Nate Silver: 60% chance Republicans takeover the Senate

Jon Karl and Nate Silver

Election guru Nate Silver says that Republicans are likely to win the net-six seats that they need to take control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term election, noting that they could pick up as many as 11 seats in the chamber.

In a segment with ABC’s This Week, Silver, who runs the statistics website FiveThirtyEight, told Jon Karl that Republicans will take open seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. He believes that Republicans are likely to take Arkansas, pointing out that polls have shown Republicans “pretty consistently ahead.”

Silver, who accurately predicted outcome in all 50 states in the 2012 presidential election, gives Republicans a 55% shot of taking Louisiana and an even shot of winning in North Carolina. If Republicans win each of those three seats, plus the three aforementioned open seats, they would take control of the Senate.

Silver also gives Republicans a 45% shot of winning in Alaska. He gives lesser odds of the GOP taking Michigan and Colorado, races that are being watch closely by political analysts with buzz building about a “Republican wave.”

“This is the drum roll,” said Karl. “Republicans need six seats. What’s the projection, how many are they going to pick up?”

“I’d say exactly six,” Silver replied, “but it’s probably six, plus or minus five,” acknowledging that Republicans “could” pick up as many as 11 seats in the most extreme “wave election” scenario.

Karl asked ballparked it at a “60% chance Republicans win the Senate,” to which Silver replied, “Something like that,” noting that a net-six seat pick up of on the low-end of the number of seats the GOP would win this fall. There is just a 30% chance that Republicans “win big.”

Silver projected in July that there was an “even-money” chance that Republicans would take control of the chamber. He provided a more detailed analysis of his most recent projections in post yesterday at FiveThirtyEight.

“There are 10 races that each party has at least a 25 percent chance of winning, according to our ratings,” wrote Silver. “If Republicans were to win all of them, they would gain a net of 11 seats from Democrats, which would give them a 56-44 majority in the new Senate. If Democrats were to sweep, they would lose a net of just one seat and hold a 54-46 majority.”

“So our forecast might be thought of as a Republican gain of six seats — plus or minus five. The balance has shifted slightly toward the GOP. But it wouldn’t take much for it to revert to the Democrats, nor for this year to develop into a Republican rout along the lines of 2010,” he added.

As Silver noted, the outlook of the election can change on a whim, so it’s important not to take this to the bank. But 2014 looks promising for Republicans, though the White House continues to be in denial.


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