Nate Silver: GOP Is Slight Favorite to Pick Up Six Seats and Win Control of Senate

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 23 2014 2:00 PM

Nate Silver: GOP Is Slight Favorite to Pick Up Six Seats and Win Control of Senate

Stats guru Nate Silver released his latest forecast Sunday and declared that the Republicans are “slight favorites” to win at least six seats and win control of the Senate in the midterm elections. It’s hardly a clear path though. Silver outlines in FiveThirtyEight how Republicans could win:

Republicans have great opportunities in a number of states, but only in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas do we rate the races as clearly leaning their way. Republicans will also have to win at least two toss-up races, perhaps in Alaska, North Carolina or Michigan, or to convert states such as New Hampshire into that category. And they’ll have to avoid taking losses of their own in Georgia and Kentucky, where the fundamentals favor them but recent polls show extremely competitive races.

Although the forecast is a “slight” chance of victory for Republicans, it does mark an improvement in the GOP’s prospects from Silver’s last forecast in July when he concluded that the Senate was a toss-up. Since then, “Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat ... with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before.” And the Republican Party has also largely done a better job of picking candidates that can win elections when compared to the 2010 and 2012 elections. That means there’s also a chance that the Republicans could win big. In an interview with ABC News, Silver says his projection now is that Republicans could pick up six seats, but that is “plus or minus five,” meaning the GOP could end up picking up 11 seats.

Another interesting bit from the interview is that Silver says he believes the Republican Party’s chances in New Hampshire, where Scott Brown is trying to oust Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, are “a little overhyped.” Silver puts the chances of a Republican win in New Hampshire at 25 percent.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.