8 Senate Seat Changes, All Democrat to Republican

Nate Silver has produced “The Ultimate Hour-by-Hour, District-by-District Election Guide.”

Here are his current toplines:

No great surprises.   What really caught my eye, though, was this Senate chart:

Even in an ultra-competitive election, a whopping 8 of 37 Senate contests are remotely likely to chance party hands.  And this is the body that doesn’t have gerrymandering and safe seats!

Silver gives a 100% chance of the Republicans taking over in North Dakota, Arkansas, and Indian and a near certainly of them taking over in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.  And a very strong chance in Illinois and Colorado.   That’s all 8 takeover possibilities; there’s not a single Republican held seats where the Democrats have even a remote shot at takeover.  The closest they come is an 8% chance in Alaska and 7% in Florida!

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Even in an ultra-competitive election, a whopping 8 of 37 Senate contests are remotely likely to chance party hands.

    You’re playing my song, James. Pretty crummy revolution. What I think is most notable about the Senate list is how completely the Midwest is turning to the Republicans.

    And yet I continue to hear claims from Republican partisan diehards that the Republicans will gain ten or eleven seats. Hear’s a question. If you think that Republicans will take the Senate, what seats will they take? Elections aren’t held at large. They’re held state by state.

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    There’s five toss ups in there Jim and would you you like to stake your life that all are going Republican?

  3. James Joyner says:

    None of those races are “toss-ups.” Five and six points spreads in the averaged polling is a very strong lead. I’m not as confidence on the Nevada race as Silver but ALL the polling has her up comfortably.

    Regardless, I’m not guaranteeing a Republican sweep of those seats, even though that does seem the likely outcome. I’m saying of the seats where a change in party is even remotely possible, ALL EIGHT are currently held by Democrats. And so are the next two seats, ranked in terms of vulnerability.

    You get way down to Alaska before you get to a seat currently held by a Republican. And there’s an 8% chance, under Silver’s formula, that the Democrat wins. I’d go on a limb and make that zero.

  4. Brummagem Joe says:

    Jim I just looked at a stack of polls for PA compiled by Scaife’s paper and it’s tied essentially. The same is true of NV. And CO and IL are tied according to the above numbers. These are my definitions of toss ups god knows what yours are