New data on the eve of the midterm elections point to a Republican sweep of the six seats needed to reclaim a Senate majority.
The Washington Post reports
that three election models — its own
and those of Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight
and the New York Times
— all show at least a seven in 10 chance of the GOP's winning the needed seats in Tuesday's balloting.
The breakdown, according to The Post, has its own Election Lab model predicting a 96 percent probability of the six-seat sweep; the FiveThirtyEight model gives a GOP majority a 73 percent shot; and LEO, the Times model, figures it at 68 percent.
All of the models agree on which six Senate races would deliver the Senate majority crown either Tuesday, or in the case of the super-tight Louisiana race, after a Dec. 6 runoff.
According to The Post, all three give Republicans a 70 percent or better shot at winning the Senate races in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.
The Post notes that Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia are "seriously contested," but Arkansas, Colorado and Louisiana are places where the Democratic candidates are lagging going into election day.
The three election models also line up
on the seats Democrats are likely to keep: New Hampshire, where Republican Scott Brown is challenging Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen; and North Carolina, where Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagen is trying to fend off Republican Thom Tillis.
They also agree that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will pull out his intense race against Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky
, with no model putting the Republican leader's chances of winning at below 93 percent.
But with those predictions in hand, the models say four races are real tossups.
Those include Alaska
, where Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich is battling a challenge from Republican Dan Sullivan, and where The Post's Election Lab gives the GOP a 79 percent to win, while FiveThirtyEight gives a GOP victory a 71 percent shot.
In Georgia, where Republican businessman David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn are battling for the vacant Senate seat, Election Lab gives the GOP a 67 percent chance of winning, LEO puts it at 58 percent, and FiveThirtyEight puts the GOP chances at 68 percent.
But if neither Perdue nor Nunn gets the required over-50 percent support needed to be declared the winner, they'll move on to a Jan. 6 runoff
, the fierce competition between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley is also breaking Republican, the models show, with Election Lab giving the GOP an 89 percent chance of taking the seat, LEO putting the GOP chance at 68 percent and FiveThirtyEight placing the Republican chance at 71 percent.
But The Post notes the models show Iowa is a true toss-up and could defy predictions: all three models give Ernst the edge, but the probabilities range from 58 percent to 68 percent, which, The Post notes, means no one feels very confident about the outcome.
Finally, in the tight Kansas
senatorial race pitting independent challenger Greg Orman against Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, Election Lab puts Republican chances at 97 percent, but LEO and FiveThirtyEight both peg the chances as better for the independent, 51 percent and 54 percent, respectively.
The Post points out that Orman has said he'll caucus with whichever party is in the majority. With the GOP chances looking good, the Election Lab odds reflect the likelihood of either Orman or Roberts taking the seat.
But if Republicans lose that race, they'll need another pickup, and either Alaska or Iowa seems the best chance for that, The Post reports.
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