Students Benefit from “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball” Election Analysis

With the 2016 Presidential Election right around the corner, the UVa Center of Politics has been updating “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball,” a series of analyses and predictions on upcoming election. The site, featuring contributions from Sabato and other UVa politics professors, provides insightful commentary on issues and how they believe the voters will vote. On September 19th, the Crystal Ball noted that Trump is gaining some momentum, possibly due to a change in his new campaign team. Writers initially noted that they still believe that the election results will be in Clinton’s favor and that she has advantage in the Electoral College.

Image courtesy Center for Politics
Image courtesy Center for Politics

Many UVa students keep up with the crystal ball predictions for meaningful insights from a reliable source. Fourth Year student Joshua Barkow says he reads the Crystal Ball as soon as it is updated.

“Professor Sabato’s most recent Crystal Ball is especially poignant right before the debates,” said Barkow. “I really value reading the Crystal Ball every week as it translates the noise that is national news coverage of the election into precise predictions.”
Barkow often finds himself agreeing with the Crystal Ball’s predictions.

“I agree that Trump has benefited from a degree of increased professionalism (if you could even use that word to describe him) as he sticks more to his teleprompter and adjust his message,” Barkow said. “He also benefits from the fact that he is able to make verbal insults and gaffes with little impact on his campaign, while similar circumstances would derail Clinton’s campaign.”

Barkow explains, “Following what seemed like a weak couple of weeks from Clinton, the Crystal Ball shows some key states leaning more towards the Trump camp. This includes important swing states such as Florida and Ohio, whose electoral results have defined elections in the past.”

Crystal Ball contributors also observe that many young voters seem to be leaning toward third party candidates, which is hurting Clinton. A large contingent of young voters are lending support to Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, which deflects votes away from the two major party candidates.

The full selection of Crystal Ball analyses can be accessed through the Center for Politics.


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