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

Commentary by Larry J. Sabato

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July 31, 2009

Lieutenant Governor Mania By Larry Sabato

In the mid-nineteenth century, a delegate to a Virginia constitutional convention argued against the office of lieutenant governor, calling it, "the fifth wheel of a wagon, and much more useless." Worse has been said about the vice presidency over the centuries. Franklin Roosevelt's first VP, John Nance Garner, declared his position was not worth a pitcher of warm spit. He actually cited another bodily excretion, but the press of the day cleaned up the language.

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May 15, 2009

Hot House 2010 By Larry J. Sabato, Isaac Wood and Paul Wiley

We are barely into the two-year term for the current House of Representatives, but you can be sure that the 2010 contests have already begun. That is especially true for members of the House who are in two-party competitive districts. For them, it is a permanent campaign.

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May 8, 2009

Presidency 2012: The Invisible Primary Begins By Larry J. Sabato

We at the Crystal Ball must beg your forgiveness. With fewer than 1,300 days left until the next general election for President, we have failed to offer a single analysis of this historic upcoming battle. With humility, and hoping for mercy, we submit this first update on 2012.

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March 26, 2009

STATEHOUSE ROCK: 36 Governorships on the Chopping Block in 2010 By Larry Sabato

We've had two good weeks of gubernatorial fun in the Crystal Ball, reviewing the early match-ups for the 2010 midterm Governor battles here and here. Now it's time to examine the remaining sixteen statehouses, all currently controlled by Republicans.

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March 20, 2009

Statehouse Rock: 36 Governorships on the Chopping Block in 2010 By Larry Sabato

Last week the Crystal Ball conducted a historical overview of gubernatorial midterm elections in the past sixty years. Now we'll continue our initial analysis of the statehouse battles to come by assessing the situation in each of the 36 states hosting a contest for Governor in 2010. Let's start with the 20 Democratic statehouses on the ballot.

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March 12, 2009

Statehouse Rock: Part One of Three By Larry J. Sabato

Every midterm year, the lion's share of the attention seems to go to the U.S. Senate and House contests at the national level, even though the governorships are arguably more important.

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February 27, 2009

Senate 2010: Part Three By Larry Sabato

Two weeks ago we discussed the basic framework for 2010's thirty-six Senate elections. Last week we reviewed the seventeen Democratic Senate seats that are on the ballot in the midterm year.

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February 20, 2009

Senate 2010: A Three-Peat for Democrats or Comeback for the GOP? By Larry J. Sabato

Last week in the Crystal Ball , we looked at the historical background of off-year Senate elections and laid the groundwork for the earliest possible projection of the 36 contests on the ballot in 2010. This week we call the Senate roll among sitting Democrats to see who appears safe and who might be in trouble. Next week, in our final round-up, the Republican seats will be under the microscope.

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February 13, 2009

Senate 2010 By Larry J. Sabato

It's never too early for the Crystal Ball to look ahead to the next election. But unlike the Wizard of Oz's phony orb (when he's still the Kansas medicine man who peeks into Dorothy's purse for photos of Auntie Em), we try to run an honest Ball.

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January 22, 2009

The Honeymoon Begins By Larry J. Sabato

Almost every American recognizes January 20, 2009 as a red-letter date in U.S. history. No one who witnessed the swearing-in of President Barack Obama will ever forget it, and rarely has so much emotion been wrapped up in an inauguration.

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January 8, 2009

Inaugurations Past and Present by Larry J. Sabato

Rituals matter in any society, but in a democracy they are especially significant. Most authoritarian regimes are stable for long periods of time; the barrel of a gun ensures it.

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December 17, 2008

That Was The Year That Was By Larry J. Sabato

We have reached the end of another election cycle, but this has been no ordinary campaign. The marathon of presidential politics was everyone's focus, and the unforgettable cast of characters was long, from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side to John McCain and Sarah Palin on the Republican.

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November 20, 2008

Lessons Spoke to Nation's Mood By Larry J. Sabato

As routine as elections may seem, they are the seminal events in the life of a democracy. Campaigns and elections not only set the direction of the Republic, they also shed light on America's political health. Every November we have the opportunity to take stock of what we did at the polls, and what that says about the status of the 232-year-old American experiment.

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October 30, 2008

The Last Word--Almost By Larry Sabato

These are our 2008 election projections as of Thursday, October 30. We will make final adjustments and tweaks on Monday afternoon, November 3, and post them to the website. At that point, we will attempt to call the few remaining toss-ups.

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October 24, 2008

House Race Update By Larry J. Sabato, Isaac Wood, and Paul Wiley

Every week it seems to get worse for House Republicans. As we will demonstrate below, we have expanded the number of possible to likely net gains for Democrats from our previous 15 to 20 to a new and rather astounding 22 to 27 seats.

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October 23, 2008

Democratic Wave Continues to Build By Larry Sabato

Back in 2002 and 2004, the Crystal Ball brought misery to Democrats and joy to Republicans, as we projected the solid GOP victories that occurred in those years. The cycle of politics is not to be denied, and so in 2006 and now in 2008, there is a role reversal.

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October 16, 2008

Democrats Roll in U.S. House Races By Larry J. Sabato

The good news just keeps on coming for Democrats. As we discussed last week, presidential nominee Barack Obama is the clear favorite to win a substantial victory in the race for the White House

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October 16, 2008

Electoral College Update: October 16 By Larry J. Sabato

John McCain's position in the Electoral College continued to deteriorate in the previous seven days. We are making the following adjustments, accordingly.

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October 10, 2008

Statehouse '08 Update By Larry J. Sabato

There are just eleven governorships up for grabs from coast to coast, six currently held the Democrats and five by the Republicans.

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October 9, 2008

Is The Electoral Dam Breaking for Obama By Larry J.. Sabato

All season, political observers have been speculating when, if ever, the Electoral College and the state and national polls would reflect the basic pro-Democratic fundamentals of the presidential election year.