Larry Sabato Addresses First Failure of his “Crystal Ball”

In the weeks following election, many Americans are left questioning the identity of the country. Amidst the confusion and havoc of this year’s presidential election, University of Virginia’s esteemed professor and political analyst Larry Sabato issued a personal “Mea Culpa” in the Center for Politics publication, “Sabato’s Crystal Ball.”

Similar to practically every major polling prediction, Sabato and his colleagues underestimated Donald Trump’s support and projected Hillary Clinton as the winner.

Photo courtesy University of Virginia Politics
Photo courtesy University of Virginia Politics

“Well, what can we say — we blew it. We thought the signs pointed to Hillary Clinton winning the White House. We thought that even if she lost Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, her Midwestern “firewall” of states that not only had voted for Barack Obama twice, but hadn’t voted for a Republican since the 1980s, would hold for her. It didn’t.”

The severity of the misinformation is especially surprising because of emphasis major news stations have put into providing correct information. In the last election, Fox News was scrutinized for misleading viewers on the strength of Mitt Romney support.

New York Times writer, Jim Rutenberg explained, “the awkward position Fox News found itself in four years ago, when it was criticized for creating an insular information bubble that led some viewers to believe Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama.”

In an interview with UVAToday, Sabato had strong sentiments about America’s polling problem.

“The polling industry needs a major overhaul. Too many polls were too far wrong, including private tracking polls that are normally much better. Even yesterday’s exit polls were wrong. They had Clinton winning virtually all the battlegrounds except Ohio, which was a projected tie, and of course, she lost in a landslide in Ohio.”

Sabato accentuated that “Sabato’s Crystal Ball” will do everything they can to ensure that this large mistake does not repeat itself.

“We have a lot to learn, and we must make sure the Crystal Ball never has another year like this. This team expects more of itself, and we apologize to our readers for our errors.”


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