The Rushmore Report – 2018 Crystal Ball

Larry Sabato is the foremost political scientist in America today. He is the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he is also the founder and director of the Center for Politics, which works to promote civic engagement and participation. Sabato is recognized as the most reliable predictor of elections. As publisher of Sabato’s Crystall Ball, he provides updates on the state of imminent elections. This is his latest analysis on the coming 2018 Senate elections.

Current Senate Breakdown

Going into the midterm elections, Republicans hold a slim advantage over Democrats, 51-49.

States Solid or Leaning Democrat

The following state senate races are likely to be won by Democratic candidates:

  • California
  • Washington
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Hawaii

States Solid or Leaning Republican

The following senate races are likely to be won by Republicans:

  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraska
  • Mississippi
  • Texas
  • Tennessee

Toss-up States

The following states could go either way. By each state, we will note which party is currently in power.

  • Nevada (R)
  • Arizona (R)
  • North Dakota (D)
  • Missouri (D)
  • Indiana (D)
  • Florida (D)


Sabato does not show any current states which are strong or leaning in one direction or the other as changing parties. So it all comes down to the six toss-ups: Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida. Because four of these six states are currently in Democratic hands, they are at the greatest risk of losing seats.

Bottom Line

Below, we give the final senate count following the midterm elections.

  • Best case for Republicans: expand majority to 55-45
  • Best case for Democrats: reclaim majority by 51-49
  • Most likely outcome: Republican expand majority from 51-49 by one seat, to 52-48

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