The six most prominent election forecasts now agree — Republicans have a better chance than not of controlling the US Senate after Election Day next month.
The final holdout was Sam Wang’s forecast in the Princeton Election Consortium, which had been the most bullish toward Democrats to this point. Wang now gives Republicans a slight edge, saying there’s a 49% chance Democrats (and Independents who caucus with them) will hold 50 seats or more after Election Day.
In a blog post, Wang explained why it’s not a statistically significant change (emphasis his):
Now that we’re microscopically under 50% for the Democrats, I am steeling myself for a round of “aha, now you agree!” However, anyone who has any understanding of the situation should know that control of the Senate is up in the air. All we know is where activists should go to make a difference: Iowa, Colorado, and a shifting pattern of states — today, Kentucky and Georgia.
But it does put the overall forecast in alignment with the other five prominent ones — from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Kos.
Silver, who has been in a public spat with Wang over their differing models, now gives Republicans a 58% chance of Senate control in the next Congress. The New York Times’ Upshot model puts Republicans’ chances at 66%. The Washington Post is the most bullish for the GOP, at an astounding 95%.
Republicans need to hold on to their three contested seats in play — Kansas, Kentucky, and Georgia — and flip six seats currently held by Democrats. Republicans have two locks to swing — Montana and West Virginia — and a third, South Dakota, was also considered a virtual lock until this week.
But according to the models, South Dakota hasn’t moved much. The Times, in fact, still gives the GOP a 95% chance of winning the state’s seat next month. Meanwhile, races in Alaska, Louisiana, and Iowa have trended Republican, as well as in (to a lesser extent) Colorado.
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