Numbers Point to Slim GOP Senate Majority

Numbers Point to Slim GOP Senate Majority

The closer November’s congressional elections get, the more red experts are seeing across the midterm map. And that means Republicans are likely to control both chambers come January.

Republicans have fought aggressively for months to take the Senate from Democrats and add to their majority in the House. After a brief late-September surge in many polls in several key states, however, just about every political analysis outfit says barring an “October surprise,” the GOP is poised to take a slim majority in the upper chamber.

Real Clear Politics, an independent organization that tracks congressional races, lists 10 Senate races in the “toss-up” category. Seven of those feature an incumbent or retiring Democratic senator.

Nate Silver’s, which specializes in statistical analysis, says all data points show Democrats have an uphill battle to maintain their Senate majority.

“Republicans have about a 60 percent chance of taking control of the Senate,” according to FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten. “The GOP’s prospects have stayed relatively consistent over the last month, never dropping below 53 percent or rising above 65 percent.”

Experts at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics are predicting — while noting tough campaigning remains — a GOP-run Senate when the new Congress is seated in January. The lone question, those experts say, is just how many seats the Republicans will pick up in a few weeks.

“Overall, it is indisputable that Republicans will have more critical victories to celebrate than Democrats when all the ballots are counted,” UVA’s Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik write on the center’s Crystal Ball blog, ”and they have a strong and increasing chance to control the next Senate.”

Democrats are shooting for a 51-to-49 seat advantage, or a “Biden majority,” as Sabato and Kondik put it, wherein Vice President Joe Biden as Senate president would cast the deciding vote when necessary.

But UVA, Real Clear and other analysts say it is increasingly tough to see a path toward holding the Democratic majority.

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