• The six-year terms in the Senate produce a curious electoral quirk: The party that controls the chamber going into the election is not necessarily the one in the best position to control it coming out of the election, even in a neutral political environment. This is because the 33 or 34 seats up for election each cycle are usually unevenly divided between the parties. In 2006, for example, Democrats took control of the Senate by a hair, even though 40 of the 55 Republican seats were not up for election that year.

    The Democrats currently control 53 of 100 seats in the Senate. Nearly half of those—23—are up for re-election this year, while the Republicans are defending only 10 seats. That fact, combined with an electorate none too pleased with incumbents, made for a grim picture for the majority party at the start of this cycle.

    And yet, the Democrats now have a 75 percent likelihood of controlling the next Senate, possibly by a comfortable margin.

    In early September, we saw four critical races shifted to the Democratic column: Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Virginia. Today, the Democrat is up in all four races, though three of the four remain competitive. Now, we're seeing five other races once considered safe for the Republican showing signs of equivocation: Nevada, North Dakota, Indiana, Arizona and Montana.

    Read More »from The Senate is the Democrats’ to lose as five more states shift
  • Both campaigns declared victory in last night's debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, with Democrats focusing on Biden's passion and Republicans focusing on Biden's aggression. Neither acknowledged that it is a futile point.

    Immediate polls from CBSNBC, and Xbox Live all reported that a majority of undecided voters believed Biden won, and the prediction markets ticked up a few points in President Barack Obama's favor in the hours after the confrontation. The Signal couldn't care less. The question pollsters should have asked was this: Is Obama still bleeding?

    Electoral odds before and after the Biden-Ryan debate.

    Sources: Betfair, Intrade, HuffPost's Pollster, and RealClearPolitics

    As we have pointed out before, every day that elapses in which GOP challenger Mitt Romney does not gain ground on the incumbent is a net gain for the Democrats. (This is true for any challenger in any election.) In the past week, Romney has succeeded in that battle, effectively turning an unequivocal debate victory into a steady march in the polls. The instant polls and market movement suggest Biden succeeded in diverting that narrative.

    Follow the state-by-state and overall presidential predictions in real time with PredictWise.com.

    David Rothschild has a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter at @DavMicRot.

    Read More »from Who won the vice presidential debate? Doesn’t matter.
  • Last week's debate between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney has inflicted severe turmoil on Obama's standing in the polls, breathing new life and energy into Romney's bid. If the United States elected its presidents by popular vote, the way sane electoral systems operate, Obama's odds of re-election would have plummeted in tandem. Unfortunately for the Romney campaign, it will take more than one good night to overcome the steep uphill climb it faces in the Electoral College this year. The first debate between Obama and Romney radically altered the dynamic of the 2012 election, but it did not change the math.

    It has been clear at least since February that Romney has to win Florida, Ohio and Virginia to have a viable shot at victory. This troika, along with the states safely in the Republican column, would bring Romney to 266 electoral votes. From there, he would need just one more state—say, New Hampshire—to push him over the 270 mark. All three states have moved in his favor over the past two weeks.

    Sources: Betfair, Intrade, HuffPost's Pollster, RealClearPolitics.

    The overall odds for Obama remain well above 60 percent for one simple reason: Romney needs all three swing states to win, while Obama needs only to deny him one of them. Right now, that rearguard action is occurring in Ohio, where Obama is maintaining his lead in the aftermath of the debate.

    Read More »from Romney chips away at Obama’s lead, but electoral math still favors president


(177 Stories)

About The Signal

The Signal is the Yahoo! News predictions blog featuring real-time forecasts and sentiment on politics, economics, and more. MEET THE TEAM: David Pennock, David Rothschild



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