Democrats are now the slight favorites to win control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, according to forecasting from the elections data and analysis site FiveThirtyEight.
It’s the first time this particular forecast has shown Democrats leading in chances of winning the chamber, although the forecast is on the newer side overall. As of August 1, the “deluxe” FiveThirtyEight forecast estimated Democrats held a 56 percent chance of maintaining their Senate majority through the midterms, while Republicans had a 44 percent chance of flipping control of the chamber. By Monday, Dems had led in the FiveThirtyEight forecast in question for about a week, meaning the Dem advantage has held — and, in fact, slightly risen — throughout recent days amid continuing changes to the environment for the midterms. FiveThirtyEight’s “deluxe” guess for how many seats each side will hold after the midterms is 50 on both ends, meaning the chamber would stay evenly divided with Dems in control because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking.
A couple of key Senate races are particularly buoying Democrats’ overall chances. Two recent polls emerged showing the party’s Pennsylvania pick — Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman — a full 11 percent ahead of Trump-backed GOP selection Mehmet Oz, aka Dr. Oz, among key swathes of voters. As one might expect, FiveThirtyEight rates the Pennsylvania Senate race as “leaning” towards the Dems in its so-called deluxe model, meaning as of this Monday the site didn’t call the race a toss-up. Dems also have advantages in key races like the Senate contests in Arizona and New Hampshire. The so-called deluxe model from FiveThirtyEight incorporates polls, fundraising, past election results, and input from experts, with other factors — and in their so-called “lite” model, which just uses polling data, Dem chances of holding the Senate look even better, at 72 percent. Relying just on polling provides noticeable increases in the Dem chances shown by FiveThirtyEight for winning the Ohio Senate race.
The Senate projections available from FiveThirtyEight provide a picture significantly more positive for Dems than forecasts for who’ll control the House after the midterms. The “deluxe” model from the site put GOP chances of winning the House in the upcoming midterm elections at an 83-in-100 shot. These numbers were all current as of Monday afternoon.
The GOP gaining control of the chamber would mean Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) could become House Speaker, and if he’s shown anything, it’s that he’s willing to go along with the Trump line on just about anything. It wasn’t long after the Capitol riot when McCarthy showed up at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to schmooze with the former president no matter his widely acknowledged incitement of the violence. As for even more details about the Senate outlook, Decision Desk HQ (another elections data and analysis site) also gives Dems a chance better than Republicans of winning the Senate in the midterms. Another high-profile race is in Georgia, which polling seems to suggest is closer than Pennsylvania’s contest.
A set of polling for the midterm elections reported on this week by CBS demonstrated a significant lead for Democrats among women likely to vote, and other recent polling showed Democrats leading Republicans among voters 65 and up when respondents were asked for their party preference for the upcoming Congressional elections.