, Kyle Kondik, and Larry J. Sabato

    For Republicans looking ahead to 2016, Florida is the pivotal state in the Electoral College. Naturally, we can’t know exactly what will happen a year and a half from now, but from our current vantage point, it appears very likely that the GOP must win the state to have a shot at winning 270 or more electoral votes and control of the White House.

    Given the state’s importance, particularly to the Republicans, it seems appropriate that the top two contenders for the party’s presidential nomination in the Crystal Ball ’s rankings now hail from the Sunshine State.

  • Clinton's Short List of Rivals By Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik

    The least shocking announcement since… well… Rand Paul’s presidential launch last week is now in the books: Hillary Clinton is running for president.

    The perfunctory announcement came Sunday afternoon via a roughly 2.5-minute video, which is clearly targeted at key Democratic constituencies, like women, minorities, gays and lesbians, and labor. Clinton herself doesn’t appear until after the video’s halfway point, and she doesn’t interact with any of the others in the video.

  • 2016 Republican Nomination: The Race “Officially” Begins by Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    Last week, a Crystal Ball reader sent us an e-mail asking if now would be the time to remove “low name ID nationally” from our list of negatives for possible presidential aspirant Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN). We absolutely agree, given the turmoil surrounding Indiana’s new religious freedom law: There’s little question that name identification is no longer a problem for the Hoosier State governor.

  • Why This Scandal Won't Hurt Hillary By Larry J. Sabato

    Admit it: You love a juicy scandal. We claim to be high-minded and policy-oriented, but our noses are buried in the accounts of the latest political calamity -- and we read those stories before anything else.

    The Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy is just the latest entrée in a decades-long, calorie-rich menu provided by the former first lady and her husband. But will it make a difference in 2016?

  • 2016 PRESIDENT UPDATE: CLINTON ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE…YET By Geoffrey Skelley, Kyle Kondik, and Larry J. Sabato

    Hillary Clinton went before cameras and reporters at the United Nations last week to address the ongoing controversy over her use of a private email system during her time as secretary of state. She was terse, combative, and essentially told the American people to “trust her” when she says that she didn’t do anything wrong and isn’t hiding anything. Clinton’s visceral dislike of the media was obvious and can be summed up by three words (“Go to Hell”), which was how Politico ’s John Harris put it after Clinton’s presser.

  • A Major Reshuffling of the Republican Presidential Deck By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    For nearly two years we’ve been ranking the GOP presidential contenders, and we’ve only had two names in the No. 1 spot. Now, in our latest update, those two are together, and alone, at the top.

    The new first tier is Jeb Bush , the former governor of Florida, and Scott Walker , the governor of Wisconsin.

  • The New World Order By Larry J. Sabato

    Well, that didn’t last long! By that, we mean our pre-Christmas ordering of the GOP presidential field. We shouldn’t be surprised. Politics never takes a long holiday break anymore.

    First prize for early maneuvering goes to Jeb Bush. His unexpected, all-but-in announcement on Dec. 16 stunned his competitors and the political community. Bush didn’t just accelerate the entire process, including forthcoming announcements by rivals, but he also gained a leg up in conventional wisdom’s positioning.

  • Only ~700 Days to Go By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    Thank goodness the midterm election is fully behind us so we can focus your attention on the White House sweepstakes of 2016. Oh, we can hear a few spoilsports among you moaning and whining: “Give us a break! Couldn’t you at least wait until after the holidays?” No, we couldn’t. Super-early analysis of future elections is what separates the possessed professionals in our business from the sane amateurs.

  • Yup, It Was a Wave By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    It might not have been 1994 or 2010, but 2014 was a wave all its own: A late-breaking surge that lifted Republicans to some surprisingly strong performances across the country.

    Notably, though, the argument for this election being a “wave” has more to do with the House and gubernatorial races, as opposed to the main event, the Republican Senate takeover.

    The GOP is likely to bump up its House majority to its highest total since the one it held after the 1928 election, netting at least a dozen additional House seats.