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Final Projection (11/3): GOP Takes 54 Seats in Senate

Save for any unforeseen developments, FDL Review predicts that the Republicans will keep control of the United States Senate in 2018. The GOP will have 54 seats compared to 46 for the Democrats, based on our projections.

We rate Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Tennessee, and Indiana as "lean" Republican states, based on polls, early voting returns, and past voting trends. Texas and North Dakota are "likely" Republican, and Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska are "solid" Republican. Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Montana, and Michigan "lean" Democratic, although all five races are tightening in favor of the GOP.

Our model is to avoid "toss-up" classifications, for they indicate an incapable, indecisive forecaster, but Montana and Florida could be reasonably indicated as toss-ups.

Rick Scott, the Republican in Florida, has held a tiny lead in a few recent polls, but we rated the race "lean" Democratic due to the small (yet relatively consistent) leads exhibited by Democrat incumbent Bill Nelson. In Montana, there have been a dearth of polls, but not one has shown incumbent Democrat Joe Tester behind Republican challenger Matt Rosendale.

Tennessee and Texas have tightened in favor of the Democrats, but it is apparent that the Republicans still hold a decent advantage.

In "lean" Republican Arizona, Democrat Krysten Sinema has seen her lead in favorable polls crumble. McSally has gained in ABC 15's polling, where she is now ahead by seven points; Siena polling created in collaboration with The New York Times has her up two.

Sinema's deragatory comments about Arizona, such as saying that the state is a "meth lab" and "crazy," along with her statement that she would be ambivalent about an American joining the Taliban, will not help her prospects.

Additionally, undercover videos by Project Veritas have uncovered "multiple staffers talk about how Sinema is running a moderate, centrist campaign to get elected but actually holds more left-leaning, progressive views," according to AZCentral. This is consistent with Sinema's past as a Green Party-aligned antiwar protester.

In Nevada, incumbent Republican Dean Heller has held his ground. Four recent polls, conducted by Gravis, CNN, Siena, and Emerson and compiled by RealClearPolitics, speak for the state of the race.

Emerson has Heller up seven and Siena has him at +2, while Gravis and CNN have him down two and three, respectively. However, Gravis had Heller down by two in September too, and CNN had him down four. The trend lines are positive for Heller even amid the fact that "[p]olls tend to overstate Democratic performance in Nevada," per analysis by RCP.

Therefore, our ranking for Nevada is "lean" Republican.

Missouri is also a tight race, but Republican nominee Josh Hawley, the state attorney general, has benefited from several visits from President Donald Trump. Additionally, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill put herself in a perilous position by voting against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Polling is sparse and tight, but it is consistent with a small Hawley lead. The state trends are also on Hawley's side, as Missouri went heavily for Trump in 2016.

The races in Ohio, West Virginia, and Michigan have tightened significantly in the past week or so, but barring a major surprise that cannot be predicted with the current data, the Democratic incumbents in those states are still on the path to victory.

Here's our final map:

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