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COMMENTARY BY LARRY J. SABATO

  • Bet on a Republican Senate Majority By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    While many races remain close, it’s just getting harder and harder to envision a plausible path for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate. Ultimately, with just a few days to go before the election, the safe bet would be on Republicans eventually taking control of the upper chamber.

    We say eventually because there’s a decent chance we won’t know who wins the Senate on Election Night. Louisiana is guaranteed to go to a runoff, and Georgia seems likelier than not to do the same. The Georgia runoff would be Jan. 6, 2015, three days after the 114th Congress is scheduled to open. Vote-counting in some states, like Alaska, will take days, and other races are close enough to trigger a recount.

  • 2014: A Tale of Two Elections By Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik

    As we approach the home stretch, 2014 has turned into a tale of two elections. On the one hand, this is a classic sixth-year itch election where the incumbent president’s party is going to suffer losses in both houses of Congress. We’re just arguing about exactly how many. Overall, it is indisputable that Republicans will have more critical victories to celebrate than Democrats when all the ballots are counted, and they have a strong and increasing chance to control the next Senate.

  • The State of the Governors By Larry J. Sabato

    Governors frequently report on the state of their states, but what’s the state of the governors? To judge by many of the ongoing gubernatorial campaigns, it’s not great. Out of 36 contests, one governor (Neil Abercrombie, Democrat of Hawaii) has already lost his primary, another is headed for almost-certain defeat next month (Tom Corbett, Republican of Pennsylvania), and 10 others are in toss-up or close “lean” races.

  • Republican Chances of Senate Takeover Are Improving By Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik

    The race for the Senate is perceptively moving in the Republicans’ direction, but not so dramatically that we’re ready to call the race definitively for them.

    While we’ve long said the 2014 map and midterm dynamics make a GOP takeover of the Senate a probable outcome, there are just too many close races left and more than a month to go, when big gaffes, unexpected legal actions, and national events can potentially flip a Senate seat or two.

  • What Is a Wave in the Senate? By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    For several months, we’ve held steady on our range of expected gains for Republicans in the Senate: a net of four to eight seats. With Labor Day in the rearview mirror and with less than 55 days to go until the midterms, we’re giving Republicans a slight bump: Our new range is a Republican net of five to eight Senate seats.

    This means that the best-case scenario we can now envision for Democrats is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, with Vice President Joe Biden’s tiebreaking vote narrowly keeping Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) as majority leader.

  • 2016 Presidential Update: For Republicans, a Vacancy at the Top By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    It’s lonely at the top of the Republican field — like, “top of Mt. Everest” lonely.

    In our latest shuffle of the 2016 Crystal Ball presidential outlook, we’ve decided that the Republican first tier is…empty. Our Republican friends might object, but deep down, we think they would be hard-pressed to argue for any single name to head this long list: There’s simply no one in the field who is clearly more likely to get the nomination than a half-dozen or more others.

  • Off to the Races By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    The overall picture is this:  A Republican Senate gain of four-to-eight seats, with a GOP Senate pickup of six-to-seven seats the likeliest outcome; a GOP gain of somewhere around a half-dozen seats in the House; and little net party change in the gubernatorial lineup even as a few incumbents lose. So what could shift these projections in a significant way, beyond candidate implosions that move individual races on and off the board?

  • What’s the Matter With Kansas — And Hawaii? By Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    Royal Blue Hawaii and Ruby Red Kansas are two of the most predictable states in presidential and Senate elections. Yet both states have incumbent governors from the dominant parties who are fighting for their political lives. What gives?

  • Senate: 2014 a Year All Its Own by Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley

    Analysts always strain to generalize about elections. We want to “model” them, find the common elements, and project them as early as possible based on the commonalities. That’s a legitimate approach, but we need always remember that every election is different. Every single one.

  • The Hidden Barrier to A Republican Senate Majority by Kyle Klondik

    If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven’t done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November.