Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and one of the most widely respected political analysts in the country, has come out with his final predictions for the 2014 midterms, and he predicts a good night for Republicans.
In his “Crystal Ball” picks, Sabato see an 8-seat pick-up for Republicans in the Senate, which would give them a 2-seat majority.
Sabato moved 3 races from “toss-up” and/or a runoff to “Leans Republican.”
Georgia and Louisiana both used to be classified as leaning toward a runoff, but now Sabato says they are tilting in the Republican’s favor. Sabato’s rationale:
We’ve been calling Georgia and Louisiana “Toss-up/Leans Runoff” in recent weeks because we expected both to eventually go to runoffs. Louisiana will, and Georgia might, but we now believe Republicans are favored to eventually win both. So we’re just going to call both LEANS REPUBLICAN going into Election Day: If both do in fact go to runoffs, then the Leans GOP ratings will apply, at least initially, to the overtime contests.
Also Kansas, long seen as a possible loss for the GOP with Independent candidate Greg Orman leading and expecting to caucus with Democrats, is now leaning in favor of Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. Sabato’s rationale:
The Kansas race between embattled, weak Sen. Pat Roberts (R) and independent Greg Orman is perhaps the closest, most difficult-to-predict Senate race in the country. However, at the end of the day, a Republican has not lost a Senate race in this state since 1932. It may happen, but we just can’t pull the trigger and predict it. LEANS REPUBLICAN
In the House of Representatives Satabo predicts a 9-seat increase in the Republican majority, which would increase their majority to 243-192.
It’s not all bad for Democrats according to Sabato’s soothsaying. He has Republicans three Governor’s mansions leaning away from the GOP, two toward Democrats (Florida and Kansas) and one leaning Independent (Alaska).