Dems try to debunk Nate Silver

Democrats are pushing back against a nonpartisan election forecast that predicts Republicans have a better-than-even chance of taking back the Senate this fall.

In a new memo, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil raises questions about an analysis out this weekend from statistician Nate Silver and insists Democrats are “up for the challenge” this fall.

“We don’t minimize the challenges ahead. Rather, we view the latest projection as a reminder that we have a challenging map and important work still to do in order to preserve our majority,” Cecil writes.

He points to Silver’s prediction in August 2012 that Republicans would take back the Senate, when Democrats actually netted three seats that November, as evidence of how easily the election-year tide can change.

And he argues that Democrats have a stronger message than Republicans heading into the midterms, and notes the substantial investment the DSCC is making in turnout operations in competitive Senate seats as evidence the party will hold its fragile six-seat majority despite a difficult political environment this cycle….

…And Cecil argues that Republican candidates could undermine their chances in some of those races, just as weak candidates did in a handful of key races in 2012.

He concludes by touting the party’s chances in a number of open states and the two states they’re hoping to flip, but notably makes no mention of South Dakota, an open Democratic-held seat where the party failed to draw a strong candidate.

“It’s clear that Republican Senate candidates, even candidates favored by Washington insiders, are pandering to the far right and embracing the reckless and irresponsible agenda of the Koch Brothers that will prove costly in a general election. Democrats have strong incumbents, great recruits in Michigan, Iowa, West Virginia and Montana, and are playing offense in Kentucky, Georgia, and Mississippi,” Cecil writes.

The Hill
3/24/14