News Networks Recognize Success of 'Sabato's Crystal Ball'

November 10, 2006
Nov. 10, 2006 -- In a closely contested midterm election which saw party control of both chambers of Congress up for grabs, Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an election analysis and forecasting Web site produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics accurately predicted a gain of 6 Senate Seats and 29 House seats for Democrats. Predicting a gain of 7 governorships, the Crystal Ball was within one seat of the actual results.
Crystal Ball Predictions, +6 Dems
Election Results as of Nov. 9, +6 Dems         


Crystal Ball Predictions, +29 Dems
Election Results as of Nov. 9, +29 Dems

Crystal Ball Predictions, +7 Dems
Election Results as of Nov. 9, +6 Dems

Several major cable news networks recognized Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball as being the most accurate source of election predictions in 2006:
“I’m a big fan of your Crystal Ball predictions… Congratulations on pretty much nailing the election.”
- Steve Doocy, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, Nov. 8, 2006
“[Sabato’s Crystal Ball] predicted Democrats would pick up the six seats needed to take over the Senate.  It appears they have done just that…you’ve got an impressive record and I’m going to call you later; we’re going to go over stock picks.”
- Lester Holt, MSNBC’s MSNBC Live, Nov. 8, 2006
“Larry Sabato got it right.”
- Fred Barnes, Fox News Channel’s Special Report, Nov. 7, 2006
“Larry Sabato…you nailed it first of all. In your latest missive, which I read, you looked for a two house sweep, and you were convincing.”
 - Larry Kudlow, CNBC’s Kudlow & Company, Nov. 8, 2006
“While there is a significant amount of luck involved in predicting election outcomes, the truth is the success of the Crystal Ball’s predictions rests with a talented staff at the Center for Politics who, over the last year, have diligently  followed all these races across the nation,”  said Sabato.  “Each race was evaluated not just on polling information, but on real interaction with the campaigns and people on the ground who are always the best gauge of the likely voter sentiments on Election Day.”
In an era of extremely close races and a highly polarized electorate on Election Day, the Crystal Ball’s predictions have been mirrored by the election results.  In the 2002 midterm elections, Sabato’s Crystal Ball consistently predicted winners in an overwhelming majority of election outcomes: 99.6 percent of House races, 94 percent of Senate races, and 88 percent of gubernatorial races.  In the 2004 elections, the Crystal Ball correctly picked winners in over 98 percent of Electoral College Senate, House, and gubernatorial races. Within the context of past successes, Election 2006 has bolstered the success of the Crystal Ball and its relative value as a tool for anticipating the outcome of elections for academics, media and political junkies alike.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball followed up on its strong performance in 2002 and 2004 by correctly predicting the outcome of 100 percent of 2006 Senate races, 96 percent of 2006 House races, and 97 percent of the 2006 gubernatorial races. Final pre-election predictions published for races in all categories on November 6, 2006 are still available online at
Created by Professor Larry J. Sabato and the staff at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, the Crystal Ball website began as a pre-election seminar that evolved into a website in 2002 to provide complete election coverage and analysis.  The Crystal Ball is a free public service designed to increase the awareness of national politics and issues, consistent with the Center’s motto that “Politics is a good thing!”
The University of Virginia Center for Politics is a non-profit, non-partisan institute aimed at promoting the value of politics, improving civics education and increasing civic participation through comprehensive research, pragmatic analysis, and innovative educational programs.