Thursday, August 18, 2016

2017 US Senate: D-52, R-48

Still basking in the glow of last night's Green Town Hall on CNN, and not ready yet to crown another Jackass O'Day, let's check in for the first time this cycle on the latest US Senate projections.

Not burying the lede: it's a very tight contest., my personal favorite, and Election Projection both give the GOP 51 states for a slim margin to hold control.  The difference in methodology is that doesn't have any toss-ups; they jut throw the states up daily based on the very latest polling.  (Only if a poll shows a tie do they acknowledge that in their revised projection.)  They also count the Senate's two independents, Bernie Sanders and Angus King, as Democrats because that's who they caucus with.  So today they rate it 51-49 while E-P has it a more accurate 51-47-2.

Update (8/19): Note how changes day-to-day.

Larry Sabato has it tied 47-apiece, with 6 states -- NV, IN, OH, PA, NH, and FL -- going either way.  Charlie Cook thinks it's 47-45 Republicans, with 8 tossups.

Harry Enten at has projections from early June that give the Ds "three to four seats", and they need four to wrest the majority away from the Republicans (on the increasingly-safe assumption that Hillary Clinton is the new president).  His latest report, still two weeks old, is more encouraging as the polling suggests that a few Senate Republican candidates are in danger of being caught in Trump's undertow.

Update (8/19): Enten's piece from 8/16, titled "GOP's chances of holding Senate following Trump downhill" eluded me, but reinforces his and (and my) premise.

Several of the links above profile the specific state races and link to polling and such.  I'm not ready to get that granular; there'll be plenty of time in September for things to flesh out a little more clearly in many of the states where it's close now.  Ohio is going right down to the wire in both the White House and Senate contests anyway.

Your interactive toy is at, and here's my best guess today: D-52, R-48 with NV staying blue and WI, IL, IN, PA, NH, and NC flipping blue mostly on the strength of Clinton's surge in the swing states, and AZ, MO, OH, and FL remaining red.  (Wisconsin's and North Carolina's Dems should also benefit a couple of percentage points from the court-ordered relaxation of their restrictive voter/photo ID laws, as is the case in Texas ... subject to last-gasp litigation outcomes.)

Click the map to create your own at

The real people's mandate for President Clinton will be if she has a blue Senate and a blue House to work with, as Barack Obama did in his first two years.  The crisis exacerbated by one of the nation's five largest health insurers removing itself from the state-mandated Obamacare exchanges suggests a simple fix: the public option.  But history tells us that Clinton will not fight any domestic battle she cannot be assured of winning.

Excessive gerrymandering means a Democratically-controlled House still looks just out of reach.  But due to the Trump Train's derailment, Dems are dreaming big.  Good on 'em for that, but some swift and direct action will be necessary if their dreams come true.

A public option is one thing that could make me feel encouraged about Clinton's first term.  The other would be more diplomacy and peace and a lot less war.  (I probably shouldn't dream too big.)

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

My calculations matched yours except for flipping Missouri and Indiana.