These election models give Democrats a '70 percent or better' advantage in the battle for Senate control
Earlier this year, GOP strategists were optimistic that a major red wave in the 2022 midterms would give Republicans control of not only the U.S. House of Representatives, but also, the U.S. Senate. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently told fellow Republicans at a gathering in Kentucky that while he still believes that Republicans are likely to “flip” the House, he considers the Senate a toss-up — and McConnell acknowledged that Democrats may keep their Senate majority and perhaps even increase it slightly.
But two new election models, journalist Chris Cillizza reports in an article published by CNN’s website on September 8, see the Senate not as a toss-up, but as leaning Democrat.
“Two prominent election forecasting models now give Democrats a 70 percent or better chance of retaining their Senate majority in November — a major shift that suggests the fight for control may no longer be the toss-up that it has long been considered,” Cillizza reports. “The FiveThirtyEight election model finds that in 70 out of 100 election simulations, Democrats emerge from 2022 in the majority. The Economist’s model is even more optimistic for the party, finding that in 78 out of 100 simulations, Democrats retain their majority in November.”
Cillizza, however, stresses that one should “be wary of taking these models as fact.”
“It’s worth noting that these forecasts are built on probable outcomes and their predictive power depends on how good the underlying data are,” Cillizza explains. “So, in 30-ish percent of the scenarios each models runs, Republicans win the Senate majority. In interpreting those numbers, FiveThirtyEight characterizes that probability as Democrats being slightly favored to win the Senate.”
Cillizza goes on to cite four of the “most competitive” Senate races of 2022: incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly against GOP Blake Masters in Arizona, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock against Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan against “Hillbilly Elegy” author and Republican nominee J.D. Vance in Ohio. If Democrats were able to hold all of the Senate seats they are defending but flip the GOP-held seats in Pennsylvania and Ohio, they would be slightly increasing their narrow Senate majority.
Cillizza writes, “What’s clear as of today is this: Democrats are on the front foot in the race for the Senate majority, a major shift and surprise from even three months ago.”
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