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But neither of those assumptions is realistic. Although it’s important to account for some correlation, Senate races are a long way from being perfectly correlated. Sometimes the candidates can matter, as we saw with Jones and Roy Moore in Alabama. And the most competitive races this year are a somewhat eclectic mix of vulnerable Democratic incumbents (such as Missouri’s Claire McCaskill), vulnerable Republican incumbents (such as Nevada’s Dean Heller), and open seats (such as in Arizona).

A good rule of thumb for Senate races is that roughly half the uncertainty stems from local factors and half comes from national factors. If I encode that assumption into the simulation, it comes up with a 22 percent probability of Democrats taking over the Senate based on the race ratings. That isn’t nothing, but it’s a long way from the even-steven battle that conventional wisdom now seems to assume.

Of course, this logic is a little bit circular. The only thing I’ve “proven” here — it’s also been demonstrated by other analysts Moxy High Rise Super Skinny Jean Blue lush Dr Denim BV7MY3k
— is that there’s an incongruity between how people Black and Orange Shatter Design Silk Pocket Square Salvatore Piccolo aw6NLrVE

Or at least people like the ones who run Cook Political Report and the other race ratings, who are both good at what they do and are usually a good gauge for the conventional wisdom.

I’ll return to this question in a moment — but first, there’s one more slightly unpleasant complication.

The 34 races I listed in the chart above are not necessarily the only ones that will be contested this year. As was the case with Franken’s seat in Minnesota, other senators could unexpectedly retire, or they could pass away, leaving a vacancy that would be filled by special election. Bettors assessing Democrats’ overall chances of winning the Senate are no doubt accounting for these possibilities, even if groups such as Sabato, Inside Elections and Cook are not.

Two seats involving ailing Republican senators could particularly affect the Senate calculus. One is Arizona, where Sen. John McCain has been Womens Zx Flux Adv Verve Trainers Black One Size adidas vIqNrUoG
; he hasn’t yet announced any plans to retire, but Republicans are preparing for the possibility that he’ll end his term prematurely. The other is Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran, age 80, is reportedly considering retirement after a series of medical complications.

Another way for Democrats to gain seats would be for a current Republican to switch parties. Empirically, this happens fairly often after wave elections (two Democratic senators Mens Silk Pocket Square Cherry Blossom Square by VIDA VIDA virLVaTly
, and Republican Arlen Specter switched to the Democratic Party after 2008). It also happens when control of the Senate is up for grabs (as when Jim Jeffords defected from Republicans to caucus with Democrats in 2001). The most likely Republicans to switch parties — based on their relatively high rate of disagreement with Trump and their cross-partisan appeal in their respective states — are probably Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

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Afternoon Map
BY Michele Debczak
April 6, 2018
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Millennials are increasingly opting to Statement Clutch Time Flies by VIDA VIDA q9F45g3ETy
over mortgages as housing prices creep up across the country. But the American dream of owning a home is more realistic in some places than it is in others. According to this data visualization from the cost information site Proenza Schouler Woman Leather Sandals Black Size 37 Proenza Schouler IkBTa
, where you choose to live can save you tens of thousands of dollars on housing payments a year.

How Much calculated the salary you need to afford the average home in each state by running data from Womens Rosa Trainers Semler j2HmkMCnQ
into a mortgage calculator. They assumed that homeowners would pay interest of 4 to 5 percent depending on the state, make a down payment of 10 percent, and spend 30 percent of their annual income on their mortgage. Based on these numbers, they found West Virginia to be the most affordable state to live in: There you only need to make $38,320 to own the average $149,500 home. Behind it is Ohio with a salary requirement of $38,400 and Michigan with a salary of $40,800. All the states where the minimum salary to own a home falls below $50,000 are located in the South, North-Atlantic, and Midwestern U.S.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii occupies the top slot. To afford an average house there, which goes for $610,000, you need to bring home an annual income of at least $153,520. Washington D.C., where you need to make $138,440 or more, is the second most expensive location for homeowners, followed by California with a minimum salary of $120,120.

If the map above doesn't make you feel any more optimistic about owning a home, check out this map from 2017 of the earnings needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in each state.

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Afternoon Map
Where in the U.S. People Aren't Getting Enough Exercise, Mapped
BY Shaunacy Ferro
July 9, 2018
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The U.S. is a notoriously sedentary country. A huge portion of the population doesn't meet the government's recommendations for physical activity, and that can have some serious ramifications for public health. But not everyone is equally sedentary. Physical activity rates can vary significantly from state to state, as a CDC report spotted by Thrillist illustrates.

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