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On the left side of Nate Silver’s 538 website, you can see a breakdown of the Senate outlook for 2010.  Nate has assigned a percentage to each race, based on the percent that the seat might switch parties.  He hasn’t updated his Senate rankings in 6 weeks, so I shall share my predictions for the US Senate presently.  One major difference though: Nate uses loads of statistics, but while I am using some recent polls, news, and information, this is mostly a subjective and "gut" analysis, which any mathematician will tell you is no analysis at all.  So it should be fun..

Again, I’m using the percent chance that the opposing party will take over this particular Senate seat, starting with North Dakota.

ND - 99% - The exit of Dorgan and the entrance of John Hoeven have caused this seat to be the easiest prediction.  ND will turn Republican.

DE - 90% - Mike Castle should coast here, as he will most likely take the Vice President's former Senate seat.

IN - 85% - It's a state with Republican leanings with a former senator on the ballot.  Unless Dan Coats' lobbying comes heavily into play, Bayh's seat should be grabbed by the GOP.

AR - 75%
- Bill Halter will probably pull this one off in the primary (which would be a major win for "purity" Democrats).  However, Bill Halter would be a liberal in a conservative state that voted for John McCain in droves over Barack Obama.  Bill Halter might be able to take advantage of the anti-Washington sentiment and make it a closer race, but the reason that Arkansas has two Democratic senators is because they are conservative Democrats.  Bill Halter is not.  I’d say the odds of a Boozman victory are 3:1.

OH - 55% - Rob Portman is a little behind in this race, and I'm not convinced that he is going to make up the difference.  I don’t think Lee Fischer is especially strong, but tying Portman to George W. Bush will help in Ohio.  It will be close, but it leans Democratic takeover.

CO - 50% - Colorado is traditionally a Republican state, and in this GOP-favored/anti-incumbent election of 2010, Senator Bennett could lose in the primary and/or the general election.  This is a state where regardless of who the primary victors are, it’s going to be close.

NV - 50% - Who knows with this race?  With the questionable/crazy GOP primary, all we can look at right now are Harry Reid's poll numbers, which are below 45%...consistently...against all opponents...and everyone in Nevada knows who he is.  (Reminds me a bit of Blanche Lincoln's constant "under 45%" numbers in Arkansas)  Even with money, it's going to be a tough reelect for him.  I put him at 1:1.

PA - 40%
- The whole Sestak-Obama issue might cost Sestak some votes in November, especially since the mainstream media is still talking about it.  I'm not sure that Pennsylvania will elect conservative Pat Toomey, though.

KY - 40% - If Rand Paul stops saying things that aren't politically popular, he'd be a lot better off in the Bluegrass State.  However, if he says more controversial things (which he probably will), than this could head into the 60-70% region.  However, I’m sure Senator McConnell and GOP leaders have tried talking some political sense into Rand Paul, regarding not saying silly things.  Will he actually heed their calls, though?  In the end, Kentucky is still rather conservative, but maybe not libertarian-conservative, though.  We’ll see.

NC - 35% - Richard Burr is rather unpopular, and I expect a tight election, but I don't see him losing at this point in the game.  It’s still early in North Carolina, though.

IL - 30% - Mark Kirk  and Alexi Giannoulias...they've both made some mistakes.  Although Kirk is a moderate in a liberal state, where the Democratic Party has some well-known ties to corruption, it is still an uphill battle for the Republican, especially with some, umm..."issues" on his website.  I agree with Nate Silver's tweet on this race:  If I had a lot of money, I would run as an independent for the President’s old Senate seat.  Compared to these two guys, Roland Burris doesn’t seem too bad, does he?

CA - 25% - Barbara Boxer is unpopular too, but unless Tom Campbell emerges from the GOP primary, it will probably be a long shot for the GOP to take this seat.

FL - 25% - First, Charlie Crist is still a moderate-conservative.  Therefore, if he wins, I still call it a Democratic loss.  Kendrick Meek is going to have a tough time in this race.  Watch this race, though.  I thoroughly expect some major Democratic leaders to abandon Meek, throw him under the bus, and give their support to Charlie Crist, who would be worse than a Blanche Lincoln.

WA - 20% - Dino Rossi makes a big difference in changing this from 1% to 20%, but Patti Murray should still be able to hold on.

MO - 20% - Even with the Carnahan name, I don't think Robin’s odds are that good, as she has aligned herself with a President that is not terribly popular in this swing state.  I imagine she will probably start running away from President Obama more as the election approaches.

