Dems Favored to Win the Senate Due to “Weak” GOP Choices, FiveThirtyEight Says

FiveThirtyEight reports that Democrats have a better chance than Republicans of retaining control over the Senate.

The site, well-known for predicting the outcome of elections, noted that the change had come in part due to Republicans selecting “weak candidates” in some of the key races for this fall’s midterm contests.

FiveThirtyEight’s election modelIt uses polling data, statistics, and other statistics to simulate a 40,000-times election to get a glimpse of who will win. The Senate was won by Democrats in 52 of the 100 outcomes that were simulated on Wednesday. Republicans won in 48 of the 100 outcomes (with minor fluctuations throughout the day).

The model’s prediction doesn’t mean that Democrats are a sure bet to retain control of the Senate — indeed, the results of the simulation suggest a strong possibility that either party can win. Both have roughly the same chance as in a coin flip, but Democrats have slightly better odds.

Still, the results are a drastic departure from the model’s predictionThis was earlier in the summer. In early June, FiveThirtyEight’s simulation predicted that Republicans had a 60 percent chance of winning the Senate, while Democrats had just a 40 percent chance.

The numbers are updated frequently, as of 5 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, the site said that Democrats have a combined 27.5 percent chance of either retaining their slim 50-seat hold in the Senate (which technically means they control that body, due to Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaker vote) or increasing their majority by one additional seat. Republicans, on the other hand, have a 26.8% chance of winning an additional seat or securing two seats.

In 80 percent of all simulations runFiveThirtyEight indicated that the outcome could range between three additional seats to Democrats and four wins for Republicans.

The site is still predicting a poor showing for Democrats in the House of Representatives. FiveThirtyEight reported that Republicans won control of Congress in 84 percent of all simulations. Democrats won in only 16 percent of the 100 simulations.

New nationwide polling doesn’t give much more insight into the potential outcome of the upcoming midterm races. According to an Economist/YouGov poll published on Wednesday36% of Americans want Democrats to control the Senate. The same percentage wants Republicans to control the Senate. Eleven percent of the respondents said they hope the chamber will be split evenly between both parties, while 17 percent said they don’t care who wins control.

Meanwhile, 38 percent of respondents said they want Democrats to retain control of the House while 36 percent said they want the GOP in charge — a split that is within the poll’s margin of error.