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View Diary: Win the Senate? Not as easy as Republicans think (186 comments)

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  •  It's not impossible (5+ / 0-)

    If I were forced to lay odds, I'd put it about even odds that we hold the Senate.  (I think that Nate Silver's model underestimates the crazy, not by much but enough to kill the slight edge he gave the Republicans.)  Remember that the Republicans don't really have any kind of an edge (if this weren't an off-year election with a lame duck president, I'd be optimistic about the House, we will definitely pick up seats and make Boehner's life even more miserable).  

    But it's still quite early in the cycle.  So let's look at this quantitatively:

    R pickups:
    SD, p=0.99+
    WV, p=0.9
    AR=0.4 (Pryor is endangered but is holding his own in the polls and is an incumbent).
    LA=0.75 (Landrieu is endangered; I'd say she's gone but the crazy is strong and the R's may just snatch defeat from the jaws of victory)
    MT=0.5 (This would be a hold for us except we don't have an incumbent and it's a red state)
    VA=0.05 (The next four states are just not red states and as a consequence the R's overall unpopularity is going to come home to roost here).
    NH=0.01-
    NC=0.25 (Hagan really was pretty endangered, but the fundamentals simply favor her re-election)
    IA=0.05
    CO=0.02

    The expected R pickup from D held seats is 3.9 seats.

    And our odds
    KY=0.6
    GA=0.25

    Expected D pickup from R held seats is 0.85.

    So the expected R pickup is 3.9-0.85=3.05.  We still hold the senate.  And the D's most likely to go are among the most conservative.  In the mean time, the DC-based MSM is very heavily invested in an R win, so this "loss" in the Senate, even though it has little impact on actual outcomes there, combined with a "loss" since we'll gain seats in the house but not get a majority, will be interpreted as a huge victory for us.

    Then the R's have to face the music in 2016; it is a very bad situation for them just because they are defending a ton of right wing first-termers, and the D's have very little to protect.  This is the best argument in favor of Hillary, provided she agrees to run a 50-state campaign; if we utterly shellac the R's nationally (not just take back the House but by 60 seats, plus a 10-seat pickup in the Senate), we'll have her triangulating leftward to keep up with the Senate.

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