In an evenly divided Senate, Democrats hold an extremely small majority with the vote of Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties. To maintain control of the Senate after the upcoming mid-term elections, the party will have to maintain its 50 seats.

However, there is one hypothetical scenario where the Democrats could still control the Senate if they lost their current seat. Assuming all remaining seats remain the same, Democrats could afford to lose one seat in Nevada – as long as they successfully flip one seat in Pennsylvania.

The Senate Races in Nevada and Pennsylvania are both fiercely contested duels that have narrowed in recent weeks. The candidates for both races are one point apart for the week leading up to election day.

Democrats have a smaller advantage in Nevada, where Democratic Senator Cathrine Cortez Masto is battling Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. Tuesday’s FiveThirtyEight forecast indicates Cortez Masto is 0.4 points ahead in the head-to-head race, which is a better advantage than other pollsters have predicted.

The New York Times’ In a recent mid-term poll, which was released on Monday, the race in Nevada tied for a 47 percent to 47 percent draw. RealClearPolitics projection has Laxalt with a lead of 0.6 over the incumbent Democratic.

Given the proximity to the race, losing your seat is one option the Democrats will have to seriously consider next week.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada testifies at the United States Capitol Senate Judiciary Commission hearing on December 6, 2017 in Washington.Democrats may still retain control of the Senate should Masto lose re-election, provided the party wins a vacancy in Pennsylvania.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

However, Democrats could lose that seat in Nevada and still hold control of the House if their efforts in Pennsylvania pay off. Candidates in Keystone are fighting for a vacancy left by GOP Senator Pat Toomey, who announced in October 2020 that he would not run for a third term.

Both Democrats and Republicans pooled their resources in Pennsylvania in hopes of winning a seat. Democratic candidate and deputy governor of state John Fetterman led the way throughout the election cycle, sometimes ahead of Republican candidate Mehmet Oz by a double-digit lead.

However, Oz has quickly narrowed the gap over the past month, staying behind Fetterman by only 1.1 points, according to Tuesday’s FiveThirtyEight forecast. Just a month earlier, Fetterman was leading by 5.8 points, and two months ago the Democrats were 8.1 points ahead.

RealClearPolitics shows a more favorable win for the Democrats. Tuesday’s average had Fetterman’s lead by 1.5 points. The NYT Monday’s poll gave him a six point lead over Oz.

As long as Democrats can keep their lead on Oz – and polls reflect pending results – they may lose their seat in Nevada and still retain control of the Senate, which will be key to putting President Joe Biden’s agenda into legislation.

As of Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight is planning a draw in the Senate, and each game has a 50/100 chance of winning. The election forecaster suggests that Nevada and Georgia will have the greatest chances of winning the election, while the Democrats’ chances are best in Pennsylvania.

Georgia is a relatively fierce race, but it has not yet been determined whether the recent controversy of GOP candidate Herschel Walker could induce voters to vote for the incumbent Democrat Senator Raphael Warnock.

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