If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.

Commentary By Kyle Kondik

Most Recent Releases

White letter R on blue background
May 7, 2020

The State of the States: The Governors By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Vulnerable incumbents get a boost in the midst of crisis.


— Many state governors have received high marks for their handling of coronavirus.

— Three of them on the ballot this November get a boost in our gubernatorial ratings this week.

— As of now, the open seat in Montana seems to be the seat likeliest to change hands on the relatively sparse presidential-year gubernatorial map.

White letter R on blue background
April 30, 2020

The Senate: Looking Beyond the “Core Four” By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

There is a widespread consensus that, in the battle for the Senate, there are four races that may effectively decide the majority.

Dubbed the “core four” by one operative, the races in Republican-held Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina are the ones that the Democrats seem to have the best chance of flipping. (For sports fans, the “core four” term may ring a bell: It describes the four players at the heart of the New York Yankees’ dynasty of the late 1990s and early 2000s.)

White letter R on blue background
April 23, 2020

The Democrats’ House Polling Lead: Remarkably Steady By Kyle Kondik

Generic ballot, money edge point to retained blue majority; seven rating changes.


— The Democratic lead in House generic ballot polling has been very consistent over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency.

— Democrats also have a significant money edge in the lion’s share of their most vulnerable districts. Money is not everything, but it can help.

— We have seven House rating changes, four in favor of Republicans and three in favor of Democrats.

— Put it all together, and Democrats remain favored to hold their House majority.

White letter R on blue background
April 16, 2020

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Race: Don’t Project it Forward to the Fall By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Wisconsin is one of perhaps the two or three likeliest states to vote for the winning presidential candidate this fall, so it is no surprise that anything that happens politically in the Badger State attracts widespread attention.

White letter R on blue background
April 9, 2020

The Next Big Special Election: CA-25 By Kyle Kondik

Top-two primary results generally decent for Democrats, but a May special election held amidst uncertainty of the pandemic could give Republicans a chance to make up a little ground in California.


— Democrats netted seven House seats in California in 2018, winning 46 of the megastate’s 53 seats.

— The state’s top-two primary election system can provide clues for the fall. With results almost entirely complete, none of the newly-elected Democrats appear to be in serious trouble, although a few are definitely vulnerable.

— A special election in CA-25 in May might provide Republicans with their best opportunity to claw back some of their lost California turf. We’re moving our rating there from Leans Democratic to Toss-up.

— We also are upgrading a couple of the few remaining GOP-held seats in California to Safe Republican.

White letter R on blue background
April 2, 2020

Rating Changes: Electoral College and Senate By Kyle Kondik

Democrats edge slightly ahead, but presidential race still a Toss-up; upper chamber battle gets closer; governors face what likely will be the biggest test of their tenures.

White letter R on blue background
March 11, 2020

Democratic Voters Closing the Door on Sanders By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman


— Tuesday night’s primary results generally showed Joe Biden running stronger versus Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton did against Sanders four years ago.

— Biden won every single county in Michigan, Mississippi, and Missouri, and he performed more than well enough out West.

— Biden’s delegate lead is expanding, and should continue to next Tuesday.

White letter R on blue background
March 10, 2020

Danger Signs Abound for Sanders in Michigan — and Elsewhere By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

He will have to beat the polls once again, but he may have benefited from an anti-Clinton vote not present this time.


— Ahead of several delegate-rich contests this month, both national and state-level polls suggest that Joe Biden is solidifying his lead over Bernie Sanders.

— Though a handful of states will be voting tomorrow, Michigan, given its significance in the 2016 primary, will be a focal point of the night — and is likely a must-win state for Sanders.

— But some of Sanders’ great showings outside of Detroit from 2016 seem unlikely to repeat themselves this time.

— In Montana’s Senate race, Democrats now have their best-possible recruit, in Gov. Steve Bullock. We still see Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) as a favorite but are moving this race from Likely Republican to Leans Republican.

White letter R on blue background
March 5, 2020

For Biden, a Stunning Super Tuesday By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Joe Biden’s challenge on Super Tuesday was to build on his victory in South Carolina and defend the other Southern states from incursions by Bernie Sanders. Not only did he accomplish that, but Biden was William Tecumseh Sherman in reverse -- using the South as a springboard to move North in force.

White letter R on blue background
March 2, 2020

Biden’s Super Tuesday Test: Defending the South By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Sanders vs. Biden may be determined by who breaks through on the other’s turf.


