Three states began their early voting Friday: Virginia, South Dakota, and Minnesota. And so it begins. People are turning out in large numbers, many saying that they just want their votes to count. Let us say that the Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) win, and there is a 76 percent predicted chance they will. If the Democrats do not take back the Senate, then Senate Majority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell (R-KY) can virtually hold Biden hostage.
Fortunately, on the same day there was good news from the much-anticipated interactive FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast. It has compiled polls to make its prediction and came out with a slim Democratic takeover of the Senate. In the 2020 election, the site said there were “at least a dozen competitive races.” None were forecast as certain.
The Democrats could be controlling 54 or more seats, but much more likely would be a 50/50 split. Then, as Vice President, Harris would cast the final determining vote.
Fivethirtyeight incorporated its 2018 version, and this time it will be more closely aligned with the presidential forecast. Plus, the uncertainty factor was expected to be higher due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In what it called its “Deluxe version,” the site relied on polls as much as possible. It also incorporated basic factors such as “fundraising, incumbency, and a state’s partisan lean relative to the rest of the country.” Then, it added expert ratings from The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
Democrats have a five percent, at minimum, chance of winning. Dems will likely take North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, and Maine. Their best opportunity was expected to be Arizona with Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ), who was appointed to Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) seat. Astronaut and husband of former Representative Gabby Giffords (R-AZ), Mark Kelly, won the Democratic primary.
The forecast said that it may be too early to write off Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).
Other states that may at play included:
‘[M]any Republican incumbents, such as Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa, David Perdue of Georgia and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, face some version of this problem, as many of them won by single-digit margins in 2014, a year when Republicans won the popular vote for the U.S. House by about 6 points. But this year, the national environment favors Democrats by 6 or 7 points, so that’s around a 12-point swing, putting Republicans who won by narrow margins last time in the danger zone.’
Then, there were the outliers. Montana has a popular Democratic governor, which could swing the state to the Democrats. Senator Lindsey Graham’s abject submission to Donald Trump has turned many against him in South Carolina. In addition:
‘[T]here is also a second seat open in Georgia, currently held by the appointed incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. (This special election is unusual, though, in that multiple candidates from both parties will face off on Election Day, and if no one gets a majority, two candidates will move to a runoff in January.)’
Republicans were predicted to be more likely to pick up Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, and New Hampshire.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
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