- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2016

Hillary Clinton is poised to become the 45th president of the United States and Democrats are on the verge of capturing control of the Senate, according to the final pre-election predictions from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

The forecast from Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley shows Mrs. Clinton defeating Donald Trump by a 322-216 margin in the Electoral College vote and that Democrats will gain control of the Senate by flipping control of four seats and winning The White House, giving the vice president the tie-breaking vote.

They also predict that Democrats will pick up 13 seats in the House.

In their latest analysis, Mr. Trump will emerge victorious in the swing states of Iowa and Ohio, but will come up short in Colorado, Nevada, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

“In the prognostication business, what you predict at the end — when the drift of the year is usually fairly clear — is less significant than what you predict months before, at a time when the future is foggy,” they said. “Starting in March, we have released a total of 17 Electoral College maps in the Clinton-Trump race. Not even on Clinton’s worst campaign days did we ever have her below 270 electoral votes.”

The threesome predicts Democrats will flip Senate seats in the Illinois race pitting Rep. Tammy Duckworth against Sen. Mark Kirk, the Wisconsin contest pitting former Sen. Russ Feingold against Sen. Ron Johnson, the Pennsylvania race putting Kate McGinty against Sen. Pat Toomey and the New Hampshire race pitting Gov. Maggie Hassan against Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

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“Ayotte should run ahead of Trump, but we think it won’t be quite enough in the end for her to hold on,” they said. “Count this as one of the races we are least certain about.”

They also are picking Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, to defeat Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican, in the race for the seat being vacated by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

“If we’re off on the total number of seat changes, we think it’s slightly likelier that Democrats get to 51 or 52 than Republicans,” they said. “That could mean the Democrats pulling out a win in Indiana, Missouri, or North Carolina. If Republicans hold on to the majority, it probably would be because Ayotte survives in New Hampshire.”

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