Scott Rasmussen gives his predictions on the midterms and says it’s all going to come down to small difference in turnout. The GOP is more likely to pick up seats in the Senate than lose seats and Democrats should get control of the house. Even an average midterm result would put Democrats in power. The Senate races are so close that If Republican turnout is up just a couple of points higher than expected, the GOP could win all six races. The reverse is true as well for Democrats.
- Is current polling accurately predicting how close the election is?
- Will availability of polling locations swing the election?
- Will Republicans keep control of the Senate?
As Election Day approaches, expectations are pretty much where they’ve been for the past six months. In the Senate, Republicans are more likely to gain seats than lose the majority. In the House, Democrats are favored to win control, but it may not be much of a “blue wave.”
These general expectations have remained fairly stable because the broad contours of every election are shaped by geography and history. Republicans are expected to do well in the Senate because Democrats must defend many seats in states that are generally GOP turf. Democrats are expected to do well in the House because the party out of power almost always gains ground in midterm elections. Even an average midterm result would put the Democrats in charge.
Despite this general stability, there is a wide range of possible outcomes because so many races are so close. As I write this on Wednesday, there are six highly competitive Senate races. Five of them are pure toss-ups (Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada). Montana is barely tilting to the Democrats as Jon Tester tries to hang on in a very Republican state.
ScottRasmussen.com has been doing some private research for the Auto Alliance and the National Retail Federation on all six of these races. In each case, we’ve examined three different turnout models. We have a baseline projection and then also look at what things might be like if turnout is just a couple of points better for one party or the other. The results are stunning. If Republican turnout is up just a couple of points higher than expected, the GOP could win all six of those races. The reverse is true as well if Democratic turnout is a couple of points higher than expected.
The practical implications of these small shifts are enormous. A Republican sweep of the competitive races would give them a 56-44 majority in the Senate. A Democratic sweep would lead to a 50-50 Senate. Most likely, the results will end up somewhere in between, but the potential for a blowout in either direction cannot be completely dismissed.