Sunday, September 28, 2014

Senate Sense

I have gone on record as saying that the Democrats will somehow come out of the midterm elections still controlling the Senate, if only because Vice president Joe Biden will be the deciding vote in a 50-50 chamber.

That was last week. And a new spate of polls has the left in a bit of a tizzy, since they seem to show the GOP potentially picking up 7 seats, which would give them clear control. Let's take a look.

RealClearPolitics shows nine tossup races on their election map, but new polls last week also show Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado and Georgia moving to the right. One notable poll, from Qinnipiac, is clearly and outlier, but especially in Colorado, the trend is towards the Republican. Electoral-vote also shows the same trends, although a mouse-over some of the more contested states shows razor-thin majorities in Colorado, Arkansas and Iowa. And over at the Princeton Election Consortium, the Meta-margin is currently at R+0.9 using a polls-only model.

So what does this mean?

That the races are still too close to call and that we need many more polls to make some sense of where we stand. No candidate in any of the contentious states has 50% in any poll or poll average, making it difficult to gauge anything other than movement towards one candidate or the other. In the end, the Senate race will be one of bragging rights since President Obama will veto anything he doesn't like. The big repercussions will have to do with judicial and other nominees, where the Senate will most likely advise, but not consent. And in 2016 the GOP will be at the disadvantage, having to defend 23 seats.

The best news for the left, though, is the news that the GOP is still moving farther to the right, as evidenced by this past weeks Values Voter Summit.  As long as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Perry are the faces of the Republicans, they will continue to lose national races.

For more, go to or Twitter @rigrundfest 


  1. I just hope Obama does veto legislation he doesn't like and not cave to republicans in an effort to look "willing to compromise".

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