The Cook Political Report, which is not affiliated with any party, predicts that Senate Republicans are poised to lose their majority to the Democrats on Nov. 8.
In addition to the members that they currently have, the Democrats need to win four seats to tie in the Senate. If Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine win the election – as Cook Political projects her to — this will be enough, since the vice president is given the tie-breaking vote.
Earlier reports predicted that Democrats would win an additional four to six seats, but they now predict that liberals could gain between five and seven following the Oct. 7 release of an Access Hollywood tape in which GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was shown speaking about sexually assaulting women on a hot microphone. Since then, Clinton has jumped forward in the polls in many states, particularly Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania, and the Republican party’s image has taken a hit as well.
Cook Political also noted that the Senate is not likely to split down the middle, as one party or the other usually wins the vast majority of toss-up seats.
The House of Representatives is much more heavily skewed toward the GOP, with 247 Republican representatives and 188 Democrats – the largest GOP majority since the 1928 election — and they are generally considered safe, though FiveThirtyEight projects that the Democrats will take most of the toss-up seats.
Numerically speaking, the odds favor House Republicans, especially since most Democrats are concentrated in urban areas where they already have Democratic representatives, and Republicans have drawn more congressional districts than Democrats, giving them an upper hand.
But the political analytics website predicts that Democrats will gain a significant number of House seats this election, since there are more House Republicans either retiring or leaving the House than Democrats, with 30 GOP members leaving and 18 Democrats on their way out. Of those seats, 10 Republican seats could go to Democrats, while Republicans could win four Democratic seats.
Ultimately, the analysis predicted that Democrats will gain between five and 20 House seats, which might increase the Democratic voice but will be far from a takeover.
Sources: Cook Political Report, FiveThirtyEight / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr