Buzz Board: Is GOP A Lock To Retake The Senate?

FiveThirtyEight stat guru Nate Silver on his new Senate forecast for the coming midterm elections.
3:19 | 09/07/14

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Transcript for Buzz Board: Is GOP A Lock To Retake The Senate?
Back now with our politics buzz board. ? at the top this week, red flags in the red state of Kansas for republican senator pat Roberts. The national gop rushing in to rescue his campaign after the democrat drops out, clearing the way for independent Greg Orman who is gaining steam. Down in Louisiana, embattled democrat many landrieu saying the big easy really is her home. A judge dismissed the legal challenge. But this voter registration form, the D.C. Address crossed out, a New Orleans one added, fodder for her critics. This one could go all the way to December. And the senate is at stake. The folks at fivethirtyeight led by stats guru Nate silver revealing in their new ex-prejest projections that the republicans have a 64% chance to retake the senate and control congress. And Nate silver joins us now. Thank you for joining us. How did you get to the calculation? We looked mostly at the polls but at the historic context in where the elections are being fought. The average state up in the senate this year is where Obama won only 46% of the vote in 2012. Republicans only have to win seven seats in the states that Mitt Romney won to take control of the senate next year. So far, you have people looking at paces like Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia. Certainly to go republican. I want to show some of the other targets. There are, let's first look at the democratic targets. Seats held by democrats. You see eight states. Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, new Hampshire, and North Carolina. All held by democrats. All close. Only three states held by republicans that seem to be competitive. Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky. You're saying of those three, Kansas is a wild card because of the dropping out of the democrat. Yeah, it's very hard to figure. We know the one poll that actually had the independents versus the republicans. The independent was ahead against Roberts. That was a hypothetical scenario. One thing about Orman is, he's kind of center left. He would line up as a moderate democrat if you look at him issue by issue. Kansas is a red state. It's a red-leaning year. He's run a very smooth, slick, professional campaign so far. As it gets closer, do the poll Numbers hold up? We think it's a tossup race. One of your big points is that the board is especially uncertain this year. Why? We don't have a lot of polling. It's getting better now. But there are some states. Colorado, we got one poll yesterday. That was the first poll we had had in six weeks there. Louisiana, like you mentioned. Alaska. We don't have a good sense for what's going on. We have polls among registered voters. You notice a big republican turnout edge normally. In the midterms. We don't have a good sense for how big that is. It's not that there are many states that we're sure the gop will win. It's that they have a good, robust map. It's like Obama versus Romney in 2012. He didn't have to win every swing state. He had a big set of base states. If he won a couple of swing states, he won the election. Romney almost had to sweep the competitive races. So the way you saw before where eight targets against three, that's hi the map favors republicans this year. Nate silver, thank you very

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