Senate Outlook: Still Cloudy, Despite GOP Triumphalism

Since I’ve spent some time here recently discussing the possible consequences of a Republican takeover of the Senate, it’s a good time to mention that current polling of the key contests by no means makes that outcome a heavy probability.

Stu Rothenberg of Roll Call, who has been known to put the occasional thumb on the scales for the GOP, has a new assessment that concludes party control of the Senate remains “up in the air.” The Cook Political Report still rates eight races as toss-ups. FiveThirtyEight‘s Harry Enten, while calling Democrats’ position “perilous,” still notes that current polling would suggest Democrats holding onto 51 seats. There’s new Marist polling out of Michigan and Colorado providing Democrats good news in those states, and the close and nasty GOP runoff in Georgia is doing nothing to lower Michelle Nunn’s prospects.

As more polls adopt and refine likely voter screens, and as (or if) Republican overcome primary divisions, that could all change. But it’s entirely possible the current GOP triumphalism over the Senate is fundamentally no different from the effort by conservative media to spin Mitt Romney right into the White House in 2012.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.