Unlikely Voter

Conservative views on polls, science, technology, and policy

Senate Projection for October 26

Candidates are running out of time to make moves this year. Last week the Republicans stayed just on the edge of gaining seven seats, though I thought some of that was due to some freak polls.

We’ll see now just how freaky they were.


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. Further, since Murkowski has confirmed she will remain a Republican, I will split this rating in two. 99.9% R victory from 60%, with 55% chance of Miller over Murkowski.

AZ: John McCain: This is getting lopsided. 99.9% R victory.

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

CA: Barbara Boxer: Two-track polling showing up in CA. 25% R victory from 45%.

CO: Michael Bennet: Other polls follow PPP down, but not so far. 55% R victory.

CT: Chris Dodd (retiring): Polling stabilizes for Blumenthal. 5% R victory from 10%.

DE: Joe Biden (resigned): Still only one poll since the debate, discounting the TCJ Research poll I’m not including. 1% R victory.

FL: Mel Martinez (resigned): Yeah Zogby, go out on that limb. 95% R victory.

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

HI: Daniel Inouye: Two new polls, but with mixed results. 0.1% R victory.

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

IL: Barack Obama (resigned): Kirk strings together five small wins. 65% R victory from 50%.

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): PPP really lifts up Paul’s average. 85% R victory from 65%.

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: 8 of the last 10 polls favor Angle. 55% R victory.

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 has never led this race. 85% R victory.

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.

OH: George Voinovich (retiring): Portman leads cross over 20. 99% 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): PPP apparently confirmed, Sestak now in a band around 45. 55% R victory from 75%.

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 keeps a tiny lead. 40% R victory (from 45%).

WV: Robert Byrd (died): Huge volatility in this polling, but PPP gives Manchin a bigger lead than Fox gives Raese. 45% R victory.

WI: Russ Feingold: Ron Johnson has a bad poll.. in which he still leads. 80% R victory.

The simulation

100,000 trials using the probabilities above.


As I expected, some of those rating-shaping polls last week were off, but some were real. It’s once again for the Republicans a 7 seat gain projected, with 7 ahead of 6 by 2,000 trials, not 600. The three most likely outcomes are 6, 7, and 8, with that range accounting for 66% (66,396) of the curve. The GOP loses a little bit more of their majority chances, though, hanging on to 3% (2,830). Once again exactly 2 trials out of the 100,000 gave Democrats a gain of one seat.

It looks like the Republicans and Democrats both are shoring up their floors of results, while keeping the other side from getting too high of a ceiling. The races are polarizing. Some partisan dreams are becoming real, while others are being forgotten.


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