Senate Battle in One Picture

Mike Mish Shedlock

The midterm election coming up in November. I expect Democrats will take the House. The Senate is iffy for Democrats.

The WSJ reports Trump Looms Over Fight for Control of the Senate.

>The fight for the Senate is being fought on a deep red, pro-Trump battlefield that is dramatically different from the suburban landscape where the House majority will be won and lost.

>That is why Democrats chances for erasing Republicans narrow 51-49 Senate margin are longer than their prospects of winning the House majority, which would require them to flip 23 seats.

>In recent weeks, the Senate map has shifted for both parties: Democrats are worrying more than expected about deep-blue New Jersey, where Sen. Bob Menendezwhose trial on federal corruption charges ended last fall in a hung juryfaces a well-funded GOP opponent, Bob Hugin.

>Republicans are more concerned than anyone thought possible about Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruzs lead in polls over Democrat Rep. Beto ORourkeis narrowing.

>Both parties are riveted on Florida, after the upset victory by Tallahassee MayorAndrew Gillum in the Aug. 28 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Some Democrats hope that having Mr. Gillum, an African-American, at the top of the ticket, will boost Democratic turnout for the close race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and the GOP nominee, outgoing Gov. Rick Scott.

>President Trump has packed his fall schedule with campaign events, and GOP leaders have a game plan for extending his influence: After the president appears with GOP candidates before crowds of thousands and lays into their Democratic opponents, the footage is quickly sliced up and dropped into attack ads.

Nate Silver

Here's Nate Silver's House Race Forecast.

I mocked Nate Silver repeatedly in the last presidential election. I had trump a tossup or winning until the last presidential debate after which I expected Trump to lose. The debate was without a doubt a disaster for Trump.

A last minute fiasco for Hillary, involving Comey, changed the tide. I suspect Bernie Sanders would have won. Millennial who failed to vote would have come out for Bernie.

Regarding this forecast, I think Silver has the winning side, but I am nowhere near as confident. I have it at about 60-40.

Senate In Play for Democrats

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not that far-fetched for Democrats to win the Senate. Here's a Senate Map from Real Clear Politics.

For the Democrats to win, they would need to hold every safe or leaning seat, plus win seven of nine tossups.


  1. Ted Cruz (R) just moved into the tossup category for the first time. The latest poll (8-25) has Cruz with a mere 1 point lead in Texas, a state that was supposed to be a shoo-in.
  2. Donnelly (R) is blowing away Braun (D) in Indiana by 12 points but the poll is a bit stale (Early August)
  3. Missouri is a tie in the latest poll (early August)
  4. Tester (D) has a lead in Montana but the poll is stale (July)
  5. Heller (R) has a 1-point lead in Nevada but again, the poll is stale (July)
  6. Cramer (R) has a 4-point lead in North Dakota with a very stale poll (June).
  7. Blackburn (R) has a 4-point lead in Tennessee in an early August poll.
  8. Sinema (D) has a 4-point lead in Arizona a July poll.
  9. Scott (R) has a 6-point lead in Florida in a mid-August poll.

This is looking extremely favorable for the Republicans.

Even if Texas turns out to be a major upset, Democrats need to win all the states that are tied or where they are ahead (Missouri, Montana, Arizona). That would put them at 48, a loss of one seat.Toss in Nevada and North Dakota and you have a 50-50 tie.

This is going to come down to four factors.


  • Tariffs: They are backfiring, but enough to matter?
  • Turnout: Which party will be more energized?
  • Trump: Will his campaigning directly help?
  • Economy: The economy is looking solid, but there are two months to go.

We need more polls to accurately assess the situation, but Democrats odds of taking the Senate while not impossible, appear to be dwindling despite the poor performance of Cruz in a solid Republican state.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (9)
No. 1-6

"I expect Democrats will take the House." - Mish.

The Senate only has one good member (Rand Paul) so it doesn't make any difference which party 'controls' it.

Democrats should pick up 15-25 seats in the House just because it's a midterm election. However, I am going to 'put my money' on an upset and predict a 5-seat gain for Republicans, as happened in 1998 for Democrats when Republicans tried to impeach Clinton.

I will only be 'participating' in the election as an observer.


Corrupt Menendez (D) in NJ will most likely loose


Let's never mention polls or debates in reference to the 2016 or any other Presidential elections again, shall we? That election proved without a doubt that voters' personal well-being dictates how the election will turn out, not whether a debate was good, or an FBI director floundered, or a hack-job exposed greasy details. Two different professors -- Alan Lichtman of American U and Helmut Norpoth of Stony Brook U -- using two different methods of tests, predicted Trump's triumph before any of the summer and autumn dramas. They also predicted the last half dozen races. I'm unsure if their methods are useful for local or statewide races. But it would be interesting if it was!


Another Red wave coming... ALL polls are biased 5-15% minimum in favor of the Democrat - our previous election cycle PROVED this fact in spades. Recalculate the math based on 5-15% pro-Dem fudge factor, and you'll find a Red wave coming...

It's NOT going to be 'close' for Democrats... Repubs will end up winning/keeping most seats... again.

Absolutely no chance in hell that Dems will take the House. None.

Mish should stop trying to prognosticate @ politics - it's unnecessary, he's terrible at it & it hurts his credibility.


Media concentrates on the horse race -- Who might win?

Citizens concentrate on actions -- What might the winner then do?

In my neck of the woods, all the Democrat candidates are taking about how business-friendly they are, and how they are going to bring jobs to the State. Which tells us what the real Democrat internal polling and focus grouping is showing them.

Of course, the Democrats are politicians, and their lips are moving. The possibility that they are lying cannot be casually discarded. Maybe all a Democrat-dominated House would give us is 2 years worth of whining about the President. Ho-hum.


Tariffs are a positive factor for GOP vote - see anecdotal evidence like: ($75k manufacturing jobs can't get filled)

Consumers and global corp profitability (and maybe GDP) hurt by tariffs, but labor is helped and labor won the vote for Trump in 2016.

Global Economics