Last July, I noted that Nate Silver thought Republicans would probably end up with 50 or 51 Senate seats after the 2014 election. This, of course, was before the Obamacare rollout generated a surge of ill-will towards Democrats.
So where do things stand now?. To my knowledge, Silver isn’t publicly saying. But if his analysis of polls told him in July that Republicans stood on threshold of winning a majority in the Senate, then an updated analysis might show that, if the election were held today, Republicans would likely cross that threshold.
This Breitbart piece by John Nolte certainly takes that view:
Recent polling shows that an election wave of anti-ObamaCare sentiment is growing, and it is not only likely to hand the GOP control of the United States Senate, but might wipe out as many as 12 Democrat seats–many of which looked safe just a few months ago. . . .
Keep in mind that in order to win control of the Senate, Republicans need only pick up six seats, and with Democrat incumbents retiring in the redder than red states of South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana, Republicans pretty much have three Senate pick-ups in the bag. But thanks to ObamaCare and vulnerable Democrat Senators refusing to put their own promises and the wellbeing of their constituents above slavish devotion to Obama, picking off another three should be fairly easy.
I don’t know about fairly easy, but Nolte points to polls that show the Republican challenger essentially even with the Democratic incumbent in an additional four states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, and North Carolina.
It should be noted, though, that in July Silver assigned the Republicans a 40 percent (Alaska) to 50 percent (Arkansas and Louisiana) chance of winning in these particular races. So these races aren’t newly in serious play.
Nolte also cites polls showing that Republicans have a decent shot of pick-ups in Iowa, Colorado, and New Hampshire. And the National Journal has added Minnesota and Oregon to the list of states with endangered Democratic incumbents.
The big question, of course, is whether events in 2014 will favor Democrats or Republicans. No one can say for sure. But there’s good reason to believe that Obamacare will continue to drag Democrats down. As Nolte says, melodramatically but probably not unfairly:
Many believe that the worst of ObamaCare has yet to show itself. As the 2014 midterm elections loom closer late next year, so will the employer mandate. The Obama Administration itself has predicted that the fallout from the employer mandate could be tens of millions of cancellations.
Knowing this is coming, and unless something changes, these vulnerable Democrats are likely to be remembered only as having done nothing to avoid catastrophes mainly afflicting the working and middle class.
That is, other than hold hands with Obama to watch it all burn.