BOOM: FiveThirtyEight Gives GOP 54 Percent Chance Of Retaining The Senate

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 07, 2016 4:45 PM
BOOM: FiveThirtyEight Gives GOP 54 Percent Chance Of Retaining The Senate

Looking down-ballot, things are better for the GOP concerning the Senate, which were already in a tough spot considered the slim margin for error in their re-elect campaign. Democrats just needed to win four seats (Tim Kaine being the tie-breaker) to reclaim the chamber. Five states had GOP incumbents defending their seats in states that Obama won in 2012. Now, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight says that Republicans have a 54 percent chance of retaining the chamber. They also noted that Clinton's dip in the polls has hurt their chances.

The site has Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) winning re-election. Rep. Todd Young is expected to beat former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh in the open seat left by retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats. While they only give Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) a 38 percent chance of beating Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, it’s possible that he does survive. It’s a virtual dead heat in a state where the presidential election-level turnout should have Toomey updating his resume. The fact that McGinty is could face state ethics charges for campaigning on government time, and Toomey’s moderate streak (he’s pro-gun control), which bodes well for those types of voters that dominate the collar counties around Philadelphia, could be factors that allows Toomey to eek out a win. If you're following the Pennsylvania race, be sure to look at Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Allegheny counties on election night. These places are where the state will be decided. 

Nevertheless, it’s also possible that he loses handily. And it's possible that Democrats make pick-ups elsewhere, like in Nevada and Wisconsin, which could make things tight for the GOP. For now, this gauge, overall, is a good sign heading into tomorrow, given how commentators thought that Trump would be the albatross around Republicans’ necks down-ballot.