NH - 20%
- With a mainstream Republican like Kelly Ayotte, who is rather popular in NH, holding onto Judd Gregg's seat shouldn't be a problem for the Republicans, even if Ayotte is rather...ambiguous.

AZ - 18% - Assuming McCain wins the primary (which he will) he shouldn't have too many problems in the general.

IA - 15% - Grassley might fall below 55% in his bid, but with him and Governor Terry Branstad on the top of the ticket, Grassley will pull this out, in one of HIS closest elections ever.

WI - 10% - Feingold should be fine, barring a wave election, and even then, he'll still be fine.

All in all, I think the GOP will gain 5 seats in the Senate, and the Democrats will gain one seat.

Therefore, when it’s all said and done, I make my prediction of a 55-45 US Senate when the new Congress convenes in January of 2011.  Time will tell.

Originally posted to gph11 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 09:41 AM PDT.


In Jan. 2011, what will be the Senate breakdown?

6%9 votes
3%5 votes
3%5 votes
1%2 votes
5%7 votes
15%22 votes
17%25 votes
11%16 votes
12%17 votes
6%9 votes
5%7 votes
3%5 votes
0%1 votes
7%10 votes

| 140 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Interesting read (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, gph11


      "No Groin.... No Krav Maga" - The Simpsons

      by volleyboy1 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 09:52:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  gph11 - well done! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:02:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On Arkansas you leave out important fact: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, bear83, gph11

      Halter is the lieutenant governor -- in other words, he has already won a state-wide election.  I think the odds of a party flip are thus much closer to 50 per cent.

      •  Will depend on how the Ark Machine acts... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        towards Halter should he win.  He stepped on a lot of toes when he ran, will they cut off their nose to spite their face here? Will he be able to keep counting on the netroots and unions to bankroll his campaign?

        Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

        by Jonze on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:05:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two doomsters in your poll, eh? (0+ / 0-)

      Who think Republicans take over the senate.  

      Personally, I think you're a tad pessimistic about Kentucky, from what I've read. Yeah, yeah, I know it tends to be a Republican state but from the Kentuckians I know, Rand Paul is just too far out. My college roommate, who lives in Lexington, is a lifelong Republican from a Republican family, and her political beliefs line up more with mine than Rand Paul's.

      I wish I could share your optimism about Ohio but being here on the ground and seeing the factors – including Republican grassroots enthusiasm for Portman and lack of it on our side, and Portman's ability to sound reasonable and concerned about jobs and to cover up his job-killing track record believably.

      The only path to pickup I see is huge Democratic turnout and a real upsurge in enthusiasm for the entire ticket which carries all offices with it. The Ohio Democratic Party is well-staffed, well-resourced and plans to run a huge coordinated campaign with the whole ticket — and that COULD carry everyone. On the downside, they seem to feel they can brush away the activists they've alienated and not address their concerns. They're glossing over the fact that they clung to a radical anti-choice, anti-gay radical candidate for secretary of state for six months, virtually dismissing anyone who expressed concerns. I think this has cost them more in grassroots activism than they think. Add the ugly finish to the Senate primary, and you've got wounds that need time to heal.

      On the upside, there's Tea Party-endorsed Eric Deaton who is running under the Constitution Party banner. But I honestly don't know how to assess his potential impact. I won't give my usual pessimistic assessment but maybe a slightly more realistic one: 75% chance Portman wins.

      Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:20:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Intrade says 53-47, Dems/GOP (0+ / 0-)

      For what it's worth...

      The GOP 47 contract, last trade at 50, with a bid/ask of 41/55

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  some right some wrong (0+ / 0-)

    all just guesses. Indiana will go dem and Meek will win in Fla and Fisher in Ohio.

  •  Fisher-Portman (0+ / 0-)

    Should be more like 40 to 45 percent chance it will go blue.  Lee Fisher has shown no inclination to campaign on the ground so far and is running away from Barack Obama and Ted Strickland!  Who is out there to support him?  Who is he reaching out to?  No one as far as I can tell.

    •  Well, actually, (0+ / 0-)

      he's never run from Strickland and he's done a 180 and started to run TOWARD Obama, making people here who got his infamous mailer roll their eyes. He actually said on a teleconference call last week that he would welcome Obama to come to campaign for him as much as he is willing to, and said, "Other candidates are running from him, but I am running toward him." Those were his words. He's virtually glued himself to Strickland, taking co-credit for everything Strickland has done or proposes, and that's probably a good idea because Strickland is a strong campaigner who will make mincemeat of John Kasich (It helps that Kasich looks more and more like Ken Blackwell V. 2.0 every day, and has NOTHING to propose except "Cut taxes.")

