• Strongly Dem (44)
  • Likely Dem (1)
  • Barely Dem (2)
  • Exactly tied (1)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (3)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
Dem pickups : (None)

News from the Votemaster

Both Parties See Campaign Looking Favorable for the Republicans

With the election tomorrow, both parties see the Republicans having numerous paths to control of the Senate. On the other hand, with so many close races, an edge is not a sure thing. The Democrats are certain to lose seats, but it is still possible they could hold their losses to five seats and retain control. The key states to watch are Iowa, Colorado, and Alaska. But the final results for Alaska may not be known for days. Also, there are likely to be runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia.

Today's map shows what is probably a worst-case scenario for the Democrats--the Republicans pick up eight seats. Under these conditions, if Greg Orman (I) wins in Kansas, he will surely caucus with the Republicans giving them 53 seats in all.

In the House, the Republicans are sure to add some seats, the only question being how many. Most likely it will be in the range of 5 to 10.

Governors races are a different story, with incumbents of both parties in trouble all over the country. Especially close and bitter races are taking place in Maine, Georgia, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Florida, where unpopular Republican incumbents are all endangered. If the Republicans capture the Senate but many incumbent Republican governors lose, it will be hard to conclude anything but the peasants are coming for the politicians with pitchforks.

Republicans Are Bragging about Their Chances

Usually parties are modest about predicting big victories for fear that their voters will stay home, but this year RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was openly predicting a Senate takeover. He said he was confident that the Republicans' ground game was as good as the Democrats and pointed to easy wins in Montana, West Virginia, and South Dakota, plus other states where the Republican is leading.

Early Ballots in Colorado Now Favor Democrats, But Possibly Too Little Too Late

Democrats improved their performance in Colorado Saturday, with the 5000 votes in crucial Arapahoe County going Democratic by four points. Up until then, Republicans were leading by seven points. However, the most Republican county in the state, El Paso County, hasn't reported yet. One difference between this year and previous ones is that this year for the first time Colorado is having all mail-in vote, like Oregon and Washington. In those states, turnout is larger than in other states and large turnout generally favors the Democrats.

Nevertheless, it is hard to make predictions from the early returns because different demographic groups seem to have different voting patterns. Older people voted in droves as soon as they got their ballots, so the initial returns were heavily Republican. Now younger people are starting to vote.

Nate Silver Gives Republicans a 73 Percent Chance of Capturing the Senate

Statistician Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com gives the Democrats a 27% chance of capturing the Senate and the Republicans a 73% chance. In one key state, Arkansas, Silver gives Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) a 94% chance of winning. Colorado and Iowa are also looking good for the Republicans and probably Georgia and Kentucky as well. Alaska is tough to call.

The big unknown here is turnout. The Democrats have a $60 million get-out-the-vote project to get marginal voters to the polls. If it works, they might hang onto the Senate. If it doesn't they won't.

If the Republicans take the Senate, they might get as many as 53 seats even though they need only 51 to control it. The margin is very important because the 2016 map favors the Democrats strongly and if the Republican majority in Jan. 2015 is only 1 or 2 seats, the Democrats will almost certainly erase it in 2016, but if it is three seats, that becomes harder (but by no means impossible).

What will be especially interesting about tomorrow's election is whether any Democrat wins a state Romney won or any Republican wins an Obama state. It is entirely possible that the Senate election will exactly correspond to the last presidential election. If that happens, it will essentially mean a year of campaigning and $4 billion was wasted because Democrats win in blue states and Republicans win in red states and nothing else matters.

Most Voters Will Use Paper Ballots Tomorrow

After the 2000 election fiasco, where hanging chads and pregnant chads were all the rage, the federal government spent $3 billion for electronic voting machines. Most of them ended up in the junk heap. Nearly 70% of the ballots cast tomorrow will be on paper as states have ditched their old and unreliable voting machines. Too many researchers showed how easy it was to hack them, and for a number of states, that was the last straw. Other states, like Colorado, keep their machines under video surveillance and keep records of when the software in them is changed. Ohio took a different route, with a law saying that all machines must generate a paper trail.

In one of the worst scenarios to date, an electronic machine in North Carolina in 2004 simply lost 4500 votes when it stopped functioning correctly. The race was decided by fewer than 2000 votes.

Romney Says He is Not Running in 2016

Yesterday on Fox News, Mitt Romney repeatedly said he is not running in 2016. With such a fractured field, Romney would be in a good position to get the nomination, but it sounds like he means it this time.

