UVA Hosts 15th American Democracy Conference - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Hosts 15th American Democracy Conference

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Larry Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics Larry Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics

With the 2013 election over, next year's election seems far away but not for the University of Virginia Center for Politics.  Friday the American Democracy Conference started looking ahead.

Two big questions came up at the conference: ‘Will the Republicans take control of the Senate in 2014?’ and ‘What's in store for the next presidential election?’

More than 150 people converged at UVA's Alumni Hall for the 15th annual American Democracy Conference Friday to hear panelists answer these questions.

Some said that problems with the administration's health care rollout will jeopardize the Democratic control of the Senate.

Others said the party that makes the last big mistake will lose seats.

Larry Sabato, the director of UVA’s Center for Politics, says the president has a big effect on all of this. “The most important factor of all is the approval rating of the president. It's a kind of summary statistic. We as the people look at the summary of the government through the prism of the president.”

Sabato says he believes the Republicans will do relatively well in 2014 barring a major national security incident.

The speakers did seem to agree that who will be elected president in 2016 will depend in large part on the contenders but they also said that obamacare woes may still play a major role.

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