Tags: midterms | Senate races | Republicans | Nate Cohn

NYT's Cohn: GOP Has 68 Percent Chance of Retaking Senate

By    |   Tuesday, 14 October 2014 08:52 AM

Republicans have a 68 percent chance of regaining control of the Senate, according to New York Times statistician Nate Cohn, who writes The Upshot political blog.

Locked in many tight races around the country, polls show the GOP breaking ahead over the last couple of weeks, Cohn writes, with the most recent numbers indicating they appear to be ahead in enough contests "to win 52 seats, with Iowa, Colorado and the six Democratic-held states won by John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Mitt Romney in 2012."

If the polling trend continues, particularly in Colorado and Iowa, Cohn predicts a "clear advantage" for the GOP heading into the final stretch.

What a difference a month makes. In September, Cohn wrote that a Democratic victory, albeit a narrow one, was looking good.

Republicans are considered favorites in 44 races, the Dems 45. To win a majority, the GOP will need to win seven of the remaining seats.

In the reliably red states of Alaska, Arkansas, and Louisiana, the most uncertain race is in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has trailed his Republican challenger, Dan Sullivan, in nonpartisan polls over the past six weeks. But Alaska polling is historically unreliable, according to Cohn, making it difficult to reliably predict a winner.

In North Carolina, however, the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Kay Hagan, leads her challenger Thom Tillis narrowly in nearly every poll, giving her a three-point lead, according to Cohn.

"Ms. Hagan is by no means assured of victory, but she is a clear favorite: Most candidates with consistent three-point leads with three weeks left go on to win," he wrote.

In the closely watched race in Kansas, businessman Greg Orman, an independent, has lost his lead against the incumbent Republican, Sen. Pat Roberts, which suggests The Sunflower State’s undecided voters are "breaking his way."

And in Iowa, where many polls have shown a dead heat or a slight edge for either candidate, Cohn says the Republican, Joni Ernst, has the advantage "but it wouldn’t be all that surprising if the Democrat, Bruce Braley, mounted a comeback."

Colorado presents another strong pickup chance, he says, as Dems are behind in seven of the last eight polls.

"But Colorado is also a state where the polls have a history of underestimating the support of Democrats," according to Cohn.

In summary, Leo, The Upshot’s Senate model, "reflects the GOP’s edge, but also the reality that they haven’t yet locked down the 51 seats they need for a majority."

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Republicans have a 68 percent chance of regaining control of the Senate, according to New York Times statistician Nate Cohn in his latest The Upshot blog.
midterms, Senate races, Republicans, Nate Cohn
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 08:52 AM
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