Sean Trende takes another look at the mid-term Senate election and concludes the Democrats are likely to lose the Senate:
Given the “bonus” that Democrats receive for potential Tea Party upsets and incumbent advantages, its unsurprising that they fare a bit better in each “bracket” than they did in the earlier iteration of this model. Again, even this may be a touch too generous to Republicans, given the strength of incumbents like Warner and (possibly) Jeanne Shaheen.
But because we’ve also downgraded Obama’s chances of scoring an unusually high job approval by using only data from his second term, the overall probabilities using randomized job approval scores look a lot like they did before: Republicans win the Senate about 80 percent of the time, they gain seven-to-nine seats about 45 percent of the time, more than that 25 percent of the time, and less than that 30 percent of the time…
In essence, he says that the greatest likelihood is that Republicans win 7 or 8 seats, taking the Senate.
I still believe that all politics is local and, consequently, I don’t believe that House or Senate elections are particularly amenable to this sort of “view from 50,000 feet” analysis. However, I’ll agree with him to the extent that unless President Obama’s job approval ratings rise substantially, Democrats will face headwinds in the mid-terms. As of right now I’m sticking with my prediction that the Republicans pick up 5 seats in Senate, allowing Democrats to retain control of that house.
As long as Angus King continues to caucus with the Democrats, that is.