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Nate Silver Says Dems Will Lose Senate in 2014, What About Hillary in 2016?

Earlier this week, top political pollster and founder of FiveThirtyEight.com Nate Silver made headlines when the notably accurate statistician predicted the Republicans will win the Senate in the 2014 midterms.

Silver specifically cited West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, and Arkansas as states where Democratic senators are almost locks to lose their seats. He points to Louisiana, North Carolina, Michigan, and Alaska as states where the Republicans might be able to pick up seats.

The biggest factor in his new prediction, Silver says, is Barack Obama’s approval rating dragging down incumbent Democrats. So what does this all mean for Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2016?

West Virginia: Clinton is in big trouble in West Virginia, trailing Jeb Bush by 14 percent, Chris Christie by 9, Ted Cruz by 3, Rand Paul by 10, and Paul Ryan by 12. That’s 5 electoral votes the GOP can basically put on their map already.

South Dakota: We haven’t seen South Dakota polling and for good reason. South Dakota hasn’t been won by a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. That’s another 3 electoral votes the GOP can rely on.

Montana: In Montana, Clinton is in a 45-45 tie with Jeb Bush and trails Christie by 5 percent. No other candidates were polled. Still, it’s a slim margin so Montana and its 3 electoral votes are still for the taking.

Arkansas: We don’t have any recent numbers from Arkansas but a poll from late 2013 showed Clinton leading Christie by 2 percent and Rand Paul by 3 percent. Either way, it’s too close to call so Arkansas’ 6 electoral votes remain in play.

Louisiana: The Bayou State has gone red in every election since 1996 but did vote for Bill Clinton in the 96 election. Clinton is giving the GOP a run for its money in the red stronghold, trailing Christie by 1 percent, Bobby Jindal by 2 percent, Rand Paul by 4 percent, Mike Huckabee by 5 percent, and Jeb Bush by 7 percent. It’s leaning Republican but it’s too early to call where Louisiana’s 8 electoral votes will go.

North Carolina: As of March 2014, Clinton leads Bush by 1 percent, Christie by 4, Paul by 6, and Huckabee by 7 in North Carolina. It’s certainly not a lock to go blue but North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes are up for grabs.

Michigan: This is traditionally a blue state and has gone for a Democrat in every election since 1988. Christie could certainly make it interesting, only trailing Hillary by 3 percent, but Clinton leads Bush by 4, Paul by 9, and Cruz by 11. Of course, this poll was taken pre-Bridgegate so for now we can safely leave Michigan’s 16 electoral votes in the Hillary column until we see otherwise.

Alaska: Clinton leads former Governor Sarah Palin in her home state but that’s about it. Clinton trails Bush by 8, Christie by 4, Huckabee by 4, and Paul by 6. Those are fairly slim margins but, like Michigan, or rather the opposite, this is a traditionally red state that should stay that way. We’ll safely leave Alaska’s 3 electoral votes in the red column until we see otherwise.

So where’s that leave Hillary in Nate Silver’s 2014 key states?

Hillary: 16, Republican: 11, Too Close to Call: 32

(Image courtesy of Alan C.)