538: G.O.P. Senate Odds Slip on Colorado, West Virginia Polls


If Nate says it is so...

While Republicans’ position is holding steady in the House — where they are 4:1 favorites to win control of the chamber according to our analysis — their chances of also taking over the Senate declined in today’s forecast. Those chances are now 16 percent, down from 19 percent in our forecast over the weekend.

The modest decline in the Republicans’ chances today is a result of new polling in two states. The first is Colorado, where two new polls, from Public Policy Polling and SurveyUSA, each show the exact same result, with the Republican, Ken Buck, and the Democrat, Michael Bennet, tied at 47 percent each. Colorado had appeared to slightly favor Mr. Buck for most of the cycle, with his winning chances peaking at 79 percent in our Sept. 30 update. Since then, however, he has endured some decline after a series of minor gaffes, with polls suggesting that Mr. Bennet may have improved his standing among female voters. We now project Colorado’s Senate race to be the closest in the country — slightly closer than others like Nevada or West Virginia. Mr. Buck is now an 0.4-point favorite, according to the model, and his chances of winning are 54 percent.

The other significant move today is in West Virginia, and it is toward the Democrat, Joe Manchin, as a Public Policy Polling survey gives him a 6-point lead over Republican John Raese.