Top Election Forecaster Shifts Senate Projection Toward GOP

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted its forecast of control for the Senate toward Republicans on Friday, The Hill reports.

“Republicans enter the final days of the midterms with the political winds at their backs and the slight momentum in the battle for Senate control. While a handful of races remain incredibly tight, and polls show they could go either way, the far better national environment for Republicans has many Democratic strategists we have talked to staring down a gloomy prospect,” wrote Jessica Taylor, who tracks Senate races for the Cook Political report.

After a summer when Democrats saw their prospects briefly improve following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, surveys show that issues like the economy and inflation are currently resonating more than abortion.

Though Taylor notes that Democrats could still maintain a narrow majority, Republicans could pick up as many as three seats on Tuesday and shift power in the 50-50 Senate.

Key races:

Republicans may have an edge in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s lead has dwindled over Mehmet Oz in recent polls amid questions about his recovery from a stroke he suffered in May following a debate last week.

Taylor wrote that the Wisconsin race between Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has also shifted from “toss-up” to “lean Republican” because “the national climate gives the incumbent the slightest of edges, while Republicans have pummeled Barnes on crime. Many national Democratic strategists we talked to closely watching this race concede those attacks have worked, and aren’t optimistic given the worsening political environment.”

Run-off in Georgia?:

Taylor also noted that the Georgia Senate race between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker could go to a run-off if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote due to a number of other candidates on the ballot.

Walker may be favored to win in a head-to-head matchup, according to Taylor. “However, we also now see a scenario where — driven by potential large margins of Gov. Brian Kemp in his rematch with Stacey Abrams — Walker could win outright if it is an outstanding night for Republicans.”


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