WASHINGTON, D.C. - There is a very good chance that Republicans will gain control of the Senate in the November elections.
If you like a quantitative approach to such things, the forecasting model at The New York Times says there is a 53 percent chance of a GOP takeover. Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight puts the odds at about 60-40. The election team at The Washington Post gives the GOP a jumbo 82 percent chance.
One reason for this is that the 2014 mid-terms don't look like America. There aren't any Senate elections in five of the most populated seven states: California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Senate elections, of course, run in six-year cycles and are divided into Classes. Class II is up for election in 2014. The states in Class II oddly have few voters compared to the other classes. And they are much more red.
The Democratic pollster Harrison Hickman has broken the states in the three Senates classes down by their 2012 presidential voting:
The class that’s up this year, Class II, is the smallest (about 52% of the total votes cast in 2012) yet the most supportive of Romney (or least supportive of Obama). Nationally, Obama got 51.06 percent of the vote, Romney 47.2 percent.
Not surprisingly, minorities will play an understated role in the Senate vote. According to an analysis by The New York Times, “Hispanic voters make up about 11 percent of eligible voters but represent 5 percent or fewer of the eligible voters in eight of the nine states deemed competitive” by the Times’ forecasting model. Hispanics made up 10 percent of the electorate in 2012.
Colorado is the only tight Senate race this year with a large Hispanic bloc.
Interestingly, the Republican Senate candidate there, Rep. Cory Gardner, bucked his leaders last week and voted against the Republican immigration bill that would have ended the president’s program that protects undocumented immigrants who arrived as children from deportation. To do otherwise could have been fatal. The 2016 GOP presidential candidates will find themselves in the same dilemma on issue after issue.
But most of the 2014 GOP Senate candidates don’t have those worries. Republicans may capture the Senate in November, but they’ll be making a mistake if they think they’ve discovered a map to presidential victory in 2014.