However, a your seats are still competitive; in 80% of our model’s simulations, Democrats end up with between 48 and 55 seats. It’s a wide range! And the exact number of seats here matters, because it’s not just about controlling the room. Gaining 50 seats (plus the decisive vice presidential vote) is a very different outcome for Democrats to winning 55 seats, as the size of their majority would affect the likelihood of them adopting their ambitious platform despite objections from more moderate Democrats. like, say, Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia.Now for those competitive seats. There are a whopping 17 seats in the Senate where both parties have at least a 5 in 100 chance of winning. But one of the main reasons Democrats are favored overall is that Republicans have many more at-risk seats – 13 in total, as shown in the table below. (We’ll get to those four seats Democrats could lose in a moment.)
|Chance to win|
|North Carolina||Thom Tillis||68||32|
|Caroline from the south||Lindsey Graham||23||77|
Remember, Democrats need a net gain of just three seats (if they also win the Vice President) or four (if Vice President Mike Pence wins a second term) to take control. But not all of those seats held by the GOP are equally vulnerable – so let’s break them down into categories based on their likelihood of going blue.
First, there are the two seats held by Republicans most likely to go to Democrats: Colorado and Arizona. In Colorado, former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s odds of defeating Republican Senator Cory Gardner seem particularly strong: 84 out of 100. This is probably due in part to the fact that Joe Biden looks extremely likely to win Colorado, and that’s increasingly rare for voters. to share their tickets between the presidential and senatorial races. In Arizona, Biden’s victory is less certain, but former astronaut Mark Kelly has proven to be an extremely strong recruit for Democrats in Arizona, raising over $ 87 million in individual contributions and leading in almost every polls since entering the race in early 2019. Hurt by the fact that she is an appointed senator (which gives her almost no advantage as an incumbent), Republican Martha McSally is only 22 chances in 100 of winning.
Two more seats held by Republicans lean toward Democrats – although in all likelihood we’ll only know who won one of them today: North Carolina. There, former State Senator Cal Cunningham is a 68 out of 100 favorite to defeat Republican Senator Thom Tillis. Despite the revelations that Cunningham sexted a woman who is not his wife, the breed has been fairly stable and he has managed to maintain a narrow poll lead. We’re giving Democrats a similar chance (a 63 in 100 chance) of eventually winning in the Georgia special election – but that race almost certainly won’t be decided until January. This is because the race is a battle royale between 20 candidates from all parties (there was no primary), making it nearly impossible for a single candidate to get the majority of votes needed to win. Assuming that doesn’t happen, the top two finishers will advance to a second round on January 5. Democrats currently lead in the second round polls, but a lot can happen in the next two months, and Georgia remains a Republican-leaning state.
Then there are the three seats held by Republicans that are more or less launched. In Maine, Democratic State House Speaker Sara Gideon has 59 in 100 chances of winning, while outgoing Republican Senator Susan Collins has 41 in 100 chances. The polls have generally favored Gideon, but Collins, with his moderate voting record and a history of standing well ahead of other Republicans in Maine, is a powerful incumbent who may be able to overcome the state’s blue tint. The tables are reversed in the other Georgia Senate race, where Republican Senator David Perdue is 57 out of 100 and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is not that far behind at 43 out of 100. Good chances that this race will end in a second round, as our forecast of average vote share shows that no candidate reaches 50%. Finally, Iowa is another virtual draw of a race: Republican Senator Joni Ernst has 58 out of 100 chances to win, while Democrat Theresa Greenfield has 42 out of 100.
But the races that could really tell the difference between a slim Democratic majority and a robust majority are the six seats held by Republicans where Democrats lose – but still stand a chance of winning. The most likely candidate for an upheaval may be in Montana, where Republican Senator Steve Daines has a 69 in 100 chance of winning – but Democrat Steve Bullock, the popular state governor, has a 31 in 100 chance. Democrats also have a respectable 23 in 100 chance in Alaska and 20 in 100 in Kansas, where their candidates have strong independent identities that could help them swim against the partisan tide in these pretty red states. In Alaska, Al Gross is an independent candidate as a Democrat; in Kansas, Senator Barbara Bollier was a Republican until 2018. And in South Carolina, Jaime Harrison became Beto O’Rourke of the 2020 cycle – a Democrat leading a surprisingly strong campaign in a Red State against a bold Republican name ( in this case, Senator Lindsey Graham). Harrison raised nearly $ 108 million (!) In individual contributions, recently breaking O’Rourke’s record for largest quarter of Senate fundraising already. Harrison has also kept things close in the polls, but only has 23 in 100 chances of winning. Finally, the senses. Cindy Hyde-Smith (88 out of 100) and John Cornyn (86 out of 100) are healthy favorites to win another term in Mississippi and Texas, respectively, but they’re not completely safe either.
So that’s a lot of potential democratic pickups. But the number of seats Democrats win is only half the equation: Let’s not forget that Republicans also have some chances of going on the offensive, which could nullify some of those Democratic gains. But the problem for Republicans is simply that they have fewer seats to target. In fact, they will likely only tip one seat.
|Chance to win|
It’s in Alabama, where Republican Tommy Tuberville has an 87-in-100 chance of beating Democratic Sen. Doug Jones. While Jones is the incumbent and raised a considerable sum (far more than Tuberville), he arguably won the seat in the 2017 special election only because his scandal-tarred Republican opponent was a historically weak candidate. Ultimately, our forecast thinks Alabama is just too red for Jones to be re-elected.
Democrats are good favorites in every other Senate seat that Democrats have this year, however. Some Republicans are optimistic John James can defeat Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan – and he’s one of the Republicans’ strongest rookies in the cycle, having raised nearly $ 36 million in individual contributions – but our forecast doesn’t show anyway. to James that a chance in 100.. And New Mexico and Minnesota are on the verge of not being competitive, with Republicans having just 6 in 100 odds in the first and 5 in 100 in the second.
With Republicans likely to defeat a Democratic incumbent, Democrats likely need to reverse four seats held by Republicans to secure that coveted majority. And it’s very possible: they have a clear path to make it through Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, and (possibly possibly) Georgia – not to mention the many other states where they have live fire. , although longer. Overall, when the dust settles, our forecast is for Democrats to average 52 Senate seats and Republicans an average of 48. However, as we hope to know Tuesday night which party will control the next Senate, we almost certainly have won ”. I know its exact makeup from the potential runoffs in Georgia and the slow vote count in states like Alaska. Our forecast may be reduced to a pencil, but stick with FiveThirtyEight over the next few weeks as we resolve any outstanding issues in the Senate and beyond.