The biggest question this year on the national political landscape is whether Republicans can capture the U.S. Senate and further check President Barack Obama.
Nate Silver, polling guru (or wunderkid, or wonk, or whatever we’re calling him these days), released the results of the latest FiveThirtyEight election model on Wednesday, and his prediction gives Republicans the edge.
“Republicans are favored to take the Senate, at least in our view; the FiveThirtyEight forecast model gives them a 64 percent chance of doing so,” Silver wrote. The model is based on an analysis of 869 polls conducted on Senate races to date.
Silver explains the GOP advantage by pointing to the traditional dynamic in midterm elections, where the president’s party has historically under-performed, but cautions that there is a great deal of uncertainty.
According to Silver, Republicans are almost certain to win formerly Democrat-held seats in Montana and West Virginia, and are “very likely” to win in South Dakota. The GOP nominee is “slightly favored” in Lousiana and Arkansas, and the races in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina are described as “toss-ups.”
Democrats only have the advantage in Michigan and New Hampshire, according to Silver.