Will Democrats Keep Control of the Senate Because of Paul Ryan?

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium, who had a pretty good forecasting record in 2008, writes to suggest that we might all be missing the boat on Paul Ryan. Although Ryan might not have a big influence on the presidential race, he could very well have a big influence on whether Democrats maintain the control of the Senate:

What if the Romney-Ryan ticket causes candidates to campaign explicitly on GOP budget priorities? Imagine that slightly more voters switch their votes in one direction or the other based on what they hear. If 1% of voters flip toward Democrats, the resulting 2% swing leads to [an 82% chance of Democratic control]….Anyway, that’s what a knife-edge looks like. Pundits, please talk about this instead?

Obviously we don’t know what effect Ryan will have on down-ticket voters, but a 1% swing against Republicans certainly seems plausible. Either way, though, it does seem as though Ryan’s real influence could be much greater in congressional races than in the presidential contest. Wang’s charts are below.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend