The Monkey Cage goes Nate Silver one better--actually, 20 percent better--with this "preliminary estimate: The GOP could have as much as a 4 in 5 chance of controlling the chamber."
The boldface is original, designed to either boost already boosted GOP spirits or increase Democratic emigration. Don't know which.
As is customary, the Monkey Cage's forecast is heavily caveat-laden (its findings are "preliminary", they're only the analysts' "initial sense," and their sense is "as of today") in a futile attempt to ward off all the destined and really insightful criticism that forecasts are merely forecasts based on contemporary information--and things could change! John Sides, who summarizes the Cage's crunching, tries to get ahead of such insight:
Democrats need 50 seats to control a majority, given Vice President Biden’s tie-breaking vote. This occurs in only 18 percent of simulations. It is most likely that Democrats will control 46 to 49 seats. Indeed, in nearly one-third of simulations, Democrats control 48 or 49 seats, suggesting that if future events break in their favor--for example, President Obama becomes more popular--their chances of controlling a narrow majority could improve.
It should be obvious by now to anyone paying even scant attention to this rolling catastrophe of the midterms that the hitherto Democratic strategy of defense--swathed mostly in ACA happy talk--is the rolling catastrophe. For them, being upbeat is a downer, since quite frankly their optimism in the face of such towering doom just looks goofy.
I don't know what it will take for Democrats and President Obama to shake their despair-cum-false-optimism and recloak themselves in some righteous rage. Perhaps it will never come; maybe it takes more than what the Dems have to give. I don't know. But I do know--and this is of course preliminary, it's only my initial sense, as of today (and yesterday, and the day before, and ...)--that playing defense will be a monstrous loser.