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Senate 2018: swing state polling links

September 26, 2018

(Updated 20181003)

With about  4 weeks until the election, the US Senate is looking surprisingly competitive. I reviewed state-by-state data collected by fivethirtyeight.com.


By my reckoning, 9 states are in play, of which 5 have Democratic incumbents. Democrats need to pick up 2 more seats, (i.e., win 7 of these 9 races) to gain control of the Senate.

  • STATE (incumbent) – prediction based on current polling
  • MT (D) – lean Dem, getting more solid
  • AZ (R) – lean Dem, tenuous
  • IN** (D) – lean Dem, tenuous
  • NV (R) – statistical tie
  • FL (D) – statistical tie
  • TN (R) – statistical tie
  • MO (D) – statistical tie
  • TX (R) – lean Rep, tenuous
  • ND (D) – lean Rep, getting more solid

** Indiana is interesting because the Incumbent, Joe Donnelly, is a conservative Democrat and often votes with Republicans. So this state would have less impact for Democrats than other states.


Many of the senate polls are on the small side (700-1000 samples), meaning idealized sampling error 3-4% for individual polls. In addition to that, looking at the copious amount of Trump approval polling data as a guide, the average of repeated daily polls itself seems to fluctuate naturally 3-5% week to week.

This is probably the most important thing happening in national US politics. All the Trump and Supreme Court drama is acted out with the intention of influencing these 9 state elections.

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