Benchmark Politics forecast: Democrats on track to win control of Senate


Benchmark Politics was the most accurate predictor of the 2016 Democratic primaries. We recently launched our general election model and are now introducing our Senate version, which is the only model to use a wide range of county-level data — demographic, economic, and polling — blended with prediction markets and updated on a daily basis to precisely forecast Senate elections.

Here is our Senate projection with less than three weeks until Election Day:

senate map

Significant Senate races to watch:

ILLINOIS: Probability of Democratic win: 90% — U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D), an Iraq war veteran, is leading against incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R), a former congressman, lawyer, and a retired member of the U.S. Naval Reserve.

WISCONSIN: Probability of Democratic win: 87%  Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D), a lawyer and advocate for campaign finance reform, is leading against incumbent U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R), a former manufacturing executive.

INDIANA: Probability of Democratic win: 71% — Former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D), a lawyer who also previously served as Indiana governor, is leading U.S. Representative Todd Young (R), a former U.S. Marine Corps Captain.

NEVADA: Probability of Democratic win: 59% — Catherine Cortez Masto (D), a lawyer and a former Nevada attorney general, is leading against U.S. Representative Joe Heck (R), a physician and U.S. Army Brigadier General.

PENNSYLVANIA: Probability of Democratic win: 54% — In a closely-watched swing state race, Katie McGinty (D), a former state and federal environmental advisor, is edging out incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R), a former Wall Street banker.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Probability of Democratic win: 53% — Governor Maggie Hassan (D), a lawyer and former Vice Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, is ahead of incumbent U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R), a lawyer and former attorney general of New Hampshire.

NORTH CAROLINA: Probability of Republican win: 53% — Incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R), a former sales manager, is locked in a tight race with challenger Deborah K. Ross (D), a lawyer and longtime North Carolina legislator.

MISSOURI: Probability of Republican win: 55% — Incumbent U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R), a former House Majority Whip, is virtually tied with challenger Jason Kander (D), a military veteran, lawyer, and politician.

FLORIDA: Probability of Republican win: 69% — U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy (D), a Certified Public Account and former construction business executive, faces off against incumbent U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R), a lawyer and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.