Based on a race-by-race analysis, FDL Review projects that the Republicans will hold a four-seat majority in the United States Senate after the 2018 midterm elections.
The GOP will hold 54 seats and the Democrats 46, according to our research. This will allow the Republicans to easily confirm judges (and justices) appointed by President Donald Trump.
Additionally, a four-seat lead will put the GOP in a strong position ahead of tougher 2020 Senate races, where Republican seats will be contested in purple states like Colorado, North Carolina, Maine, and Iowa.
FDL Review predicts that Republicans are favored to win the highly-contested seats in Nevada, Arizona, Indiana, and Missouri. Democrats, based on our projections, are favored to win the seats in Montana, Minnesota (special election), Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida. Other seats on the map are "likely" going to one party or the other, and some are "safe" for one party or the other.
We moved from North Dakota from "lean" to "likely" Republican based on several new polls showing Rep. Kevin Cramer, the GOP nominee, ahead by double digits. We also moved Tennessee to the "likely" GOP column based on a Siena poll showing Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the Republican candidate, ahead by fourteen points.
Nevada and Arizona were moved from "lean" Democrat to "lean" Republican based on recent data showing the GOP candidates taking -- and holding -- leads.
Florida was moved from "lean" Republican to "lean" Democrat since our prior projections, made in late September, based on data showing incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson holding a steady lead.
Gov. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate, has held a statistically insignificant lead in some polls; if Florida surveys continue to show growth on Scott's part, our projection may change to "tossup." It cannot be forgotten that Scott won (and was re-elected to) his gubernatorial seat in razor-thin contests.