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Ear to the Ground

It’s Going to Be Close, but Republicans Have a Good Shot at Taking the Senate

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Posted on Apr 30, 2014

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Running the same simulation 250,000 times, the New York Times’ Upshot blog gives Republicans a 53 percent chance of taking back the Senate.

Not to get carried away, as “the probability is essentially the same as a coin flip,” cautions The Upshot.

Some races are simply too close or too chaotic to predict. In Arkansas, for example, both candidates are extremely unpopular.

There are strong indications that the Democrats are in trouble. The Upshot’s six most troubled incumbents are all Democrats.

Voters tend to punish the president’s party during midterm elections when he is unpopular, and Barack Obama currently has a 43 percent job approval rating.

Also, the issues aren’t exactly breaking for the party of Jackson. Democrats had hoped raising the minimum wage would be a winner this political season, but voter enthusiasm for that issue may be worse than expected.

It doesn’t help President Obama or his party that the Democrats have almost no chance of taking back the House and the Senate-White House axis of power has proven pretty ineffective. Voters generally tire of a stalemate, and may decide change is the best we can hope for this time around.

Heads or tails, you choose.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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