FiveThirtyEight.com founder Nate Silver said on Monday that, though the odds favor Republicans on election night, the actual elections are not likely to be settled soon.
“The GOP has a 75 percent chance to win — eventually,” Silver told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “That might require recounts, and runoffs. It might require Greg Orman, if Democrats win, deciding who he wants to caucus with. So it might be an election week, or month, not an election day.”
Silver’s site, which shot to national prominence following his accuracy in predicting the 2008 elections, said on Monday that Republicans have a 75.5 percent chance of seizing the Senate on Tuesday.
Hayes pointed out that this was at least marginally better odds for Democrats than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney faced against incumbent President Barack Obama two years ago, when Silver’s site gave Obama a 90 percent chance of winning.
Orman, an independent, is currently threatening to unseat incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), but has not stated who he would caucus with if he pulled off the upset. If that happened, Hayes said, the GOP would need to win more than three Senate seats from Democrats in order to gain control of that chamber of Congress.
Silver, who is predicting that the GOP would come away with 52 or 53 seats on Tuesday, said that the “chaos” of a long election night would benefit Democrats.
“It’s kind of like, I suppose, if a jury is convening: a quick verdict means guilty, usually,” Silver explained. “Democrats want voters to take as long as possible. The longer the night goes, the more we have to wait for a fisherman in Alaska or Greg Orman to decide who he wants to caucus with, the more chance they have.”
Watch the interview, as aired on MSNBC on Monday, below.