Republicans have a 38 percent chance of securing the majority near Nov. 4. Democrats have only a 15 percent chance.
It’s possible this calculation underestimates the chances we’ll know the winner within a day or two of Election Day. In 2008, it took two weeks for Sen. Mark Begich to be declared the winner in Alaska. His margin of victory was small but not that close. He won by just over 1 percentage point. It’s not hard to imagine that even a 2 percentage point or 3 percentage point victory could take a while to finalize in Alaska. Republican Dan Sullivan is projected to win Alaska by about 4 percentage points.
If we assume we won’t know Alaska right away, the chance of a regulation-time win for either party falls to 36 percent — 64 percent of the time, we’re left waiting (without a call in Alaska, the GOP wins in regulation 24 percent of the time, and the Democrats win and avoid overtime in 12 percent of simulations).