Greetings, everyone. This is for hardcore readers. I’m going to dispense with bells and whistles. We’re building things, so I’m not very chatty! I just thought I’d show you where things are at. Bottom line, Democrats have a 55% chance of control in an election held today. That is as close to a toss-up as it gets. The median result is 50 D/I seats, 50 R seats.
I am treating the Senate race using the same strategy that I used in the 2004/2008/2012 Presidential races. As I wrote yesterday and also for POLITICO, Election Eve Senate polls are fairly predictive, maybe as good as Presidential state polls.
To determine Senate control on a day-by-day basis, I’ll calculate the exact distribution of Senate party seat counts, using the same methods as the Presidential Meta-Analysis, except that each race determines 1 seat, not N electoral votes. Vice-President Biden will break ties to support Democrats, so Democrats need 50 or more votes to control the chamber. Republicans need 51 or more votes.
As of today, the most recent 3 independent polls (or last 6 weeks, whichever is more polls) gives the following snapshot.
That is about as close as it gets. Note that I would score any probability in the 20-80% range as a knife-edge situation, too close to call. As far as I can tell, we’ve been in the 20-80% range for months. In coming weeks and until Election Day, we will give a time-series plot, updated daily.
Here is where key races stand today.
|North Carolina||Hagan +5.0+/-2.3%||>99.5%|
In other races: Safe D, HI, MN, NH, OR, VA. Safe R, KS, MS, MT, SD, WV.
Finally, a few notes on what’s happening.
Arkansas. Right now, Cotton (R) is ahead of Senator Pryor (D). However, all recent data come from Republican pollsters. That bears watching.
North Carolina. Senator Hagan (D) leads Tillis (R). She’s been helped by the entry into the race of Sean Haugh (Libertarian), who has drawn net support away from Tillis. This race is likely to narrow in the home stretch as third-party support fades.
Obama approval/disapproval. In 2012, the Obama/Romney EV estimator went up and down in close correlation with the Senate control probability. I suspect that a slight decline in Senate Democrats’ chances has paralleled a slight slip in President Obama’s approval/disapproval numbers. In the coming weeks and months, I will examine this question.