WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Nate Silver, renowned for his perfect and near-perfect statistical predictions, says that the GOP has a roughly 60 percent chance of winning the necessary six seats to take back control of the Senate from Democrats, and adds that Republicans have a shot at a “big win” that could see them acquiring up to 11 seats.
The acclaimed statistician and editor-in-chief of ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog announced his prediction that Republicans are a “slight favorite” in the race to control the Senate during midterm elections later this year, he posted on the website.
Silver gives roughly a 60 percent chance of Republicans winning six seats to take control of the Senate, with Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina all showing a strong likelihood and the “path of least resistance” for Republican wins in November. The GOP currently holds 45 seats to Democrats’ 53, with independents holding two seats. In a 50/50 deadlock, Vice President Joe Biden would be the tiebreaking vote in the chamber of 100 seats.
Democrats were only given a 40 percent chance of holding on to their Senate majority through the November elections.
But Silver has also predicted a solid chance – at least 30 percent — that Republicans will have a “big win” and capture up to 11 Senate seats from the Democrats during the 2014 midterm elections. Silver predicts that the GOP will make gains in a few blue-leaning states such as Michigan (45 percent), Colorado (35 percent) and Iowa.
Silver gained significant notoriety in 2008 when he accurately predicted 49 out of 50 states in the U.S. presidential election between Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama – missing only Indiana, which turned blue.
Silver correctly predicted the results for all 50 states in the 2012 presidential battle between Mitt Romney and President Obama.
In July 2013, Silver announced through his FiveThirtyEight blog – then published through the New York Times – that the GOP’s task of Senate control would “not be easy,” but his new predictions note that the Democrats’ position has “deteriorated somewhat” since that prediction.
“Our new forecast goes a half-step further: We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber,” writes Silver.
“The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions.”