Politics & Policy

Nate Silver: Brutal Picture on Midwestern House Races for Democrats

Nate Silver has now officially run simulations for every House race in the country, and the results in Ohio and Illinois are discouraging for Democrats, to say the least.

To quickly recap Silver’s numbers:

In Ohio, Lee Fisher is rated as having only a 1 percent chance to win. Rob Portman, 99 percent. This race is over, and Portman should be picking out drapes.

At the gubernatorial level, despite recent poll hiccups, Republican John Kasich is rated at an 87 percent chance of winning to Ted Strickland’s 13 percent. It’s not as crushing as Fisher, but it isn’t good, either.

And then there are the House races. If Silver’s model holds, then the GOP has at least a 70 percent chance of picking up the three major battleground races in Ohio — namely in OH-1 where Rep. Steve Driehaus and faces former congressman Steve Chabot; OH-15 between Mary Jo Kilroy and Steve Stivers; and OH-16 between John Boccieri and Jim Renacci. Other Ohio races with Democrat incumbents are less encouraging, with Democrats favored by percentages of 60 percent at the lowest.

In Illinois, the math is more uneven for the GOP, but still solid.

Bill Brady, the Republican Gubernatorial nominee is favored to win, with a 91 percent chance of victory, making incumbent Governor Pat Quinn’s desperation understandable. The Senate race leans GOP but is much more narrow, with Mark Kirk having only a 54 percent chance of victory against Alexi Giannoulias. In other words, anything can happen.

At the House level, the GOP is practically guaranteed to pick up one seat in Illinois, and that’s IL-11, currently held by Debbie Halvorson. Republican challenger Adam Kinzinger has an 82 percent chance of winning, according to Silver’s model.

Everything else is either a toss-up or an uphill battle. Ominously for the GOP, the Democrats have a 54 percent chance of picking up Mark Kirk’s old House seat in what is otherwise an off-year for the party. The GOP is only barely over 50 percent in the race between Randy Hultgren and Bill Foster in IL-14. Phil Hare in IL-17 is still a possible scalp, but with a 56.6 percent chance of winning, his challenger Bobby Schilling is going to need to do a lot of work between now and November 2.

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