Washington Post’s New Election Model for Upcoming Midterms Will Likely Send Democrats Into a Panic

Republicans have an 82 percent chance of winning back the Senate in November, according to the Washington Post’s new Election Lab model.

The model, put together by political scientist John Sides, takes into account problematic issues hurting Democrats as well as the fact that the president’s party tends to do poorly in midterm elections.

Sides breaks down his analysis:

The main problem for Democrats is that it’s a midterm year — and the president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterm. Moreover, conditions make it difficult for Democrats to overcome this tendency: The economy is not growing that strongly and, partly as a consequence, President Obama is not that popular. Moreover, as many have noted, many seats that the Democrats must defend this year are in Republican-leaning states.

Given these conditions, the political science literature suggests that quality Republican candidates should emerge. This is because quality candidates are strategic: They tend to run when their chances of winning are higher. Thus, many Republican candidates have significant political experience in state legislatures, the U.S. House of Representatives, and in other offices. (In states where primaries haven’t taken place, we assume that the eventual party nominees will have an average experience level like that of nominees in similar races in the past.)

The Election Lab model gives Republicans better than a 50 percent chance of winning races in Alaska, Arkansas, Michigan, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota.

The Post’s Chris Cillizza notes that the model will become more reliable as more information becomes available. “So it will be better in a month than it is today. And better in two months than that,” he writes.

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)