Unclouded: Sabato predicts for 2012

Political pundit and Crystal Ball-meister Larry Sabato is the go-to guy in an election year, but as much as the Hook tried to lure him into some early prognosticating, Sabato likens any predictions at this point to flipping coins. He did give us some dish about the 2012 election, but where we really got the dirt was about fireplaces in pavilions on the Lawn– and whether the world will end.

Who do you pick in the Kaine-Allen U.S. Senate race, and what should we look for?
The odds are the Senate contest will go the way of the presidential election in Virginia. We live in a highly polarized era.

Which way do you see Virginia going in the presidential race?
Let's see which candidate the Republicans choose as their nominee. Some are stronger and others much weaker. That matters a great deal in Virginia and in other swing states.

Will Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's disregard of Lieutenant Governor Bill BollIing as heir-apparent hurt him in 2013?
Bolling hopes so. Governor Bob McDonnell hopes so. But I'm not sure the GOP activists who vote in a primary care about such niceties.

Your prediction for Democratic candidates for governor?
So far, Terry McAuliffe is the only one I have heard is running. But if the nomination looks to be truly worth having, someone else may jump in.

Rob Bell's chances against Mark Obenshain in the AG race?
It will be tough, given the strength of the Obenshain name around the state in GOP circles, but Bell has a strong record on criminal justice issues in the General Assembly, so his is a serious candidacy.

What about the magnolia controversy at the Rotunda– should they stay or go?
I am completely agnostic. I have two gorgeous magnolias in the Garden of Pavilion IV, and should the Rotunda magnolias meet the Grim Tree Reaper, I invite everyone to admire this pair.
Has the ban on using fireplaces on the Lawn affected the ambience in your pavilion?
Not in the slightest, because the University had the wisdom many years ago to ban faculty from using the pavilion fireplaces. Absentmindedness is a treasured faculty trait, and if anyone were the cause of a destructive Lawn fire, I'd bet on faculty, not students.

Do you think the world will end in 2012, making predictions about 2013 unnecessary?
Finally, I can make a firm prediction. The world will not end in 2012. I'll go further and say it won't end in 2013 either. And just to be a pure daredevil, I believe, without exception, that the sun will rise in the East and set in the West on each day in 2012 and 2013. Even on the days with cloud cover.

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Why to go out on the limb there Sabato.

Why so many Sabato haters?

He's pretty much like E. F. Hutton whether you like it or not.

The haters come out for every single article. Sabato has done as much for this University as anyone outside Casteen and Sandridge in the last two decades. His notoriety, respect among peers, Miller Center work, and tireless work ethic has helped make this town a better place. Get over yourselves and your loveless, lifeless existences.

I really have a problem with Sabato's "crystal ball" and this whole notion of prognosticating our electoral process. This sort of "Jimmy 'The Greek'" mentality toward politics is what leads so many in the media, and by extension in the general population, to treat the process more as a sporting event than as a vital democratic process necessary to our survival as a people. No wonder we are so ill-informed when it comes to actual ISSUES that affect peoples' lives. When we're all so busy talking about a horse race, there's no time left for anything else.

For all of the good work done by the Miller Center and the Center for Politics in fostering healthy politics in this country, this whole excercise seems quite counterproductive.

And who is this Sabato guy, and why were his credentials never given? All I can tell is that he is a big-wig since he is living in a Pavillion.

It will be a bitter martini party with Larry, John, and Leonard at Pavilion IV once the General Assembly gets busy dismantling and uncovering much of what lied beneath their reign at UVA. All the sexual assault cover ups, drugs, thousands of taxpayer funded abortions in the hospital, control of local media. It's not going to be a pleasant January for the limousine liberals at UVA.

As usual, Sean manages to corner the market on bizarre delusions while maintaining a pretty classic case of paranoid schizophrenia. I must say, the ability to blanket the comment sections of so many online local publications is somewhat impressive but I am actually starting to wish someone close to you in real life (if such a person exists) would recommend you seek professional help. That being said, this is one of the lamest non-articles ever. I generally find Sabato's predictions to be entertaining at the very least, but this isn't exactly a "hard hitting" Q and A.

UVA is an intergral part of C'ville, ergo most anything connected with UVA is given some degree of notoriety within the community, good or bad. In Sabatos case, his only claim to fame is that he holds a connection to UVA, otherwise he would be a definite non entity. He only states the obvious, thats all he's willing and able to do.

and his predictions are?.....in the follow up article, or perhaps after the voting is done?

Predictions?He seems to take the politician route.He said a lot without saying a thing.What a waste of time!

in re Downtown Brown. well, if your observations are correct about Larry's sterling service to the University and it' s rep, we see fully what the U has become after the decades of Casteen and Sandbag.

and yes,that should be "its" reputation. larry is a nice guy and he has been well rewarded for being such and by report, a decent teacher .The problem is- if you think it is one- is that in his entire work there is hardly one new or creative idea. Find one.

why vote,

Sabato is the go to guy on the political talk shows on cnn, fox, msnbc etc come election time and is one TV a lot. He has a big national reputation.

Someone using my moniker. Shame on them. Truth be told Sabato has no guts, He always covers his arse by talking out of both sides of his mouth, like any politician.

red- and "he will call it as he sees it" on election night for sure...........as soon as 51% of the vote is in

Where there some predictions in there? Why would Sabato think that having a strong record on criminal justice makes Bell a strong AG candidate? Maybe because he thinks the public doesn't know that the AG office is simply the state's law office. It doesn't prosecute anyone or have control over law enforcement. All it does in that regard is defend criminal appeals.

This is Howard Cosell.

Sabato is a national treasure.

Nice point about the senate race: As in 2008, both races will probably be within a few points, but the down ticket effect will likely be the deciding factor. I think they should ask him again around the early March when a GOP nominee is a little clearer. There are some GOP nominees that could really give Obama problems, and then there's the rest like Perry, Paul, and Gingrich - who while fun to watch self-destruct, would leave some folks sitting at home in disgust.

Sabato on politics sorta reminds me of all the business and economics professors at UVa, they have never built or run a business but they are "experts" on the subject. I will hand it to him though, as he is generous with his cash towards UVa. His willingness to appear on anything on TV, from Jerry Springer to CNN does generate a lot of free pub. Hate to admit it, but he grows on you and I actually listen to what he has to say. He has been right a couple of times, more than Norm Sprouse or that girl with the geri curl hair on Newsplex with the weather. Yes, I hate to admit but I am one of they two or three viewers of Newsplex news.

Prediction: If Romney gets it and Christie (or a reasonable person) is his VP its going to be a close race and possibly a victory. All the others lose to Obama

Here is a question for Larry (or anyone else).............if the voter turn out is large, perhaps the largest percentage in history, who wins.........liberal or conservative?


A large turnout will favor the Democrats. Republicans attempt to suppress voter turnout in nearly every election for a reason.

I used to vote republican, but the C-ville registrars office took care of that. With their willy nilly attitude about leaving laptops laying around with voter information on it, and then getting jammed with juror duty all the time once I registered here. I unregistered. All you have to do is send them a signed letter asking to be stricken from their rolls and they have to oblige by state law. Haven't been called for jury duty since then, and the phone calls have stopped from the campaigns. Given up my voting rights is the smartest move I ever made. Thank you Charlottesville registrars office.

I believe that Bob Marshall's "personhood" legislation and the political ascention of the Virginia Family Foundation will be the most controversial issues of the 2012 VA legislative session. Do you think the "personhood" bill will become law? If so, will it zip through the House and Senate and receive the governor's signature quickly?