Will Democrats Keep Control of the Senate Because of Paul Ryan?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium, who had a pretty good forecasting record in 2008, writes to suggest that we might all be missing the boat on Paul Ryan. Although Ryan might not have a big influence on the presidential race, he could very well have a big influence on whether Democrats maintain the control of the Senate:

What if the Romney-Ryan ticket causes candidates to campaign explicitly on GOP budget priorities? Imagine that slightly more voters switch their votes in one direction or the other based on what they hear. If 1% of voters flip toward Democrats, the resulting 2% swing leads to [an 82% chance of Democratic control]….Anyway, that’s what a knife-edge looks like. Pundits, please talk about this instead?

Obviously we don’t know what effect Ryan will have on down-ticket voters, but a 1% swing against Republicans certainly seems plausible. Either way, though, it does seem as though Ryan’s real influence could be much greater in congressional races than in the presidential contest. Wang’s charts are below.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate