The GOP’s Likely Gains

Most of the midterm models expect Republicans to pick up 52 seats:

Senate Forecasts

Chris Cillizza notes that the Republicans’ chances of taking the Senate have improved. But Jonathan Bernstein focuses instead on the diminishing likelihood of a Republican blowout:

Granted, pickups in Iowa and Colorado would be a nice way to put Republicans over the top. But at least so far, they haven’t managed to add potential targets such as Minnesota, Michigan or Virginia to the list of closely contested states, and they remain unlikely to win New Hampshire or North Carolina. The result is that prediction models are converging at 52 Republican seats, not 54 or more.

I’m not playing that down. No matter what the opportunities, I doubt there has been a single point during this election cycle when Republican strategists would not have been satisfied with winning seven seats to reach 52. And just as Democratic hopes to hold a majority are still realistic, so are Republican dreams of an even larger landslide. Still, what’s happening is consistent with Republicans taking advantage of expected opportunities.

 

Greg Sargent maintains that “Democrats do still have paths to retaining control. But they are increasingly narrow”:

Put it this way: Republicans are favored to take the Senate. If they do, it wouldn’t be at all surprising. On the other hand, if Democrats somehow hold on, that outcome wouldn’t be all that shocking, either. But a lot has to go right for Democrats for that to happen.

Charlie Cook is keeping tabs on the Kansas and Georgia races:

The prospects remain very tough for Democrats to hold onto their majority in the Senate, but there is a new scenario emerging—albeit still unlikely—that is turning the majority math a bit on its head.

As I have said previously, Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take the majority. The question has generally been whether Republicans just need to knock off six Democratic seats to get to 51, or if they will need to gross seven seats in order to net six. Now there appears to be a real question as to whether Republicans may need to gross eight seats in order to net six, covering for the potential loss of not just Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas but an open seat in Georgia as well.