Sabato predicts Webb win, Democratic Congress

With Election Day only a week away, UVA professor and political pundit Larry Sabato made his much-anticipated predictions for the midterm elections on his Crystal Ball website. Should things turn out the way Sabato sees them, Democrats will take control of the House, Senate, and a majority of the governorships and "future historians may well look back on this wave election as 'the Iraq Midterm,' much as we look back on the 1966 and 1974 elections as 'the Vietnam Midterm' and 'the Watergate Midterm' respectively."

Just how bad does Sabato think it will be for Republicans? He's predicting an upset victory for Jim Webb over Senator George Allen right here in Virginia. "Of course we're not counting him out altogether," he writes, "but Allen's slow self-destruction has been nothing short of breathtaking, and we at the Crystal Ball are still somewhat shocked to find ourselves at the epicenter of the fight for the Senate."

He's also picking Democrats to gain seats in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, giving Democrats the 51 votes needed for a majority. Sabato sees a wave of blue coming on the other side of the Capitol as well, with the Democrats gaining a net of 27 seats, for a 230-205 majority.

Just how accurate has Sabato been in the past? In 2004, he correctly predicted 525 races out of 530, missing only one Senate race, one House race, one Governor's race and two states' outcomes in the Electoral College. Sabato will explain his picks today at the 2006 Midterm Midday Matinee at UVA's Newcomb Hall Theater at 12:30pm.

For more on Sabato and his life behind the quotes, check out this week's Hook's cover story: "Life of Larry: How Sabato faces the election."

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1 comment

Sabato has always come across as a political agnostic - the ultimate electoral wonk. As well as he seems to understand the electorate and elections, probably because he doesn't take sides, he just calls the races as he sees them.

To top that off, he had a great cameo appearance in the "Live...From the Hook" documentary. He didn't steal the show, but he had some of the best lines.