The race that took Sabato by surprise was close to home: In Virginia’s 5th Congressional District — which includes Sabato’s University of Virginia Center for Politics, in Charlottesville — a young, long-shot Thomas Perriello defeated the courtly, six-term Virgil Goode by the slimmest of margins.
Goode had been more than just a congressman to Sabato. The men are friends dating back to their college days, and Goode was also a benefactor, sending earmarks of up to $1.4 million per year to an educational program run out of the Center for Politics. With Goode’s defeat, that funding abruptly dried up. This year, Perriello rejected the center’s application for $1 million, and Sabato’s aides are scrambling to find an alternate source of money.[….]
But as polls suggested the race was tightening, and as Charlottesville mobilized to vote for Obama, the Crystal Ball held the line: “How optimistic should Democrats be? That remains to be seen. But if history is any predictor: not very,” the tipsheet stated Oct. 28, putting the race in its safer category: “likely Republican.”
It was, Sabato pronounced Nov. 3, a “Republican hold.”
It gets better: one of Sabato’s employees is thinking of running against Perriello and Sabato is whining about how “I say what I think, and if it costs us money, it costs us money.”
Predictions of victory from the likes of Sabato are no small thing. They influence insider chatter, which has a real impact on endorsements and fundraising and can swing a contest’s outcome.[….]
This is a classic example of the ways in which the lines slowly get blurred in Washington and of the ways in which the interests of incumbents and D.C. inside-game types intersect and reinforce each other.
Every time I see an “expert” on tv, I google the person to see who is paying for their services. A lot of time, it’s immediately obvious who the john is. But some escort services are more discreet than others.