Senate GOP will hold the line

Using the reliable Sean Trende model, combined with latest poll of polls from the 8 ‘toss up’ Senate races, I am predicting the Senate GOP hold the line.

Predicting is never an exact science, and there have been plenty of incidents in recent years (Brexit!) where the polling agencies have had serious (Scotch?) egg left on their faces. Yet despite this, I am willing to rely on the Trende model.

The track record is rather good, despite the ‘problematic’ nature of this US election year.

It used three simple variables: The president’s job approval, whether the incumbent was a member of the president’s party, and whether there was a “problematic” candidate. It suggested that if the president’s job approval were 44 percent, the Democrats would lose nine Senate seats. His job approval was 44 percent, and the Democrats lost nine seats. –Sean Trende

Before applying the model going into 2016 races, let’s explain why all of this matters. If the Democrats gain 5 Senate seats, they control it. If Hillary/Kaine win the White House (likely) then four will do. And the next President will effectively decide the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court for a coming generation. Be under no illusions, this election seriously matters; and the Senate is the front lines of the struggle.

Thus, when Trende applies his model (using a 53% Obama approval rating) we find a net 3 Dem Senate gains the most likely outcome. 1-6 range. 5 ‘possible’ and 6 ‘outside’.


Boil it all down: when using Trende method the Democrats pick up less than 6 gains 95% of the time. This means the GOP have a fighting good chance of holding onto the Senate, but it will be tight. The Democrats need 4 gains + the White House or 5 gains to control the Senate. Right now, that is looking a bridge too far for the American liberal left.

Trump might lose the WH race, but that is his own fault. These numbers for the Senate show hope that Trumpism might not inflict too much taint on the wider GOP brand. The madness will pass, and the GOP can begin rebuilding from a place of credible strength.

I’m expecting 51-49, GOP holding control in the Senate. I’ll add, Rubio will win his race too.

Who is Sean Trende?

He’s a senior elections analyst for ‘RealClearPolitics’. Co-author of the 2014 ‘Almanac of American Politics’ and author of ‘The Lost Majority’. Follow him on Twitter @SeanTrende.

Put it simply: he’s smart, informed and knows his stuff. A ‘clever cookie’ as my mother would say.

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