Skip links

Dear Friends,

I hope that this Thanksgiving finds you in the best of spirits. As this thrilling election season winds down, I would like to take a moment to tell you more about the University of Virginia Center for Politics. I hope that our mission and activities might inspire you to include us in your philanthropic plans this year.

As a member of the Center for Politics’ staff, I am proud to report that for the 2006 election cycle the Larry J. Sabato Crystal Ball has been highly successful, accurately predicting a gain of six Senate Seats and 29 House seats for Democrats. Forecasting a gain of seven governorships, the Crystal Ball was within one seat of the actual results. We were honored last week to see the Crystal Ball recognized by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Project for Excellence in Journalism as the leader in the field of political predictors, noting that the Crystal Ball, “came closer than any other of the top ten potential predictors this cycle.”

Several major national networks recognized the 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

If reading the Crystal Ball has been a source of information and enjoyment for you, I hope that you will consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help ensure that this resource exists for many more elections to come! We rely on private support to keep our accurate analysis free to the public. A gift of any size helps to secure our ability to do just that.

The Center, as many of you know, does more than analyze elections. Our largest program is making a huge impact on the education of our future electorate. The national Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), a teacher resource program, equips educators with the most innovative, exciting and challenging civics education resources available, at no cost to the participating teachers. Annually, this program reaches over a million students around the country, promoting the analysis of democracy, civic participation and political engagement. In 2004, we held an online Mock Election in which over two million votes were cast by elementary, middle and high school students. Within a percentage of the general election, they had the exact same results-perhaps we’ve found a competitor for the Crystal Ball on forecasting election outcomes!

Our innovative programming for adults has also kept us busy. We had a fantastic look Women and Politics this year, and will further analyze the most recent election at our American Democracy Conference ( in Washington, D.C. on November 30. If you are unable to join us in person, you will likely have the opportunity to see the conference on C-SPAN throughout the holiday season. Do tune in to see an all-star line up of political insiders and reporters.

To keep this innovative programming available and make it even stronger in future years, the Center for Politics needs your support. As a reader of our free Crystal Ball publication, we hope you’ll join our lists of supporters. While our ideas continue to grow, and our dedication to providing free analysis and programs to the youth of America and to the general public continue to grow, we simply find that limited resources are the biggest restriction on what we are able to provide.

There are several ways that you can make a gift to support the work we do at the Center for Politics:

  1. Make an online pledge and have Tara Saylor contact you:

  2. Call or e-mail Tara Saylor at 434-982-5706, [email protected] to learn more about our gift club, the Founders Society; to make a credit card gift; or for more information about planned giving opportunities.

  3. Give appreciated securities:

    – Account Name: University of Virginia Gift Account

    – Account Number: 58L-001144

    – DTC Number: 443

    – Clearing Broker: Pershing & Company

    – Reference: [Your Name]

    – Designation: Center for Politics

  4. Send a check, made out to The U.Va. Center for Politics to: UVA Center for Politics, 2400 Old Ivy Road, PO Box 400806, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4806

Please accept my warmest thanks for your loyal readership and support.

Best wishes for a fantastic Thanksgiving,

Tara Saylor

Director of Development