Republicans Could Retake Senate—Or Not

Mitch McConnellWe have more election forecasts, although this one is from real political scientists, so it deserves to be taken seriously. The model is thanks to John Sides and the rest of the crew that hang out over at The Monkey Cage, How Republicans Can Win the Senate in 2014. They put the probability at 54% and say that it is all going to come down to four elections: Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, and Montana.

That’s all fine. I’ve given them a 50% chance of taking back the Senate for about a year now. And I’m not clear whether their computer model really provides any more insights than my wild ass guess. That’s not to put down the effort. The information is useful and I recommend reading the article if you are interested in such matters. But in the end, it’s going to be the idiosyncrasies of the election that determines who controls the Senate in 2014.

Alison Lundergan GrimesIt’s still early, but the model claims that, for example, Georgia leans Republican. This is despite the fact that Michelle Nunn is actually leading in the polls. Even more interesting, Kentucky is put firmly in the Republican column, but according to the Kentucky Herald-Leader, Alison Lundergan Grimes Holds a Slim 4-point Advantage Over Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

Clearly, we are going to know a lot more after the Republican primaries. The big question is whether the GOP will nominate some of those magnificent nutjobs that they are so known for. I think it is important to remember that if the Republicans were smart about this stuff, they would already control the Senate. The problem is that “crazy” is a stochastic variable. The real question is whether just by random chance the Republicans will nominate a high or low number of crazies.

Regardless, we are still stuck with the usual calculus for the 2014 Senate elections. The Republicans have a good chance of taking over the Senate. And they also have a good chance of screwing up. As a Democrat, I’m not thrilled with that. But if I were a Republican, I would be worried.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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