Monday, December 9, 2013
Nate Silver, the baseball stats geek who has become an All-Star interpreter of political polls, has a record that's hard to beat.
He analyzed multiple in-state surveys in 2008 and correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential election in 49 states. (He was wrong in Indiana, where Barack Obama pulled out a 1 percent victory.)
So when he predicts, we listen. In his analysis of U.S. Senate races this year, Silver is seeing some trends that Maine voters should be paying attention to. Although the numbers yield a wide range of outcomes, he wrote last week that if he had to make a single projection, it would be a Senate with 50 Republicans, 49 Democrats and one independent, former Maine Gov. Angus King. If King were to caucus with the Democrats, control of the Senate would go to whichever party won the presidency, and had the vice president's deciding vote.
We don't think that many voters decide who to vote for on "process" issues, like which party will control the Senate, but for those who do, this analysis adds weight to King's claim that he will have influence without belonging to a party. What he would do with that influence should be the substance of the rest of this campaign.