Friday, November 16, 2018
UPDATE (Nov. 15, 5:27 p.m., 2018): We’ve updated the text below with the latest news and data. We’ve also removed the Arizona U.S. Senate race, California 10th District, California 48th District, California 49th District, Georgia 6th District, Maine 2nd District, New Jersey 3rd District and Washington 8th District, which have been called for Democrats, and the Minnesota 1st District and North Carolina 9th District, which have been called for Republicans. Our original write-ups on those races can be found in the footnotes.
Happy Election Day! The last of the polls are in, and it’s finally pencils down for FiveThirtyEight’s 2018 midterm forecast. Here are our final forecasts:
This is a difficult article to write. Not for any deeply personal reason, but just because I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to lead with — the most likely outcome or the uncertainty around that outcome.
Starting when the first polling places close at 6 p.m. Eastern, election night will be a whirlwind of tweets, numbers, emotions, speeches, pizza and live blogs. To see when polls close in each state, check out this map; to learn what to watch in each state, read the following hour-by-hour preview of key races (all times Eastern).
UPDATE (Nov. 10, 2018, 2:23p.m.): Since first publishing this article, the Florida secretary of state has ordered a machine recount in the U.S. Senate, governor and commissioner of agriculture races as unofficial returns have found the results of these races within half a percentage point. This automatically triggers a machine count in each race. If the race falls within a quarter of a percentage point after the machine recount, each ballot will be recounted by hand in a much more complex, manual recount.
It’s been well over a year since we published our first stories about the race for control of the U.S. Senate. Even then, circa May 2017 (God help us), we knew that the map favored Republicans and that the battle for control of the chamber would be pitched. A lot has happened since then: There have been unorthodox primary candidates and a shifting battleground map; a Supreme Court seat opened up, creating an engulfing political controversy for senators locked in tight races; and the climate in the country has remained highly partisan and highly antagonistic when it comes to all things political — twice in the past year, I’ve arrived at work to the sight of police guarding offices that house dozens of journalists.
Welcome to our final Election Update for the 2018 Senate races!
With Democrats having won the House but not the Senate on Tuesday — and with President Trump still in the White House — we’re headed for two years of divided government. That doesn’t mean there won’t be news, like … oh, say, the president firing the attorney general the day after the election.