Nate Silver sees Dick Durbin as 95-percent likely to win re-election to the Senate


Nate Silver, the best political numbers-cruncher in the business, sees only one chance in 20 that Republican challenger  Jim Oberweis will unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in the November election.

Silver also rates Republicans as a “slight favorite” to win control of the Senate. Beltway pundits generally give the GOP a more likely chance to take over the upper chamber of Congress.

But, of course, the election is still more than seven months away. Lots of things can change over that span of time.

Silver’s latest forecast is HERE.

When FiveThirtyEight last issued a U.S. Senate forecast — way back in July — we concluded the race for Senate control was a toss-up. That was a little ahead of the conventional wisdom at the time, which characterized the Democrats as vulnerable but more likely than not to retain the chamber.

Our new forecast goes a half-step further: We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber. The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer…





  1. It’s disgusting that the republicans have any chance of winning the senate, considering how fractured their party is supposed to be and full of far right types they are. Apparently that’s attractive to more voters than we think and that’s scary.

    Just what do people think they will be getting? The repubs are just as beholden to big $$ as the dems. Maybe they want to go back to being uninsured as long as those people of color are too. I think republican rank and file think that way. They’d rather suffer than think some minority is getting something for free or at a reduced price. And all this talk about marriage equality is freaking them out too. That’s been a strategic vote getter in the recent past when the republicans used it as a way to get right wingers to the polling places, I’m sure it will work again even without putting anti-gay marriage measures on the ballot.

    The thought of going back in 2016 to what those in the left and center left felt during the GWB years is frightening. Watching the far right throw out all that red meat to their base to patronize their fears and prejudices.

    All the republicans have to do is put someone like Jeb Bush on the ballot and they will have a good chance at winning over Hillary.

    If it is Hillary/Jeb in 2016, why can’t we seem to break this Bush Clinton dynasty thing. Obama is just another offshoot of the Clinton DLC dynasty, so he’s just like them. Is this really all the more people our country has to offer for presidential runs?

  2. Follow the money Robert.

    In 2016 no normal human being would go into politics in this country.

    To be succesful requires a massive ego and a willingness to lie,lie,lie. Lie to others, lie to yourself and lie to your family.

    Having good acting skills is a must if you are going to really flourish in politics too.

  3. Neftali

    In 2012 Nate Silver gave Republican Rick Berg a 92.5% chance to win the Senate Seat in North Dakota only to have Democrat Heidi Heitkamp win by a razor thin margin of about 3000 votes. So Silver has been wrong before.

    Of course, Illinois is not North Dakota. In Illinois there is a lot more polling data available, and thus more accuracy is guaranteed. I usually prefer the establishment candidate over the tea party-backed one, but in this case Illinois Republicans should have nominated Truax over Oberweis. An aging Durbin is certainly vulnerable in a midterm election, but Oberweis’ impressive track record of losing isn’t much of a valid alternative, especially for younger voters. Truax would have at least made the race more interesting and gave Republicans an outside shot. With the nomination of Oberweis, Durbin’s victory is (sadly) secured.

  4. Hilarious.

    A so-called “doctor” decrying the “massive ego” required for to become a politician. You know, a profession that is predicated on helping people. A profession where you must take an oath before being allowed in the megalomania club…

    You are a walking, talking irony failure, exdoc.

    • Neftali

      Luke – I’m curious, is it all doctors that are megalomaniacs? Or is it all really smart people? Or is it all rich people?

      Or just the combination of studying your ass off for 4 years combined with a good MCAT score, followed by at least 4 more years of studying your ass off, followed by residencies usually involving long hours at incredibly odd and inconsistent hours, combined with years of research formulated into a thesis to be scrutinized by your peers make you a megalomaniac? That it’s impossible to be humble before God once you go through all the labor required to be a doctor?

  5. Nef,

    Luke has given me the “so-called” doctor line before. He is an Applesaucer that falls into the haters are gonna hate category, he may even be the President of the club. But it doesn’t bother me.

    He might be surprised to know that I accept his description that doctors in general do have a big ego. But as you point out, many have earned the right.

    In fact as a physician leader at our health system I know it to be true. Sometimes it is a problem, much of the time it is warranted and a necessity. I certainly don’t want a surgeon with a fragile ego.

    He will never believe that the vast majority of physicians (and other health care providers) are dedicated to helping people. He will always think physicians and hospitals make too much money.

    I know all of these things and as a result he will never surprise me.

    And of course he didn’t refute any of the points in my original post.

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