Heading into the election, polling data gave Republicans a decided advantage in maintaining control of the U.S. Senate, while Democrats enjoyed a slightly stronger likelihood of taking the House. According to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight on the morning of the election, Republicans had a 4 in 5 chance (80.9%) of maintaining control of the Senate and were likely to end up with 52 seats, a net gain of one seat and one more than they need for the 51-seat majority.
Real Clear Politics’ average of the key polls Tuesday morning gave Republicans 49 seats that polling data indicates are highly likely to go their way, including two that “lean” heavily in Republicans’ favor (North Dakota and Texas), one (Mississippi’s special election) that is “likely” to go to the GOP, and 46 that are fully “safe” or not up. RCP gives Democrats a total of 43 seats that are very likely to go their way (five that “lean,” two that are “likely,” and 37 that are safe or not up).
If RCP’s averages of the polls are correct, that means that just eight Senate seats are truly in play: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Other races that have garnered a lot of attention include North Dakota and Texas. Below is the final polling data for each of these key races and the latest updates on vote counts. . .
The contest for the traditionally center-right Arizona seat left empty by retiring Republican Jeff Flake is one of the Democrats’ best hopes of picking up a traditionally red seat. Polling data has consistently shown a very tight race between Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. RCP’s average of the latest polls gave McSally a razor-thin 1-point advantage, a statistical tie. The final Gravis poll showed McSally up by 1; Emerson gave Sinema a 1-point edge; HarrisX had McSally up by 3; ABC 15/OH Predictive Insights gave the Republican a 1-point edge; and Trafalgar Group gave McSally a 2-point lead. . . .
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson has found himself in neck-and-neck contest with Republican Gov. Rick Scott for the Florida seat, though most of the polls have given Nelson the edge. RCP’s averages of the most recent polls gives Nelson a 2.4% lead over Scott. Quinnipiac’s final poll showed Nelson up by 7 points; HarrisX found Scott leading by 2; Emerson gave Nelson a 5-point advantage; St. Pete Polls gave the incumbent a 4-point lead; and Trafalgar Group showed Scott with a slim 2-point edge. (Read more from “The Key Senate Races, All the Latest Results” HERE)