Whatever you think of him, Donald Trump is a stick of dynamite thrown into the presidential pond. All the boats have been rocked, and given Trump's potential for more explosiveness, the political waters show little sign of settling down anytime soon. Donald Trump is so special that we've created a category (and perhaps a word) just for him in our Republican presidential rankings: "The Un-Nominatable Frontrunner."
Given that Bush, like Clinton, is not a naturally gifted speaker, we found his performance Monday to be strong. Even though he's effectively been in the race since December, it's easy to imagine that the coverage of Bush's speech and official announcement will help him get a small bump in the polls.
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
As is our longstanding tradition, we at the Crystal Ball attempt to call every election for House, Senate, governor, and in presidential years, the Electoral College. After studying these campaigns for months or years, we believe we owe you our best judgment about the outcomes. While we're proud of our overall record over the years, we always miss a few calls, sometimes more than a few.
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.
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the picture in several key races remains hazy. But when the dust settles, the most likely result is a Republican majority, as the Crystal Ball's outlook of Republicans adding five to eight seats has long indicated.
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.
Mississippi, a state often ignored by the national political world, managed to do something rarely seen in politics: Produce two upsets in the same race in a three-week span. And it bucked a trend of generally pathetic turnout in primaries nationwide to produce the second and then first-largest primary turnouts in the history of Mississippi Republican politics.
Democrats made history in 2008. We suspect they will want to do so again in 2016, which is just another reason why Hillary Clinton is such an obvious front-runner for her party's presidential nomination, as long as she wants it.
After applying Star Trek's "red alert" designation to several Senate seats last week, we're now looking at the most competitive gubernatorial races. Unlike the Senate races — where at least the seven most competitive seats are all currently held by Democrats — the competitive gubernatorial picture offers a mixed set of races, with a number of Democrats and Republicans listed among the hottest races.
We'll grant you, most people now prefer to follow the candidates in a March 2013 election over in Rome, not the 2014 contests in the United States. But the Crystal Ball doesn't analyze papabili and has all but endorsed Timothy Cardinal Dolan (our proffered populist yet saintly slogan for him: "He's just like you, only better"), so you'll have to be content with an early-bird look at U.S. Senate contenders.