A prediction by statistician Nate Silver that Republicans are slightly favored to capture the Senate from Democrats in November, with a six-seat gain, is being greeted with mild skepticism from the Democratic campaign arm.
In a blog post on Sunday, Silver wrote that the Republican Party has clear opportunities in West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas, but will need to win two toss-up races and avoid taking a loss in states such as Georgia and Kentucky.
“The balance has shifted slightly toward the GOP,” Silver wrote. “But it wouldn’t take much for it to revert to the Democrats, nor for this year to develop into a Republican rout along the lines of 2010.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or DSCC, was quick to issue a memo on Monday, which possibly served multiple purposes: assure backers that they surpassed expectations in 2012, even when Silver painted a bleak picture for Democrats; and remind donors that the billionaire Koch brothers are investing heavily in a Republican Senate takeover and there’s still much work to be done.
“It has become crystal clear that our opponent in 2014 is not the Republican Party but two billionaire brothers,” wrote Guy Cecil, executive director of the DSCC. “The Koch Brothers have already spent more than $30 million this cycle savaging Democratic Senate candidates with grossly misleading attack ads that have been widely discredited. Their effort seeks to prop up Republican Senate candidates who support an anti-middle class agenda that is good for the Kochs and bad for almost every other family in the country.”
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Democrats themselves are planning their own multimillion-dollar attack. According to a recent report in the New York Times, the Senate Majority PAC is set to spend $3 million in advertising against Charles and David Koch. Among the targeted areas are Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina.
By portraying the billionaire Koch brothers as rich, and, as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has put it, “un-American,” the DSCC is hoping the Republicans will blow up their chances by “pandering to the far right.”
“That [pandering] will prove costly in a general election,” Cecil wrote.