Democratic Surge Isn't Translating to Senate

FiveThirtyEight sees Republicans with strong chance of retaining control
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2018 10:40 AM CDT
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Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks to students and supporters at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. She's up for re-election, and Republicans see her as vulnerable.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – The latest analysis from FiveThirtyEight.com about how the midterms will affect the Senate is good news for Republicans. The forecast gives the GOP a 67% chance of retaining control. Despite an expected strong performance by Democrats in House elections—one that could easily result in their party taking over that chamber—the math for a similar result in the Senate looks daunting, writes Nate Silver in an accompanying post. Consider the basics: Democrats have 26 seats up for election in the fall, and 10 of them are in states won by President Trump in 2016. Republicans, by contrast, will be defending only nine seats.

"It's about as unfavorable a map as any party has faced in the Senate, ever," writes Silver. His site, for example, projects Democrats to win the popular vote for the House by up to 9 percentage points. Normally, such a big margin would translate into a Senate flop of power as well, but the site thinks the margin would have to be an even larger 11 points for that to happen. Still, Democrats need to flip just two seats in Senate, and Silver sees five reasonable chances—in Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Mississippi, and his post digs into the particulars. Democrats, meanwhile, have vulnerable seats of their own, including in Missouri, North Dakota, and Florida. Click to read the full analysis, or to see details on the numbers.

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