Larry J. Sabato
"Politics is a good thing!" … is the slogan of Dr. Larry J. Sabato. According to the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Sabato is "probably the most quoted college professor in the land," while the Washington Post called him "the Mark McGwire of political analysts" and he is dubbed by Fox News Channel as "America's favorite political scientist." As founder and director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, Dr. Sabato bridges the gap between the ivory tower and the real world on issues of critical importance to American democracy and the challenges facing our political process.
The Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, Dr. Sabato is at home both in the classroom and in the anchor booth. He is just one of a dozen "University Professors" at U.Va and is a former Rhodes Scholar and Danforth Fellow. After he received his B.A. in government from the University of Virginia as a Phi Beta Kappa in 1974, he did a year's graduate study in public policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Upon receipt of the Rhodes scholarship in 1975, he left Princeton to begin study at Queen's College, Oxford University. In less than two years he received his doctorate in politics from Oxford and was invited to become a "tutor" (instructor) for students in the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) program. In January 1978 he was elected Lecturer in Politics at New College, Oxford. He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in September 1978.
Dr. Sabato is currently working on two books about the 2004 election - one to be published ahead of election day as a guide to voters, and one analyzing the election results in early 2005. Both books will be published by Longman. Dr. Sabato is also regularly updating "Sabato's Crystal Ball," a critically acclaimed election analysis website which predicted results for the 2002 midterm elections, and looks ahead to the 2004 scene.
The author of over twenty books and countless essays on the American political process, some of his recent books are Midterm Madness: The Elections of 2002 (Rowman & Littlefield 2003), Overtime: The Election 2000 Thriller (Longman, 2001) and Dangerous Democracy: The Battle Over Ballot Initiatives in America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001). Others include Peepshow: Media and Politics in an Age of Scandal (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), Toward the Millennium: The Elections of 1996 (Allyn and Bacon, 1997), and Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics (Random House/Times Books, 1996).
Prior to the publication of these volumes, Dr. Sabato's best known book was entitled Feeding Frenzy: Attack Journalism & American Politics. Originally published in 1991 and again in 1993 by the Free Press/Macmillan, the book made the now universally used phrase a part of the political lexicon and is required reading for anyone involved in politics today. An updated edition was published by Lanahan Press in 2000.
Five of Dr. Sabato's other well-known books are: PAC Power: Inside the World of Political Action Committees, which focuses on the phenomenal growth of PACs and their influence on American elections; The Party's Just Begun: Shaping Political Parties for America's Future (Little Brown and Co., 1988), which examines the condition of the political parties and proposes ways to strengthen them; Paying for Elections (The Twentieth Century Fund, 1989), which advocates reforms in the financing of campaigns; Campaigns and Elections (Scott, Foresman, 1989), a source book of the new techniques used in American politics; and American Government: Continuity and Change (Addison Wesley Longman), co-authored with Karen O'Connor of American University (5th Edition - 2002).
Dr. Sabato's earlier books include an investigation of the influential corps of American political consultants and their new campaign technologies (such as polling, direct mail, and television advertising) entitled, The Rise of Political Consultants: New Ways of Winning Elections (New York: Basic Books, 1981); and a study of American state governors over thirty years, Goodbye to Good-Time Charlie: The American Governorship Transformed (Washington, D. C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1983-Second Edition). Other books and monographs have been written about Virginia politics, including a study of the rise and fall of the Democratic machine in Virginia, The Democratic Party Primary: Tantamount to Election No Longer (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia, 1977). He is the author of the nine-volume Virginia Votes series chronicling all state elections, as well as many articles on national and state politics.
Dr. Sabato has served on many national and state commissions, including the National Commission for the Renewal of American Democracy, the U.S. Senate Campaign Finance Reform Panel, the Governor's Commission on Campaign Finance Reform, Government Accountability, and Ethics, and the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. Far more importantly, however, he has had the privilege to teach approximately 13,000 students during his career.
Dr. Sabato is the recipient of more than two-dozen major scholarships, grants, and academic awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, the Outstanding Young Teacher Award from the University of Virginia, and Outstanding Professor Award from the Virginia State Council of Higher Education, the U.Va. Outstanding Professor Award of 2000, and inclusion among the "Top-Ten-All-Time Favorite Teachers" by U.Va.'s Alumni Association. His visiting appointments include that of Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution and Thomas Jefferson Visiting Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge University, England. In 2002, the University of Virginia conferred upon Dr. Sabato its highest honor, The Thomas Jefferson Award, given annually to one individual since 1955.
At the University of Virginia Center for Politics (www.centerforpolitics.org), founded in 1998, Dr. Sabato brings his years of academic study together with an equally long career as both a political practitioner and commentator on local, state and national elections. The Center represents Dr. Sabato's mission: to improve civic education and the political process, and in doing so make government more relevant, more accessible and more meaningful for the average American. The Center has a dedicated staff of over a dozen, and its signature program, the National Youth Leadership Initiative, currently involves over 300,000 middle and high school students in all 50 states. In six years, Sabato has raised over $7 million in public and private funds to support the Center's many programs, conferences, and publications.
Larry J. Sabato has been making national media appearances since the 1970s. Both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have noted that Dr. Sabato is the most cited college professor in any field in the United States by national and regional news organizations, electronic and print. For example, Lexis/Nexis lists over 400 citations by the media during just the last two years. Every major national newspaper is included, repeatedly. In 2000-2001, Sabato logged 186 television appearances, including multiple appearances on the following national TV shows/networks:
- CBS "60 Minutes"
- NBC "Today Show"
- CNN "Inside Politics"
- FOX NEWS "Beltway Boys"
- CNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews"
- ABC "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings"
- NBC "Nightly News with Tom Brokaw"
- CBS "Evening News with Dan Rather"
- FOX NEWS "Special Report with Brit Hume"
- CNN "Headline News" 2000 Election/Recount Analyst
- ABC "Nightline with Ted Koppel"
- John McLaughlin's "One on One"
- Several shows on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC
- C-SPAN - at least two dozen speeches/appearances
- National Public Radio - many appearances
- CBS, ABC, and BBC radio news - dozens of interviews
- washingtonpost.com - frequent web chats