A national election model is projecting that U.S. Rep. French Hill is favored to defeat state Sen. Joyce Elliott in Arkansas’ Second District.
FiveThirtyEight, an ABC affiliate, released today its U.S. House forecast, modeling the most probable outcomes in races across the country. Among other intricacies, the modeling is programmed to account for credible polling and encompasses 40,000 simulations to reach the most likely conclusions published (which are also updated in real-time to account for polling changes between now and election day).
The organization is helmed by Nate Silver, and his election models have long been credited among the most accurate, including in 2012 when he correctly predicted the result of all 50 states in that year’s presidential election.
The race for representing Arkansas’ Second District has become a hot topic for Republicans and Democrats alike. As it stands, the state’s congressional leadership in Washington is all Republican, and Democrats have long ceded control of the state to the red tide. But this district, which includes one of the few remaining Democratic strongholds in Little Rock, is where the party feels it is still in play — especially considering Elliott’s stature and popularity.
Hill defeated his Democratic opponent, Clarke Tucker, in 2018, but by a mere six points, far and away the slimmest margin of any of his incumbent counterparts in Washington. And as of late, Elliott’s momentum had spelled more optimism for Democrats, polling at even or within the margin of error of Hill in virtually every poll conducted since the beginning of September.
But in the wide range of scenarios the FiveThirtyEight model runs through its programming, the incumbent, Hill, wins an average of 76 out of 100 times, as it currently stands.
Elsewhere, FiveThirtyEight projects Rep. Steve Womack (R) to defeat Celeste Williams (D) in greater than 99 times out of 100 in the Third District; and predicts a similar outcome in the Fourth with Rep. Bruce Westerman (R) “very likely” to defeat both William Hanson (D) and Frank Gilbert (L). Rep. Rick Crawford is running unopposed in the First District.
For the U.S. Senate, the model sees Sen. Tom Cotton (R) as better than 99 percent likely to defeat his only challenger on the ballot, Ricky Dale Harrington Jr. (L).
In the presidential election, FiveThirtyEight models President Donald Trump winning Arkansas’ electoral votes in an average of 98 out of 100 possible outcomes, but favors former Vice President Joe Biden to defeat Trump nationwide by an 83 in 100 chance, as of this writing. (Last month, prior to the first debate, the odds were in Biden’s favor at 74 in 100.)
The election forecast also shows the Democrats as “slightly” favored to assume control of the U.S. Senate, at 67 in 100 odds, and “clearly” favored to remain in control of the U.S. House, at 93 in 100 odds.