Sabatos Crystal Ball

The Myths of 2016

What everyone gets wrong about the election

Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley, Sabato's Crystal Ball June 11th, 2015

U.Va. Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato is contributing a regular column to Politico Magazine. This week, he and the rest of the Crystal Ball team take on the role of mythbusters, debunking some early conventional wisdom about the 2016 presidential contest.

The Editors

We still have well over 500 days to the 2016 presidential election. At this point, the campaign is largely just performance art for the press and the donor class. This is the silly season, where partisans can dream and pundits can speculate wildly.

Maybe this is the year, they theorize, that an independent billionaire enters the race and edges out the major-party nominees (even though nothing like it has ever happened, Ross Perot included), or that California goes Republican or Texas Democratic (even though there’s no evidence either state will change its partisan hue in 2016). These fallacies will be exposed once the contest shifts into high gear next year and the factual grounding for this pontificating dwindles from meager to nonexistent.

It’s the less outrageous assertions we’ve been hearing in Act I of the campaign, those that have congealed into conventional wisdom, that are in greater need of a debunking. Below we separate a few such myths from the underlying realities.

To read the rest of the column, please click here.