Regardless of New York Times statistician Nate Cohn’s Friday column in The Upshot
blog that the Democrats’ path to retaining a majority in the Senate is looking brighter, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney begs to differ.
“There’s no outcome in November that anybody could say would be great for Democrats, except for barely holding on to the Senate,” he said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Cohn wrote that the outlook for this year’s midterms initially did not bode well for Democrats considering President Barack Obama’s dismal approval ratings and “the long history of the president’s party suffering a midterm penalty.”
Democrats need to win 50 seats to hold onto the majority in the Senate chamber, five of which have tight races in battleground states where early polls showed some Republicans leading. But according to Cohn, the forecast has brightened over the summer and “today the Democratic path to victory looks as clear as it has at any point this year.”
“That path remains narrow, to be sure,” he wrote. “The Democrats will probably still need to sweep those five fairly close races. Yet with just two months to go, the party appears to have an advantage in four of them. And the Democrats have other opportunities that might give them more breathing room.”
Carney, appearing on a panel on Candy Crowley’s CNN Sunday morning show, was less optimistic, Politico
“It’s not going to be a good year for Democrats by definition,” he said. “The sixth year is always particularly bad for a president’s party.”
He predicted that the outcomes will “depend on how localized the races are.”
“If there’s a national wave, the Democrats are in trouble,” Carney said.
U.S. News and World Report
reports that the six most reputable “quantitatively-driven forecasts” — DailyKos, FiveThirtyEight, Huffington Post, New York Times, Princeton Election Consortium and Washington Post — don’t even jibe with one another.
The Princeton Election Consortium predicts there’s a 75 percent probability that Dems will retain a majority, while The Times and FiveThirtyEight give the party only a mid-30 percent probability of remaining in power.
About a week ago, CNN announced that Carney would be joining its team as a political commentator. His first assignment was President Obama’s Wednesday night address about the Islamic State (ISIS).
After the speech, Carney faced off with Sen. John McCain
, who took aim at Carney and the Obama administration for its decisions on arming the Syrian rebels and withdrawing all troops from Iraq.
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