— Joe Biden’s victory in South Carolina re-established him as the main challenger to Bernie Sanders.

— There is some indication their battle could break on regional lines, with Sanders fighting for inroads in the South and Biden for access to the North. Biden’s task on Tuesday is protecting the six Southern states from incursions by Sanders (and perhaps others, including the unproven Michael Bloomberg).

— Sanders will lead in delegates after Super Tuesday. The question is by how much.

— Texas, both Southern and Western, is the most interesting state to watch on Tuesday.

White letter R on blue background
February 27, 2020

The Sanders Tax By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

How our Electoral College ratings might change if he becomes the presumptive nominee.


— If Democrats nominated Bernie Sanders, they would, initially, start off with somewhat of a penalty in our Electoral College ratings.

— Sanders’ policy prescriptions and rhetoric may complicate Democratic prospects in the Sun Belt, where the party’s recent growth has been driven by highly-educated suburbanites.

— Given the composition of the 2020 Senate map, which features more Sun Belt states, Sanders’ relative strength in the Rust Belt — assuming that even ends up being the case — nonetheless doesn’t help Democrats much in the race for the Senate.

White letter R on blue background
February 24, 2020

The Democratic Nomination: It’s Getting Late Early By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Last April, we noted that despite the ever-growing Democratic presidential field and delegate allocation rules that can string out a nomination fight, there was the possibility of a single candidate getting an early grip on the nomination because of the frontloaded calendar. By the end of St. Patrick’s Day, states awarding more than three-fifths of all the pledged delegates will have voted. We here at the Crystal Ball are big fans of the wisdom of the late Yogi Berra, and we used one of his gems at the time to sum it all up: “It gets late early out there.”

White letter R on blue background
February 20, 2020

Sanders and the Senate By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

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


— Bernie Sanders may be a poorer fit for the Democrats’ Senate targets than some other Democratic contenders if he wins the nomination.

— There are two Senate rating changes this week: Colorado moves from Toss-up to Leans Democratic, while Alabama moves from Leans Republican to Likely Republican.

— Republicans remain favored to hold the majority.

White letter R on blue background
February 13, 2020

For Sanders, New Hampshire was a Glass Both Half-Full and Half-Empty By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

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


— 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 Nevada and South Carolina.

— Center-left candidates got substantially more support than progressive ones in New Hampshire, but the center-left vote split in such a way that Sanders was able to win. Pete Buttigieg has slightly more delegates so far, though.

White letter R on blue background
February 6, 2020

The Iowa Chaos: A Preview of July? By Kyle Kondik

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


— 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 for the race to sort itself out.

White letter R on blue background
February 3, 2020

The Road to Milwaukee: How the Democratic Primary Will Unfold By Kyle Kondik


— At long last, the primary season begins tonight in Iowa.

— The calendar is frontloaded, with the heart of the action coming from March 3-17.

— If there is not a clear leader by St. Patrick’s Day, and especially by the end of April, the primary electorate may not actually be able to crown a clear winner.

White letter R on blue background
January 16, 2020

Ratings Changes: Senate, House, and Governor By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman


— The Kansas Senate race is getting a lot of national buzz, but we still see the GOP as clearly favored to hold the seat.

— The chances of Republicans springing Senate upsets in New Hampshire and Virginia appear to be growing dimmer.

— Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-CA) decision not to hold a special election for CA-50 makes it likelier for Republicans to hold the seat.

— Vermont is a sleeper Democratic gubernatorial target.

White letter R on blue background
December 19, 2019

2019: The Year of Stability By Kyle Kondik

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


— Impeachment is an unusual occurrence marked by usual partisanship. It is hard to argue that it has dramatically altered perceptions of the president.

— Overall, our outlook for the races for president and for Congress are pretty similar to what they were at the start of the year.

White letter R on blue background
December 5, 2019

The Democratic Race: Biden 2020 as Romney 2012 By Kyle Kondik

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


— 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 party regulars.

— The Democratic field is far from perfect, but other fields that seemed weak have produced winning candidates.

White letter R on blue background
November 21, 2019

2020 House: Assessing the Open Seats So Far By Kyle Kondik

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


— Of 28 open House seats, Republicans are defending 20 while Democrats are defending only eight.

— Of eight the Crystal Ball rates as competitive, Republicans are defending all but one.

— Open seats, along with pending redistricting in North Carolina, give Democrats a small buffer as they defend their majority.