The Man Who Predicted Obama’s Wins Says McGinty Is Likely to Unseat Toomey

Nate Silver’s 538 website gives Katie McGinty a slight edge in the November election.

Katie McGinty, Pat Toomey

Katie McGinty photo by Donald Derosa, used under a Creative Commons license

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, the website that correctly predicted Barack Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012, has released its 2016 Senate forecasts, and all three of the site’s models currently have Katie McGinty favored to beat Pat Toomey.

  • “Polls-plus” forecast (which includes historical and economic data): McGinty, 52.7%
  • Polls-only forecast: McGinty, 57.3%
  • “If the race were held today” prediction: McGinty, 52.4%

To be sure, these numbers are in flux. Just two days ago, the same “polls-plus” prediction gave McGinty a 60.7 percent chance of victory. But it shows that Toomey faces an uphill battle this year. A longtime politician with generally well-regarded constituent service is losing to a newcomer who’s never held elected office. Pennsylvania’s leftward tilt, as well as the looming specter of Trump, may be hurting Toomey.

Toomey does lead (by a point) in the most recent poll of the state charted by FiveThirtyEight, but Mcginty leads 7 of the 9 polls before that — with one of those being a statistical tie.