Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Senate Projection for October 12

Tuesday is not only Soylent Green day, but it is also Senate Projection day now. Last week was pretty big for Republicans, and if the trend from then continues, we could see +8 be the projection, as well as a double digit chance of a majority shift.

In theory some races should start to tighten and others should just blow wide open, constraining the options Republicans have to gain further. But will the theory carry over to practice?


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): I still think polling prompting for Murkowski by name is vastly overestimating her support as a write-in, but I go to war with the polls I have. 75% R victory (from 80%).

AZ: John McCain: McCain rebounds from one bad Rasmussen. 99% R victory

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

CA: Barbara Boxer: The race seems to have tightened some, but one good CNN result for Boxer keeps Fiorina down. 25% R victory (from 20%).

CO: Michael Bennet: Standout PPP poll brings Buck down quite a bit. 70% R victory (from 80%).

CT: Chris Dodd (retiring): (Yes, I’m making sure to distinguish CT and DE this time) Polling disagreeing on single or double digit gap. 10% R victory (from 15%).

DE: Joe Biden (resigned): (And not CT) O’Donnell making no gains since the primary. 1% R victory (from 5%).

FL: Mel Martinez (resigned): Rubio racks up double digit leads. 95% 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): Giannounlias and Kirk still battling hard. 50% 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): Rasmussen shows a Paul rebound. 80% R victory.

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: Angle strings a few together. 55% R victory (from 45%).

NC: Richard Burr: PPP even has this at Burr +13 now. 99% 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): Hodes climbs back out of the 30s in the newest polls. 85% R victory (from 90%).

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

NY: Kirsten Gillibrand: The party’s over for the NY GOP. 1% R victory (from 25%).

OH: George Voinovich (retiring): Portman surges. 95% R victory (from 90%).

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): Pat Toomey lead hovering around 8. 80% 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: Rossi has a good week on the back of American Action Forum’s poll. 60% R victory (from 35%).

WV: Robert Byrd (died): PPP bucks the Raese trend. 60% R victory (from 65%).

WI: Russ Feingold: Ron Johnson hits the jackpot with +7, +7, +7 in recent polls. 80% R victory (from 85%).

The simulation

100,000 trials using the probabilities above.


And it’s a slight, slight setback for the GOP. Still solidly at a 7 seat gain, and with a tilt toward 8 seats as second place, rather than 6. Those three outcomes make up 65% (64,985) of the curve. However the Republicans lose a third of their majority chances, dropping to 5% (5,502). Exactly 1 trial out of the 100,000 gave Democrats a gain of one seat.

What New York gave, it took away from Republicans, but states I expect to be close (Nevada and Washington) gave some back. We seem to be settling in at 7. It’s obvious we’d be talking about 8 to 9 seats had Mike Castle won his primary, though. That’s the one big shift I’ve seen since starting these weekly projections.


2 Responses to “Senate Projection for October 12”

  1. I have a small quibble here – a new poll just came out today with McCain at 56%, and leading +34%!! That earns a 99.9% probability of winning in my book. IOW, if AL and AR are 99.9%’ers, then AZ should be one too. Just IMO.

  2. McCain’s lead has been a bit more volatile. He also has polls in the mid to low teens at times, and I don’t base my rating just on the one newest poll.

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