Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Democrats should like their odds of retaking the Senate

By Richard Barry

Doug Sosnik at Politico seems to be saying three related but distinct things in an article about who will hold a majority in the U.S. Senate after the 2016 election. The first is that whichever party wins the presidency is likely to take the Senate; the second is that since the odds seem to favour Hillary Clinton winning it all, the Democrats will likely regain control;  and the third is that even without a Hillary win the Democrats hold certain advantages based on demographics and where Republican incumbents are.
After picking up nine seats in the 2014 elections, Republicans maintain a decisive 54-seat majority in the Senate. In 2016, they will face a much more difficult map that coincides with a presidential election year. Nineteen months before the 2016 elections, the contours of the race for the presidency are only now starting to take shape. But one thing that is clear at this point is that the outcome of the presidential race will likely determine control of the Senate

His analysis is based on five point:

  • 2016 presidential and Senate target states are almost perfectly aligned;
  • A state‚Äôs vote for a Senate candidate increasingly mirrors the vote for president;
  • Changing demographics and increased turnout during a presidential election year will benefit all Democrats on the ballot;
  • The Senate math favors Democrats (more senators are up for re-election in blue states);
  • The party that wins the White House will control a 50/50 Senate.
Maybe the overall point is that 2016 will be kinder to Senate Democrats than 2014, whatever else happens. That seems like a safe bet.

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