      He also claimed he is going to start running a grassroots campaign like Jennifer Brunner's primary campaign, which he praised highly on the same call. Whether he can do that is an open question as he doesn't have the natural personality for it, and he's alienated a lot of key volunteer/activists. However, with the Ohio Democratic Party running a coordinated campaign and paying a lot of field people, maybe it's possible.

      Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:28:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's see... (0+ / 0-)

    GOP takes ND, Arkansas, Delaware.  I'm not as bearish on Indiana as you are because Ellsworth is a very conservative Democrat, and Coats is damaged goods.  

    I would have much rather had Brunner against Portman, but Fisher vs Portman is a toss-up.  I agree Co will be close, I hope Romanoff pulls it off in the primary as his campaign will bring energy.  

    I think Reid is pretty safe actually given the cast of characters potentially running against him.  Add that to his huge war chest whereas all the GOP will be bottomed out and Ensign's troubles could see him step-down meaning Nevadans would be losing a ton of Senate seniority within a year.

    I think Joe Sestak will play well in Pa, and Toomey is a wingnut extraordinaire but Toomey will be very well funded and Sestak running away from DSCC and DNC, and ran against the Pa machine could hurt his fundraising.  I'd probably call this one 50-50.

    I think Burr is the surest "steal" seat.  I'd be even more confident if it was Cunningham running against him, but it looks like it will be Marshall.  Burr has done nothing as a senator other than being a party line vote.  

    I still think Kirk pulls out the win in Illinois.  Both candidates are flawed, but only one has a track record of votes that you could at least try and hand your hat on.  

    I LOVE Conway as a candidate and think he is a rising star in the party, but he is in Kentucky.  I'd have much rather saw him run for Governor, where party affiliation isn't seen as such an issue.  Folks might like Conway better, but will vote for the [R] after Pauls name regardless.  

    I'd give Carnahan a better chance, still the underdog but I'd bump her up to 40%.

    Ayotte will not be as strong as she is now once the primary ends.  Hodes will force her to state her opinion on matters that will matter to NH voters. Right now she's basically the generic republican and all folks make that candidate out to be what they'd want in their minds.

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:03:14 AM PDT

    •  TOTALLY disagree about Illinois (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a very blue state so that "track record of votes' is more likely to be a noose. And Kirk is proving to be FAR more flawed. Alexi will win.

      I also disagree with you about Pennsylvania. Toomey is going to need to deeply bury his lengthy record of economy-destroying policies which I doubt will play well in a rust-belt state. He's not just some Republican, he's a radical reactionary. Also, where is the evidence that Sestak has rejected the DNC and the DSCC? They may have supported Specter, but I can't see them giving up an opportunity like this against a radical like Toomey. Why is Sestak snubbing them, if indeed he is?

      Time to garden and kick Republican ass.

      by anastasia p on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:32:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's where I disagree with you (0+ / 0-)

    AR has at least a 40% Dem floor (Obama aside), so Boozeman's chance more like 60%

    IN isn't that monolithic, and Coats is no Hoeven or Castle - 60% again

    Burr's fav numbers are below 50% in NC, even the R's aren't all that excited about him, so why wouldn't Marshall (I think she'll win the runoff) get a majority of non-R votes; Burr needs the kinda skewed-R turnout I doubt he'll get in such a purple state, so takeover here more like 65% (surprisingly, a better bet than NH).

    I don't know enough about MO and the players, but it seems the Dems should stand at least a 40% takeover chance in an open seat?

    I don't understand why NH is such a problem for Hodes, but I still give him at least a 40% chance at this point, though he needs to start catching up soon.

    I'll bet you McCain loses the primary, and if he wins, many of Hayworth's followers will bolt; if Hayworth wins, it's over. Don't discount the energized Latino vote. Win-Win Dem, but not a cert, so 55% chance of a pickup for me.

    Speaking of bitter bolting losers, V d P's supporters in IA loathe Branstead with a passion, and are none-too-thrilled with Grassley either. Yes, yes, I know ... Grassley's an "icon" and "they" love him. In an anti-incumbent year, having been in office so long isn't necessarily a "good" thing, so pickup odds here at least 40%.

    All I'll say about FL is that I can see a scenario where Crist and Rubio pummel each other so badly that Meek comes across as the "adult" against a pair of squabbling brats, picking up enough registered Dems and non-R-leaning Ind's to squeak through. Remote at this point, but if this thing tightens at at all, we're looking at an election day win well under 40% in a three-way photo finish.

