Nate Silver’s Blog’s Final US Senate Predictions

US-CAPITOLAt 12:01 on Election Day morning, Nate Silver and his election prognosticators at the FIVETHIRTYEIGHT Blog posted, “Republicans have a 76.2% chance of winning a majority” of the US Senate (the blog predicted all 50 states correctly in the 2012 presidential election). See link for its 2014 Senate Forecast.

You will notice that 7 races are still close – here are the ones to watch:

  • Kansas – Roberts (R) vs Orman (I) – dead even!
  • North Carolina – Hagan (D) +1% over Tillis (R)
  • Iowa – Ernst (R) +2% over Braley (D)
  • Colorado – Gardner (R) +2% over Udall (D)
  • Alaska – Sullivan (R) +2% over Begich (D)
  • Georgia – Perdue (R) +2% over Nunn (D)
  • New Hampshire – Shaheen (D) +2% over Brown (R)

In both Louisiana and Arkansas the Republican candidates are favored by 5%, so let’s figure they go that way. So it looks like the Republicans go into Election Day leading the Democrats in senate seats 48 to 45. Therefore, Republicans need to win 3 of the 7 swing races to get to 51 and take control of the senate. The Democrats need to win 5 of the 7 swing seats to get to 50 and control the senate because the Vice President breaks tie votes.

I hope this analysis is helpful as you watch the returns when the polls close. Most importantly, PLEASE VOTE!

Jim Maisano

Will Silver Be Correct Again In Election 2014



It’s two weeks until Election Day, and I’m curious whether statistician Nate Silver will be correct again this year? Silver runs the popular blog and bases his election predictions more on the laws of probability than political analysis.

In the 2008 presidential election, Silver correctly predicted 49 of 50 states and followed that with a perfect 50 of 50 states in 2012. Silver became popular on the political left because in both elections he predicted that President Obama would be the winner and his blog appeared to a wider audience in The New York Times. Ironically, I noticed some recent left wing social media criticism of Silver because of his 2014 predictions.

In 2012, I believed the GOP talking heads that claimed the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney to be closer than the polling indicated and actually thought Romney might win. I was wrong, but Silver was right, and he became known as the most accurate forecaster in the country. Silver’s 2014 analysis is getting a lot of attention because he predicts that Republicans have a 65% chance of taking back the US Senate (LINK: I also expect a GOP Senate win on November 4 based on the current polling, but recognize that a lot can happen in two weeks and believe some races are still too close to call.

Jim Maisano