WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Republicans are predicted to take the Senate in November, with a 51-49 seat edge that could be increased or decreased by two points if the election were held today.
According to a new CBS News/New York Times Battleground Tracker poll, the GOP is favored to take back control of the Senate based upon 100,000 registered voter interviews conducted by the two media outlets. The conservative-leaning southern states of Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina are the likely locations to turn red in the November midterm elections.
The Democrats are looking to capture two spotlight races in Georgia and Kentucky, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP nominee David Perdue are expected to keep the seats in Republican hands.
The Senate is currently controlled by Democrats, 55-45.
“Our estimate has the Republicans taking it at least 51-49 and there is a little bit of movement towards 52, 53 in some scenarios,” said Anthony Salvanto, CBS News Elections Director. “Republicans we find have this edge because they have so many options, there are so many states in play now, we always knew that the Democrats would have a hard time holding a lot these Southern states, these conservative states, where there’s a lot of senate races.”
Slight Republican victories in Iowa and Michigan are expected to oust Democratic senators in those states, according to the online panel data. Simulations also show there are 14 solid Republican races and 11 solid Democratic races this November.
Seven seats “lean” towards the GOP, while only two seats lean towards control by the Democrats. The Republicans stand “a good chance” of picking up eight seats, bringing their total to 53 in the Senate. But the data estimates that the GOP has a 70 percent chance of winning control.
A recent Pew Research Center poll finds that the Republican Party holds a clear advantage in voter engagement in the midterm elections, with 45 percent of registered voters who plan to support the Republican in their district saying they are more enthusiastic about voting than in prior congressional elections. This compares with 37 percent of those who plan to vote for the Democratic candidate.
The GOP had a 13-point enthusiasm advantage at this point in the midterm campaign four years ago (55 percent to 42 percent) and the Democrats held a 17-point advantage eight years ago (47 percent to 30 percent).