Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Senate Projection for September 27

With the House update done, it’s time to move on to the new Senate update. Last week the pace of Republican gains were still stuck as the party was pushed way back into six seat territory, and the chance of a majority change teetered at 1%. Will that chance fall off the map entirely? Let’s find out.


Senate right now: 59 D-41 R.

Seats up right now: 19 D-18 R.

Seats therefore not up: 40 D-23 R.

Minimum result needed for majority: -9 for Democrats, +10 for Republicans.


I’m going to work off the polls when they’re available, working from Real Clear Politics, giving double weight now to Likely Voter polls, and make guesses otherwise. That’s usually easy because the seats that aren’t polled are typically safe. Changes from last time will be in boldface.


AL: Richard Shelby: Lead has grown to +32 in Rasmussen. 99.9% R victory.

AK: Lisa Murkowski (primaried): Murkowski write-in run could be a big boost to Miller. 95% R victory (from 80%).

AZ: John McCain: Newest polling not low enough to drop the rating. 99% R victory

AR: Blanche Lincoln: John Boozman up 20+ in polling. 99.9% R victory.

CA: Barbara Boxer: Fairly steady pre-TV ad polling in Boxer’s favor. 20% R victory (from 40%).

CO: Michael Bennet: New CNN poll breaks the Bennet/Buck trend of alternating leads, in Buck’s favor. 60% R victory.

CT: Chris Dodd (retiring): Quinnipiac and Rasmussen confirming each other. 25% R victory (from 15%).

DE: Joe Biden (resigned): O’Donnell win makes this a new race with a new starting point. O’Donnell depressed in mid-primary polling as well. 5% R victory.

FL: Mel Martinez (resigned): The wrong Democrat won for Charlie Crist. 85% R victory.

GA: Johnny Isakson: Isakson rebounds in polling from one scare. 99% R victory.

HI: Daniel Inouye: Inouye nearing 70 in poll. 0.1% R victory.

ID: Mike Crapo: Crapo lead hovering around 40. 99.9% R victory.

IL: Barack Obama (resigned): Kirk edges ahead again. 60% R victory (from 55%).

IN: Evan Bayh (retiring): Dan Coats lead growing. 99% R victory.

IA: Chuck Grassley: Grassley rebounds from one bad poll. 99% R victory.

KS: Sam Brownback (retiring): Republican Jerry Moran showing leads in the 40s. 99.9% R victory.

KY: Jim Bunning (retiring): SurveyUSA brings bad news for Paul. 75% R victory (from 85%).

LA: David Vitter: Vitter gets a bounce in Rasmussen. 95% R victory.

MD: Barbara Mikulski: Mikulski’s primary opponent’s internal even has her ahead. 0.1% R victory.

MO: Kit Bond (retiring): Blunt marching on from one bad poll I didn’t trust anyway. 85% R victory.

NV: Harry Reid: POS poll for Reid not enough to change result. 45% R victory.

NC: Richard Burr: Burr continues good run with SurveyUSA blowout. 90% R victory.

ND: Byron Dorgan (retiring): John Hoeven leads by so much he breaks the graphics in my analysis tool. 99.9% R victory.

NH: Judd Gregg (retiring): Second post-primary poll shows a Kelly Ayotte blowout. 85% R victory (from 80%).

NY: Chuck Schumer: Schumer hovering around 60. 0.1% R victory.

NY: Kirsten Gillibrand: It’s a whole new race since the primary, with every LV poll making it Gillibrand+10 or less. 25% R victory (from 0.1%).

OH: George Voinovich (retiring): Portman threatening to put race away. 90% R victory.

OK: Tom Coburn: Coburn lead approaching 40. 99.9% R victory.

OR: Ron Wyden: Recent polling very good to Wyden. My thoughts of this being a sleeper GOP victory seem to have been premature. 1% R victory.

PA: Arlen Specter (primaried): Primaries done (especially for Specter). Pat Toomey finally hits double figures in one poll. 85% R victory.

SC: Jim DeMint: A poll did come out. It’s not good for Alvin Greene and his felony indictment. 99.9% R victory.

SD: John Thune: Unopposed. 100% R victory.

UT: Bob Bennett (primaried): Deseret News confirms Rasmussen polling. 99.9% R victory.

VT: Patrick Leahy: Leahy lead down to 30. 0.1% R victory.

WA: Patty Murray: Murray has good week in polling. 30% R victory.

WV: Robert Byrd (died): Raese takes his first lead in a poll. 45% R victory (from 20%).

WI: Russ Feingold: Ron Johnson takes this out of coin flip range for now. 85% R victory (from 50%).

The simulation

100,000 trials using the probabilities above.


And the Republicans bounce back almost all the way. 7 (from 6) once again becomes the most likely Republican gain. +6 and +8 are about equally likely in second and third place, and those three outcomes account for 62% (62,415/100,000) of the curve. 5% (5,208/100,000) of the trials gave Republicans a Senate majority, a big bounce back from last week’s 1% and near the high of my projection series, 6%. Only 3 of 100,000 trials gave Democrats a gain.

Big gains in states like New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are really helping Republicans, despite recent disappointment in Washington, California, and Delaware. If any of those states rebound then we’ll see new Republican highs in my projection.


One Response to “Senate Projection for September 27”

  1. Scott Eiland says:

    I’m optimistic we’ll hit or exceed that 7-seat gain. I’m not at all worried about Paul. Ron Johnson is going to knock out Russ Feingold, which is amazing.

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