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Did Republican Odds of Winning the Senate Jump By One Seat or Three?

I am looking at three Senate races, one of which does not appear on any political radar screens.
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538 Senate Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really?!"

538 Senate Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really?!"

On Tuesday, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz had their first and only debate. It was a disaster for Fetterman, and even the Democrats admit as such.

Fetterman had a stroke in May and throughout he kept stumbling, dropping words, and losing his train of thought.

Pennsylvania Debate News Headlines

The Fetterman-Oz Debate Was a Rorschach Test

The Atlantic comments The Fetterman-Oz Debate Was a Rorschach Test emphasis mine.

Why did John Fetterman’s team agree to tonight’s debate? Because declining it likely seemed a worse option. 

Fetterman prioritized speed over lucidity, and his disjointed sentences made his struggles unmistakable. This evening, Fetterman may have lost whatever swing voters are left in Pennsylvania. And yet, he may have won over some voters who watched a man recovering from a stroke stumble through sentences on live TV and came away admiring his courage for debating at all.

Tonight’s hour-long exchange was, in some ways, a Rorschach test of comfort with disability. 

Notably, Fetterman failed (or declined) to answer some key questions and follow-ups. When asked directly about his contradictory statements on the issue of hydraulic fracking, he simply said, “I absolutely support fracking,” without elaborating as to how or why he changed his position.

He has acknowledged difficulties in his stroke recovery, but tonight he refused to commit to releasing his detailed medical records. As a result, voters lack a complete understanding of how the stroke may have affected him. It’s reasonable—essential, even—for the public to ask questions and expect transparency after a major medical event. Transparency, Fetterman countered, would come in the form of him being onstage to compete at all.

But after tonight, he may no longer have a choice but to be more forthcoming about the medical challenges he faces—and to place his faith in Pennsylvania voters identifying with his struggles instead of viewing them as disqualifying.

Bizarre Fracking Exchange

“I’ve always supported fracking,” Mr. Fetterman said when pressed by a moderator. He later added that, “I do support fracking and I don’t, I don’t—I support fracking, and I stand, and I do support fracking.”

What?!

The above as noted by the Wall Street Journal in Why Democrats Are Losing The Midterms

John Fetterman: The Midterms’ October Surprise

The Wall Street Journal reported John Fetterman: The Midterms’ October Surprise

The WSJ subtitle is interesting "By withholding crucial information about his health, the candidate has likely ensured a GOP Senate win in Pennsylvania."

I don't know about "likely" but certainly it's far more likely. Contrast the WSJ take with 538.

 538 Fetterman Odds 

538 Pennsylvania Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really!?"

538 Pennsylvania Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really!?"

The next set of polls may be revealing. This would not be close at all had Republicans picked a stronger candidate.

Georgia 

538 Georgia Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really!?"

538 Georgia Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM. I ask "Really!?"

Which Polls Are Influencing Georgia

538 Georgia Polls as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

538 Georgia Polls as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

Walker is ahead on three of the most recent 4 polls and tied on the fourth. 

Walker not only has momentum, but now the lead. 

The Race Totally Ignored By Everyone Else

538 New Hampshire Senate Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

538 New Hampshire Senate Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

This race was totally off my radar but I accidentally happened to see a Poll for Hassan that caught my eye. 

Then I checked 538 for all the New Hampshire polls. 

Which Polls Are Influencing New Hampshire

538 New Hampshire Polls as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

538 New Hampshire Polls as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

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New Hampshire Synopsis 

  • Out of 8 polls, only one has Hassan over 50%. 
  • The latest poll has Hassan ahead by a mere percentage point, 48% to 47%
  • The average of the latest three polls is Hassan 49% to Bolduc 46.33% 

Perhaps Hassan has an edge, assuming you believe those polls. But check out the race for Governor.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu

538 New Hampshire Governor Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

538 New Hampshire Governor Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

In the latest four polls Chris Sununu leads Tom Sherman by 13 points twice and 17 points twice. 

New Hampshire House 1st District

538 New Hampshire 1st District Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

538 New Hampshire 1st District Forecast as of OCT. 26, 2022, AT 8:43 PM

There is only one moderately recent poll, and it's not that recent. Pappas, the Democrat, leads by 1. 

Heating Oil

Heating Oil Futures courtesy of Trading Economics

Heating Oil Futures courtesy of Trading Economics

The EIA has Quick Facts on New Hampshire State Energy Profile as of September 2022.

  • More than two-fifths of New Hampshire households use fuel oil as their primary heating fuel, the second-largest share among the states and about 10 times greater than the national average.
  • New Hampshire is one of only eight states and the District of Columbia where the residential sector is the largest energy consumer

How happy are those residents with the price of fuel oil?

Coat Tails 

New Hampshire has a history of split ticket voting. 

However, given the popularity of Sununu and undoubtedly unhappy heating oil customers, what are the real odds for House District 1 and the New Hampshire Senate race?

538 says New Hampshire District 1 is 77% for Pappas and 78% for Senator Maggie Hassan.

"Really?!"

No, strike that, I politely say "BS". 

There are not enough fresh polls to make such preposterous claims given clear trend shifts towards Republicans. 

Who Will Win The Senate?

With a third race reasonably  in play (New Hampshire in addition to Georgia and Pennsylvania), with momentum clearly shifting towards Republicans, the chance of Republicans winning at least two of those three now seems odds on to me.

Recently, I had the most likely Senate outcome as another 50-50 tie. However, the Pennsylvania and Georgia debates changed my mind.

And we also have a potential wildcard in New Hampshire that no one seems to have even considered. 

This post originated at MishTalk.Com.

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