Will the GOP Have 56 Seats in the Next Senate?

While a third of the Senate is up for re-election, only a handful of seats are actually in play. This is the way they are shaping up.


Martha McSally vs. Kyrsten Sinema.


The RCP average gives McSally a fraction of a point lead.

Over at fivethirtyeight.com, they are headlining a poll by a company called Data Orbital that puts Sinema up by 5-8 points. The poll claims that if there is a 9 point GOP voting advantage (AZ is a GOP +9 registration state) that Sinema wins by 5. I don’t think you get there from here.

Past Arizona elections and the increased GOP intensity I posted on yesterday leads me to believe that Arizona stays in the GOP column.


The RCP average gives Rick Scott a +2.

Three new polls came out today, all likely voter screens, that have Rick Scott and Bill Nelson tied, Scott +5, and Nelson +6.

This is going to be a tight race and Rick Scott should be able to pull it off.


The RCP average has Joe Donnelly up by 3.

Last Friday, one poll had Donelly up by 10. Today four polls were released, three have Mike Braun up by four, one has Donnelly up by one. The RCP average hasn’t figured those polls in yet. Looking at the trend, before October 17, Donnelly led in all polls by 1 to 4 points (I’m not counting the +10 nonsense). Now the momentum seems to have shifted.

This is touch and go but Mike Braun could very well knock off Donnelly.


Just throwing this one in because I’ve been really impressed with John James. But he’s down by double digits to Debbie Stabenow and, barring a miraculous occurrence, he’s going to lose.


This could be a sleeper race. Democrat Tina Smith is facing Republican Karin Housley for the seat vacated by #MeToo roadkill Al Franken. Housley still trails by 9 points in the RCP average but the last two polls have Housley down by 6 and 3. Smith is a favorite here but Housley is showing surprising strength and the stench of Keith Ellison may make this a cliffhanger.


And I missed this. Smith skipped the scheduled debate with Housley. This is probably not going to help her.


Josh Hawley has a fraction of a point lead in the RCP average, but, in the aggregate, he seems to be leading. He has led in every poll since October 4. On the whole, we should feel very good about our chances in this race.


Jon Tester clings to a 3 point lead over Matt Rosendale in the RCP average. But we really don’t know what is happening there. The last real poll was October 1 and it had Tester +4. The next week there was a bizarre poll out of the University of Montana that had Tester leading by 24. No sane person believes that. Gut feeling says that this race is very, very close and that Tester is the favorite but that a Rosendale win should not be a shock.


RCP gives Dean Heller a 1.7 point lead over Jacky Rosen. That may or may not be true. The polls have been clustered and nearly all of them show it to be a 1-2 point race. I think Heller is going to keep his seat but it will be close.

North Dakota

I think we can call this one right now. Kevin Cramer has led Heidi Heitkamp by double digits in every poll since October 1.

But Game Changer!



RCP shows Marsha Blackburn up by 6 points over Phil Bredesen. In two of the last three polls Bredesen was +1 and in the other Blackburn was +3. So the race may be closer than six but it seems like Blackburn is the favorite at this time.

West Virginia

I think it is safe to say that incumbent Joe Manchin is in the lead. In the last five polls, he’s led Patrick Morrisey by–from oldest to newest–4, 1, 4, 6. and 16. We can toss that last one out as a nutter poll, but, even so, Manchin seems to be dominating the race. Though in a state where Trump won by 42 points, anything could happen.

My best guess is that we hold Arizona, Tennessee, and Nevada and we pick up North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana. If I were really bold, I’d say Rick Scott pulls it out in Florida. And it isn’t hard to see a win in Montana.

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