Nyah Nyah Senate Majority Index # 4

Janet Hook writes in The Wall Street Journal, “According to Micah Roberts, a Republican pollster, ‘about three in 10 voters are disillusioned because they are feeling stuck in some quagmire that is a mix of political gridlock and economic stagnation.’”

One might wonder what the other seven think.

She continues, “More than half said Washington would be unchanged by the midterm elections, regardless of the result.”

“Majorities in both parties said their preference for a Democratic or Republican Congress was motivated more by a desire to block the other party than to advance their own.”

Those four paragraphs might not have been the best way to build reader interest in a story about control of the Senate, but at least the naming of the index is now clear.

Back in September, we launched the LibertyPell Nyah Nyah Senate Majority Index thinking that control would be determined by the results in eight states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire and North Carolina. Since the Republicans began with 47, they would need four to take control. Of the eight, the Democrats would need only five because Vice President Biden would break the tie.

While the choice of states might have been correct at the time, there is now a possibility of unpredictable outcomes in Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. Of these, two (LA and MI) are held by Democrats and the other three (MT, SD, WV) are held by Republicans.

In Louisiana, Senator Landrieu has just fired her campaign manager and in South Dakota former Sen. Larry Pressler, once a Republican but now running as an independent, is showing strength that might detract from the official Republican candidate.

Four of the eight states originally chosen as battlegrounds seem to have solidified. All of the prognosticators have picked Arkansas and Georgia for the Republicans and New Hampshire and North Carolina for the Democrats every week.

That should leave the Republicans in need of at least two out of Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas while the Democrats would need three. At the moment, the consensus forecast is for Republican wins in Alaska, Colorado and Iowa with independent, Greg Orman, taking Kansas.

Interestingly, two left leaning websites — The Daily Kos and the Huffington Post — suggest that the odds of Republican Senate control are 69% and 55%, respectively. Perhaps they are trying to amp up their voters?

As last week, the pundits generally favor the Republicans though Sam Wang of Princeton thinks the Democrats have a 64% chance of controlling the Senate thanks to Orman in Kansas and the Biden tie-breaking vote. The outlier on the other side is The Monkey Cage, a political science oriented site now owned by The Washington Post, which predicts a 94% likelihood of Republican control.

There remain enough variables to keep the press happy, but the man holding the gavel in January is likely to be Mitch McConnell… assuming he wins his own election in Kentucky.

If, despite all that, you are interested in trying your hand at some prognosticating, here is a link to a WSJ site on which you can make your own bets and here are the choices I made.

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