The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Senate Poll Wars

Posted on | September 17, 2014 | 54 Comments

Less than seven weeks before Election Day 2014, the epic struggle to control the media narrative continues:

Democrats are now (very slightly) favored to hold the Senate majority on Nov. 4, according to Election Lab, The Post’s statistical model of the 2014 midterm elections.
Election Lab puts Democrats’ chances of retaining their majority at 51 percent — a huge change from even a few months ago, when the model predicted that Republicans had a better than 80 percent chance of winning the six seats they need to take control.

What this is about is managing expectations, preventing Democrats (and their reliable allies in the media) from becoming demoralized by the more likely prospect that Republicans will capture control of the Senate in November. Last week, poll wizard Nate Silver gave the GOP a 65% chance of winning the Senate majority, and I cautioned at that time a lot could change between early September and Nov. 4.

A mid-term election is not like a presidential campaign, where there are two candidate engaged daily in a single contest. A Senate campaign is fought in multiple states, and a shift in any one of those races could have a significant impact on the Big Picture, where the question is whether the Republicans will make a net gain of enough seats to displace Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader. Can Republican Sen. Pat Roberts halt his slide in the polls in Kansas? Can the GOP do something to torpedo Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan? These are the kind of questions that will be answered over the next 49 days, and we don’t know what the answer will be.

My hunch — and it is only a hunch — is that we will wake up on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 5, with the issue still in doubt. There will probably still be two or three Senate races within the range of a recount, and all eyes will quickly turn to Louisiana, where the runoff to decide Mary Landrieu’s fate will be the tiebreaker.



54 Responses to “Senate Poll Wars”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    September 18th, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Thank you, Wombat. You do a great job keeping this a good environment here.

  2. Regular Right Guy
    September 18th, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    Hear that Democrats? Check your trunks thoroughly for those missing ballots.

  3. theoldsargesays
    September 18th, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

    John Boehner?

  4. Please Scotland, Don’t Do It! | Regular Right Guy
    September 24th, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

    […] Senate Poll Wars […]