Senate Update: And Not A Good One

Posted by | August 27, 2010 10:24 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

There are few (if any) analysts I trust more than Nate Silver who recently migrated from his own blog to the New York Times.  His newest estimate has the Democrats losing between 6 and 7 seats with a 20% chance that the GOP takes over the Senate.

The Democrats now have an approximately 20 percent chance of losing 10 or more seats in the Senate, according to the model, which would cost them control of the chamber unless Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, who is running for the Senate as an independent, both wins his race and decides to caucus with them. In addition, there is an 11 percent chance that Democrats will lose a total of nine seats, which would leave them with 50 votes, making  them vulnerable to a defection to the Republican Party by a centrist like  Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut or Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

My gut reaction (which is in no way as reliable as Silver’s models) is that the Democrats have better chances than he estimates in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Delaware.  He has all three of these races as having a 69% chance or better of swinging to Republicans.  I also think that Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray are safer than the slightly over 50% chance he gives them.  Whether this is wishful thinking or a logical feeling that the next few months can’t possibly be as bad as the last few for the Democrats, I’m not sure.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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