Cruz Wants to Make the Senate Like the House

If the Republicans capture the Senate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) plans to declare war on the Obama administration, with endless attacks and investigations. This will raise his profile for a 2016 presidential run. It will also be a major headache for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) if he is majority leader. McConnell is more concerned with how the Republicans will do in 2016, not how far right the Senate can move. He knows that there will be pressure on the Republicans to show they can govern. If 2016 rolls around and all Congress has done is investigate Obama, it will be hard to convince the voters that the Republicans should be given the keys to the White House. So expect big battles between Cruz and McConnell if the GOP wins the Senate, which seems more likely than not based on the polls.

Today's Senate Polls

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Alaska Mark Begich* 45% Dan Sullivan 46%     Nov 01 Nov 02 PPP
Colorado Mark Udall* 45% Cory Gardner 48%     Nov 01 Nov 02 PPP
Georgia Michelle Nunn 44% David Perdue 48%     Oct 27 Oct 30 Marist Coll.
Hawaii Brian Schatz* 71% Cam Cavasso 20%     Oct 11 Oct 18 Ward Research
Illinois Dick Durbin* 51% Jim Oberweis 41%     Nov 01 Nov 02 PPP
Kentucky Alison Lundergan-Grimes 41% Mitch McConnell* 50%     Oct 27 Oct 30 Marist Coll.
Louisiana Mary Landrieu* 45% Bill Cassidy 50%     Oct 27 Oct 30 Marist Coll.
Michigan Gary Peters 51% Terri Land 38%     Nov 01 Nov 02 PPP
Minnesota Al Franken* 51% Mike McFadden 40%     Oct 27 Oct 30 SurveyUSA
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen* 48% Scott Brown 49%     Oct 31 Nov 01 New England College
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen* 49% Scott Brown 48%     Oct 29 Nov 02 U. of New Hampshire

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster
Nov02 Many Undecided Voters May Not Vote
Nov02 Good Weather Equals Bad News for Republicans
Nov02 McConnell Campaign Sends Election Violation Notice Mailer to Voters
Nov02 Reid Says Control of the Senate Depends on Iowa
Nov02 No Matter the Outcome, Neither Party Will Have a Mandate
Nov02 Conservatives Freaking Out at a Possible Bush Run in 2016
Nov01 GOP Takeover of the Senate May Be Short Lived
Nov01 The Trend is Towards Single-Party Control of the States
Nov01 Fighting for the Last 1000 Votes in Alaska
Nov01 Landrieu Tells the Truth and Gets Attacked for It
Nov01 Iowa Could Be the Key to Control of the Senate
Nov01 In 2016, the Focus Will Be Blue-state Republicans
Nov01 Biased News Coverage Flourishes as Election Day Approaches
Oct31 Larry Sabato Calls Senate for Republican
Oct31 Democrats Playing the Race Card in the South
Oct31 Legal Battles in Georgia Very Likely
Oct31 Republican Governors Association Donors Get Special Access
Oct30 New Senate Could Have As Many as 27 Women
Oct30 Colorado Senate Race Is All about Birth Control
Oct30 Are There Really Many Moderate Voters?
Oct30 Sometimes Sure-Thing Candidates Fizzle Out
Oct30 Republicans Poised to Make Gains in State Legislatures
Oct30 Obama Hides, Hillary Soars
Oct29 Georgia Judge Rules against Registering Voters
Oct29 Five States That Might Hold Surprises
Oct29 Republicans Close Polling Place To Suppress Student Vote
Oct29 McConnell May Get His Wish--and Regret It
Oct29 Obama Made a Rare Campaign Appearance for Mary Burke
Oct29 Dance for DCCC Chair is in Full Swing
Oct28 Do You Need an ID to Vote?
Oct28 What Name Should a Married Female Candidate Use?
Oct28 Everybody Wants To Be DSCC Chairman in 2016
Oct28 Cheapskate Senators Could Be Hurting the Republicans
Oct28 If Pat Roberts Loses, It is His Own Fault
Oct28 Begich and Murkowski in Fight over Photo
Oct28 Larry Flynt Spices Up the Kentucky Senate Race
Oct27 Voters Expect Republicans to Win the Senate
Oct27 People Really Dislike Congress
Oct27 Kentucky Newspapers Endorse Alison Lundergan Grimes
Oct27 Unusually Many Senate Races Are Up for Grabs
Oct27 Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee Are on a Collision Course
Oct27 Jeb Bush More Than Likely to Run According to His Son
Oct27 Tech Companies Learning about Politics the Hard Way
Oct27 Pentagon Watching Development of Online Voting Carefully
Oct26 Colorado and 2016
Oct26 2014 Is the Year of the Independent
Oct26 Armies of Poll Watchers Are Being Mobilized for Election Day
Oct26 A GOP Senate Would Lead to Endless Battles on Many Issues
Oct25 Republican Pollster Gives Begich Massive Lead in Alaska
Oct25 Joni Ernst Skips Meeting with the Des Moines Register