On the morning after the 2012 election, anyone who was paying attention knew the name Nate Silver. He's the analyst who had a stunning 50-for-50 prediction of how every state in the union would break politically. He has since parlayed that success into a burgeoning organization that provides analysis in the political and sports arenas. Silver's analysis at fivethirtyeight.com is also now required reading for many political science students on the nation's college campuses.
With just a few days left in the 2014 campaign season, Silver is predicting
a 72 percent chance (and climbing) for a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate. New polls published this morning in Kentucky and Georgia U.S. Senate races pointed Silver to his latest prediction. Silver says there are six to eight Senate races that could still go either way, but it's a fair bet that the GOP will take the Senate.
Silver is also weighing in on the nation's gubernatorial races, including Idaho's. Silver says Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has about a 94 percent chance of holding onto his office.
But things are much closer in at least 11 other gubernatorial races where the projected margin of victory is within 3 percentage points.
There are several unusual gubernatorial races on Tuesday; for example, Alaska doesn't even have a Democrat on the ballot. In Georgia, a runoff will be required if no one secures 50 percent of the vote. And in Maine, independent Eliot Cutler pulled a last-minute surprise when he announced Oct. 29 that his supporters should feel free to vote for one of the other candidates. Cutler had been holding about 14 percent of the vote in recent polls, while his opponents each had about 40 percent.