There is new information coming in by the minute today. Keep up with what the Cook Political Report editors are saying. This post will be updated throughout the day.
With challenger Sara Gideon conceding to longtime Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins earlier this afternoon, Democrats’ remaining hopes of flipping the Senate got even narrower. With more Georgia votes being counted narrowing GOP margins across the board, it is still possible Sen. David Perdue could be forced into a January runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. That means that in those two Senate runoffs — joining the other Georgia special election between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler — Democrats would have to flip control of both. And again, where virtually nothing went right for them on Election Night, it’s not a given these would in the Peach State either. Though Democrats may hope liberal anger would force larger turnout, GOP turnout can’t be discounted either. Of course, much like President Obama, that conservative base support hasn’t necessarily been fully transferable when President Trump himself isn’t on the ballot. And if he does lose to Vice President Biden, what would the climate be then?
But Michigan could still cause a wrinkle for Democrats, completely ending their hopes of not just a Senate majority but any net gains. While outstanding ballots remaining in the state that appear to be Democratic-leaning, Sen. Gary Peters trails Biden’s numbers very narrowly while Republican John James is narrowly exceeding Trump’s totals. It’s clear James has far exceeded expectations and that late GOP investments made a difference.
Another stat to watch — as we’ve written before, in 2016, every single Senate race broke the same way the presidential did. With Susan Collins winning a 5th term, she outperformed Trump in the state by over 7 points — far more than we saw in competitive races or any race in 2016 on average, and she’s — so far— the only Senate result that hasn’t tracked with the presidential outcomes we know so far.
Despite President Trump’s insistence that he will win the states still counting absentee/early vote like Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the odds are still very high that Biden wins all four states. According to modeled data by the Democratic analytics firm BlueLabs produced for the AFL-CIO’s Michael Podhorzer, Biden will win 77 percent of the early vote in Pennsylvania, 67 percent of Wisconsin’s early vote and 67 percent of Michigan’s. Those margins are enough to hold onto Biden’s current lead in Michigan and Wisconsin and to overtake Trump’s election night haul in Pennsylvania.
The model has correctly predicted the early vote results in Florida, Ohio and Iowa.
So two things:— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 4, 2020
1) Biden is well on his way to flipping MI & WI (in addition to AZ & #NE02) and is doing well enough in PA's completed counties to be on track to win there
2) Polls (esp. at district-level) have rarely led us more astray & it's going to take a long time to unpack
Amy Walter and Jessica Taylor