Oct 01 2010

Dems-GOP Tied For Control Of Senate

Published by at 9:26 am under 2010 Elections,All General Discussions

While I tend to watch the RCP senate map to see where the November elections are heading, I think the Pollster.com senate picture is actually more accurate. The snapshot below (click to enlarge) is from today, and it represents the current state of play in the Senate much better in my opinion.

Pollster.com shows the Dems and GOP both at 47 (RCP has it 48-46, Dems) because it keeps the two independents out of the Dem column (does anyone think Independent Joe Leiberman would not caucus with the GOP to retain some power?). Pollster.com has CO in the GOP column (which is where it will be soon enough in RCP). The tossups are WA, WV, IL and NV. The Dems need to win 1 of these 4 to retain control (with VP Biden breaking the tie) and the GOP needs all 4.

Seems tough, but the fact is the toss ups all look really good for the GOP. In NV Reid has yet to get above 45%, which is the death point for ALL incumbents. Add to that his son is at the top of the ticket running for governor and losing badly. It is not hard to see reverse coat tails, where his son drags down dusty Harry to defeat. Once you vote the son out, might as well send dad packing too!

WV is trending strongly GOP because the vote there is not for favored son Governor Manchin, it is against the liberals in DC. IL is well within reach as is WA. So while this map looks at a glance to be tougher, the reality is it is very close to the most likely outcome. CA and CT and NY-S all are allocated to the Dems (no sure thing, but the polls so far show enough lead this is the likely outcome). Today this picture of the senate looks to a 51-47-2 spread (R-D-I), which is where I think the most likely outcome is 4 weeks out. But if there is a big, unseen wave out there, this picture would be the low end of some truly surprising scenarios.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Dems-GOP Tied For Control Of Senate”

  1. AJ,

    See this Nate Silver Post:


    The Nate Silver’s table in that post gives you a fair idea of what election night 2010 is going to look like in the Senate.

    1) There are a number of incumbent Democratic Senate candidates that are 3-to-6 points behind Republicans that are being rated as “Toss-up” in the polls.

    The Nate Silver’s table says 79% of them are going to lose.

    2) There are a number of incumbant Democatic Senate candidates that are 0-to-3 points ahead.

    The Nate Silver’s table says 46% of them will lose, on average.

    3) As far as I can see at Real Clear Politics, there are no Republican Senate incumbents or Republican open seats that Republicans are less than 6% ahead their nearest opponent.

    The Nate Silver’s table says that is a 100% retention for Republicans in those seats.

    4) There are several incumbent Senate Democratics who are 3-to-6% ahead.

    The Nate Silver table says 25% of them will lose.

    Use those facts in the posted RCP Senate map.

  2. AJStrata says:


    not only did I read Nate’s article, I commented on his blog. I know the GOP could go higher (but forget DE – that one is too far gone). I just find the pollster map more timely.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Rasmussen says:

    Current projections suggest that the Democrats would hold 49 seats after Election Day while the Republicans would hold 47. Four states are in the Toss-Up category (Illinois, Nevada, Washington, and West Virginia). All four Toss-Ups are seats currently held by Democrats.

  4. WWS says:

    Even if the Republicans go on the low end and up with only 47, the Senate will be dramatically changed and effectively powerless. The boatload of Dem Senators coming up for re-elect in 2012 are going to be scared of their own shadows and will be voting conservative, trying to position themselves for that election, more than they will vote liberal.

    Nothing except extremely compromised, non-controversial bills are going to be able to pass this senate for the next 2 years no matter who wins. Each side is going to retain enough power under *every* plausible scenario to block the other side from doing much of anything.

    Which is why from the beginning I’ve been maintaining that taking control of the Senate would be nice, but in terms of getting anything done this election is only useful insofar as it lays the groundwork for taking an *effective* (ie, 60 seat) majority in 2012.

    And in a 50 GOP, 49 Dem Senate, I believe Liebermann caucuses with the Dems, makes it 50-50 and lets Joe Biden cast the deciding vote to keep Dems in charge – that’s his best path to retaining power in the Senate. Don’t get all misty eyed about Joe Liebermann – he’s still a Democrat at heart, and always will be. The only way he would ever ask to caucus with the GOP is if they already had a 51 or 52 seat majority, but then who he caucuses with becomes irrelevant and the GOP would probably turn him down. (because he’d be taking a committee chairmanship away from someone who’s been loyal to the GOP for many years)

    conclusion – Liebermann will never caucus with the GOP under any scenario.

  5. AJStrata says:


    Rasmussen is seeing the same basic situation then

  6. >>>forget DE – that one is too far gone


    You should be speculating on which completely off the radar Democratic Senate seat goes down in 2010.

    Dick Morris is talking up the NY senate seats for media attention, but don’t see them myself.

    My bet is Oregon because of strictly local tax issues.

    Oregon public employee unions recently passed an initiative raising taxes in a low turn out special election.

    Now the Oregon public is highly ticked off having to pay those higher taxes and Democrats hold the “We favor high taxes” brand.

    I just don’t see people voting against Oregon Democrats locally not also taking it out on the incumbent Democratic Federal Senator.

    Discouraged Oregon Democratic voters out there will be even more so when the early election returns from back east…and that is the stuff of wich upsets are made.

  7. AJ,

    The NRO Battle ’10 blog says the DSCC is seeing things the same way as Rasmussen

    Friday Senate Roundup

    October 1, 2010 11:00 A.M. By Andrew Stiles

    • The Hill reports that the DSCC has not reserved any airtime in Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina or Florida, an indication that the Democrats are all but conceding those races:

    Democratic leaders are deciding where to spend precious resources as they debate which Senate candidates can survive the Republican onslaught.

    Eight states are emerging as the battlegrounds that will decide the margin of Senate control, according to interviews with Republican and Democratic strategists.

    They are Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

    Of those eight, the GOP candidate is either leading or tied.

  8. AJStrata says:


    Well the DSCC can kiss off, CO, MO, NV, PA, WI and WV. They could make a fight for IL. I know they will waste time and money in NV to save Reid. What they need to do is watch WA, CA, CT and NY-S. The battle front keeps marching left, and the dems are being routed.

  9. AJ,

    I have seen other reports that the DCCC has already given up on Kentucky, Missouri, & Pennsylvania.

    Right now Democrats and quite a few Senate Republicans are very heavily invested in the line that “Tea Party Senate Candidates are losers.”

    There is a good reason to push that line, given that Sen Demint of SC supported Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Joe Miller in Alaska, Mike Lee in Utah, Ken Buck in Colorado and Sharron Angle in Nevada and all but O’Donnell look like they’re getting in.

    It also tells you why Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has finally used the power he always had to block Obama’s executive branch recess appointments.

    If McConnell didn’t, it would be used against him in a future Republican Senate leadership fight with Demint.

    This also means McConnell must keep using this power for the rest of the Obama Presidency to block recess appointments, because Rand Paul in Kentucky, Joe Miller in Alaska, Mike Lee in Utah, Ken Buck in Colorado and Sharron Angle in Nevada owe him nothing and DeMint a great deal in a Senate majority leader fight.

    See this from Jay Cost’s “Daily Jay” over at Weekly Standard:


    3. Is The Senate in Play? Stuart Rothenberg says yes, and that “Senate Democrats can’t take their East Coast/West Coast firewall for granted.”

    This is how I see it playing out. The RealClearPolitics averages of the polls show the GOP on track for eight pickups, with West Virginia as the latest addition. Harry Reid has held a nominal lead for the last couple months, but he’s still under 45 percent of the vote. That looks like a very gettable seat for the GOP.

    That leaves Republicans needing one more seat, and having to pick one up from one of four Democratic states: California, Connecticut, New York, and Washington. Any is possible, but it is Washington that looks the wobbliest to me. The Evergreen State does not typically have a larger share of Democrat voters than the national average. Instead, the Democratic advantage in the state is due to the large number of independents, who have been breaking heavily against the GOP for the last several cycles.

    But not this cycle. Polls show the GOP has a big advantage with independents nationwide, and that could be enough to tip the Rossi-Murray contest if the pattern shows up in Washington. For instance, the recent SurveyUSA poll of Washington found Patty Murray with a two-point lead over Dino Rossi, but its estimated electorate is about as pro-Democratic as 2008. If you re-weight the poll according to the 2004 party ID breakdowns, you’d find Rossi winning because he dominates the independent vote.

    So, two things need to happen for Rossi to win in Washington, both of which look very possible: he wins independents by the kind of margin SurveyUSA is suggesting, and the Republican enthusiasm gap nudges the party spread back to at least where it was a few cycles ago.

    The Democratic firewall in the Senate looks as though it depends upon anti-Obama Democrats in West Virginia, Harry Reid in Nevada somehow finding his way to 50%, and ornery independents in Washington state. That’s not much of a firewall, if you ask me.

  10. oneal lane says:

    Let us all hope for the best regarding the Senate.

    It is difficult to poll inner city democrat voters. They show up for the election day gifts.

    In Baton Rouge in 1996 Clinton gave away small window unit air conditioners. I know a lady that got one.

  11. Redteam says:

    “The battle front keeps marching left, and the dems are being routed.”

    In this case, marching left actually means ‘right’

    and while he won’t be ‘routed’, I still believe the dem in DE will also be submerged under the heavy advance to the right.

    the formerly msm certainly is playing it that O’D has no chance, but I think the Dem rout will let her prevail.

    We can only hope this country won’t elect openly declared Marxists.