    •  I really believe that (0+ / 0-)

      Meek will be betrayed.  I really do.  I think the National Democrats and perhaps even some netroots (even Markos) have really downplayed Meek...who would be a real Democratic senator (and only the 8th black senator ever, i.e. he'd be historic).

      Watch for Meek to be betrayed...I really think it's going to happen.  I hope I'm wrong, because he's a sitting Congressman, loyal and everything.

    •  As for that 40% Democratic base (0+ / 0-)

      trust me...all 40% did not vote for Obama, and they probably won't vote for Halter.  

      I know quite a few Dems in Northern Arkansas, and yes, their local loyalties lie with the Democrats (as well as their personal identity), but their national loyalties lie with voting Republican.

  •  Wisconsin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gph11, RenMin

    Even at 10%, you're vastly overestimating the chance of a Feingold loss. He'll continue to run hard, especially with field operations, but that's so he can drive turnout for candidates for the State Legislature and the 2 up north House seats in play.

    Q: How many Pentagon spokespersons does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: We're not prepared to discuss specific numbers at the present time.

    by ben masel on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:22:14 AM PDT

  •  63-37 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dems lose ND and one of IA or DE.

    Dems pick up KY, NC, NH, OH, FL (by default as Crist will caucus with Dems), MO.

    Dems hold all others.

    First no way Blount wins in MO against Carnahan.  Her name is gold while his is mud.  Obama is not running there this year.

    I have my doubts about DE only cause Castle has tacked right in a blue state.  With Biden campaigning for the Dems that race will tighten.  Dynamics are very similar to when Carper won in 02.

    Burr is toast in NC.

    Ayn Rand Paul handed that seat to Conway.

    Fischer is no Sherrod Brown but he's not Rob Portman either.  

    Crist is persona no grata in the GOP.  If he wins look for him to causus with Dems rather than stick with a party that hates him and will be in the minority.  If Meek wins, even better.  Either way Dems win.

    Ayotte is getting teabagged and as a result has herself tacked right.  Not that easy for her (if she makes it out of the primary) especially with Hodes who is no stranger to tough races.

    McLame and Grassley look old and beatable but I think they'll hold on.  Would be sweet if they did lose though.  

    Reid will hold onto Nevada by sheer luck of the draw, as in he'll draw one crazy bat unless his opponent is named Tarkanian.  

    Boxer and Murray will coast.

    Giannoulias and Sestak, despite their problems will win easily due to fact that their opponents are horrible.  One's a Wall Street insider.  The other doesn't know if he's gay or straight, a military hero or not, a moderate or wingnut.  By the time he finds out, it'll be too late.

    Bennett will win and Halter will pull off the improbable, proving along with Conway that progressives CAN win in red states.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:23:02 AM PDT

  •  We get a split in CO/NV (0+ / 0-)

    We surprise in either KY or MO. Halter wins and Crist decides to caucus with the Democrats. E voila; 58-42.

    Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

    by orson on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:23:29 AM PDT

  •  I think the odds are good on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    getting rid of Burr simply because he is in the "cursed seat".

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:30:56 AM PDT

  •  too soon to say (0+ / 0-)

    i think a lot of those senate races will hinge on how the economy and general sentiment is going in sept-oct, as well as whatever resolution of the current teabagger primary challenges emerges (do they fall in line, do they win and the mods fall in line, do they win and the mods vote for dems, do they sit it out, do they run 3rd party?).

    to say nothing of the impact of a summer of oil spill + unusually strong hurricane season.

    lots of wild cards this far out.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:25:36 AM PDT

  •  If things go our way (0+ / 0-)

    I could see the Dems even picking up a seat, sort of:

    We lose ND, DE, IN and AR.  Hold all other Dem seats.

    Pickup KY, OH, MO, NC, and Crist wins in FL and caucuses with Dems.

    Total: 60 seats.

    Granted, I think this is a long shot.  We still have trouble in NV and CO, and I'm nervous about WA if Rossi wins the primary.  But this scenario doesn't seem as improbable as it did even a month ago, given the implosion of so many high-profile Republican candidates.  All I can say is, whatever the teabaggers are doing, I hope they keep it up.

  •  The situation with the economy is fluid. (0+ / 0-)

    To the Dem's advantage, things appear to be improving, albeit with jobs lagging.  If things were headed in the opposite direction, I could see another one or two seats going GOoPer.  I, by some chance, the economy begins to reall gain momentum, all bets are off for huge GOP gains.

    Advice to Rand Paul: Pull out, like your Daddy should have.

    by mojave mike on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 12:17:52 PM PDT

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