The Senate Is A Coin Flip

The NYT’s Senate forecast is trending towards Democrats:

NYT Senate

Nate Silver’s calculations have also become more Democrat-friendly:

When we officially launched our forecast model two weeks ago, it had Republicans with a 64 percent chance of taking over the Senate after this fall’s elections. Now Republican chances are about 55 percent instead.

Why the change? He sees money as a big factor:

Consider the states with the largest polling movement: In North Carolina, Hagan had $8.7 million in cash on hand as of June 30 as compared with just $1.5 million for her Republican opponent, Thom Tillis. In Colorado, Udall had $5.7 million as compared with $3.4 million for Republican Cory Gardner. These totals do not account for outside spending. But in stark contrast to 2010, liberal and Democratic “super PACs” have spent slightly more money so far than conservative and Republican ones, according to the the Center for Responsive Politics.

Nate Cohn agrees that the Democrats’ chances have improved:

Over all, the Republicans are still the slightest favorites to retake the chamber. For Democrats to retain their majority, they will have to win at least two states that voted against President Obama in 2008 and 2012. It is possible that this will prove untenable over the final few months of the race, and that Republicans will gradually gain as undecided voters who disapprove of the president’s performance and voted for Mitt Romney make up their minds. But the Democrats now have a lead in enough races to get to 49 seats — and have a few options to reach 50.

Sam Wang, who has always given Democrats a good chance of keeping the Senate, pats himself on the back:

[A]s the election approaches, other sites are decreasing the bias that they add by using fundamentals. This will inevitably make them approach the [Princeton Election Consortium (PEC)] snapshot, day by day. If everything converges on the PEC Election Day prediction, I would score that as an argument in favor of using polls only – or at least letting readers see the difference added by the use of fundamentals.