The Senate Elections — More Controversies Ahead?
Author: Greg Valliere
September 30, 2022
UNLIKE THE HOUSE OUTLOOK, which points to a takeover for Republicans, our latest review of Senate elections persuades us that a continued 50-50 tie is possible, which would keep the Democrats in control.
AFTER THE ELECTION CONTROVERSIES IN 2020, several Senate races — in Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio and other razor-thin elections — will be vulnerable to charges of fraud. Welcome to the era of endless election challenges, which will become the norm.
BEFORE LOOKING AT SPECIFIC SENATE RACES, we would point to still another controversy: leading polltakers still aren’t sure that their methodology is accurate. A fascinating article in Politico earlier this week analyzed issues like cell phone vs. land line canvassing of voters, and whether enough respondents are non-college graduates.
POLLTAKERS HAVE BEEN NOTORIOUSLY INACCURATE in recent elections, and there’s a suspicion that they still have problems in getting accurate samples. Most experts believe conservative voters are under-represented in polls; that certainly has been the case with Donald Trump, who has performed far better than the polls predicted.
IF THERE’S EVEN A SLIGHT POLLING BIAS FOR DEMOCRATS, it Would make a huge difference in projecting Senate elections. Nevertheless, here’s our latest summary:
IN THE 50-50 SENATE, the Democrats have three shaky states — Nevada, New Hampshire and perhaps Georgia. But it’s entirely possible that they will lose only Nevada, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto trails.
THE REPUBLICANS HAVE two vulnerable seats: Wisconsin, and the open seat in Pennsylvania, where Dr. Mehmet Oz has narrowed the gap with John Fetterman. Republicans face close races in North Carolina and in Ohio, where J.D. Vance hasn’t run a good campaign. But those two states tilt toward the Republicans.
THE STATE TO WATCH IS WISCONSIN, where controversial Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has opened up a 5 point lead in a new poll out yesterday. If Democrats don’t take him out, the math gets difficult for them to keep the Senate. An upset or two is always possible; Sens. Michael Bennett (D) in Colorado and Marco Rubio (R) in Florida are in surprisingly close races.
WE’LL MAKE FINAL CALLS IN LATE OCTOBER, but for now it looks like the Democrats could lose one seat, and the Republicans could lose one seat — which means the Senate tie could persist for another two years. But momentum now becomes crucial and there was a slight momentum uptick for the Republicans in late September.
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