Tags: midterms | GOP | senate | election models

Election Models: GOP Will Take Senate Handily, But Runoffs Loom

By    |   Tuesday, 04 November 2014 09:46 AM

The top three election models that predict which party is most likely to take control of the Senate give Republicans the overwhelming advantage going into Election Day.

Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight.com, predicts that Republicans have a 3 in 4 chance of taking control, but that the final results will not be determined on Nov. 4.

Instead, he says, there could be months of uncertainty with the likelihood of Georgia and Louisiana being forced into runoffs.

"After two months of forecasting, it comes down to this: Republicans are favored to win the Senate. Their chances of doing so are 76 percent," wrote the former New York Times statistician. The model, he said is "principally based on an analysis of the polls in each state and the historical accuracy of Senate polling."

Silver added that there would be additional uncertainty if Kansas independent challenger Greg Orman topples GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, as he considers which party he would caucus with.

"The outcome of the Senate may not be determined until days or weeks from now. The forecast refers only to the probability that Republicans will eventually claim control of the Senate by the time it convenes in January," he said.

The Washington Post's Election Lab model gives the GOP near certain odds, predicting that a Republican takeover is a 98 percent probability.

In total, the model predicts that Republicans will ultimately pick up a net of 8 seats, giving it a 53-seat majority.

The New York Times model, LEO, estimates that Republicans have a 70 percent chance of taking control of the Senate, with a majority of 52 seats.

According to the model, Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is the most likely incumbent to lose his seat this year, with an 89 percent chance. The other top Democratic incumbents likely to be defeated are Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu (84 percent), Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (80 percent), and Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (65 percent).

All three models predict that the GOP will win Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, while Democrats will likely keep control of New Hampshire and North Carolina. A victory in Kentucky for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is also the consensus among the models.

Alaska, Georgia and Iowa are considered to be toss-ups but likely Republican wins according to the models, though to varying degrees.

Kansas is also considered a toss-up, but there is a significant divergence in the predictions.

The Election Lab predicts Roberts has a 97 percent chance of winning, but LEO and FiveThirtyEight both project a win for Orman, by 51 percent and 54 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics and an elections expert, predicted that the GOP would end up with 53 seats in the Senate. He also believes that both Georgia and Louisiana will go into runoffs.

"It's difficult to see how the Democrats could hold on," he told Fox News' "Hannity" on Monday.

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The top three election models that predict which party is most likely to take control of the Senate give Republicans the overwhelming advantage going into Election Day.
midterms, GOP, senate, election models
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 09:46 AM
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