Midterms Betting Latest: Who Will Control House And Senate In 2022?
Betting sites expect the Republican party to win control of Congress this week as Americans prepare to vote in the US midterm elections.
The Democrats have battled hard to recoup polling losses across the country but it appears as though president Joe Biden is facing the very real possibility of a GOP-majority House and Senate.
The vote, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th, is the biggest test yet of Biden’s presidency and could have major ramifications for his next two years in office, with his ability to pass legislation hand-tied by Congress.
Right now, the Democrats have a slender majority in the House of Representatives (the lower legislative chamber) and hold the deciding vote in a Senate (upper chamber) that is split 50/50.
But Joe Biden is preparing himself for a chastening election night as the Republican support grows in the final hours before polls open.
The president, 79, had hoped to recover from record-low approval ratings in the summer but his economic and infrastructure plans have been attacked on all sides.
His only real shot in the arm was when the Dems received a boost of support after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade. But even that doesn’t look likely to be enough to save the Dems here.
And UK bookmakers, who have pitched the Republicans as the favourites to win House and Senate control throughout this political cycle, are now going all-in on the GOP.
House of Representatives Betting Odds
According to the bookmakers, there is now a 91% chance of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, at odds of 1/10. This tracks with US midterm election polls which reckon the GOP have an 82% chance of winning a majority.
Exactly how big that majority is remains to be seen, but the Republicans are expected to hoover up enough of the roughly 30 floating seats to gain a majority of at least 218 seats.
In fact, research suggests the Republicans are already on course to win 197 seats without too much trouble.
They’ve gained plenty of support from Donald Trump-endorsed candidates in recent months and look set to take key districts like Colorado’s 8th, Iowa’s 3rd and North Carolina’s 13th.
No wonder, then, that bookmakers keep slashing their odds on a GOP triumph in the House. Back in the summer they priced a Republican House majority at 2/5, which hinted at a 71% probability.
But over the following weeks and months that price has steadily fallen to such an extent that the Republicans are more likely to win the House than Hillary Clinton was to win the 206 US election.
We mention this slightly in cheek, because Clinton lost that year to Trump despite being priced 1/9 to win.
It shows that the bookies and pollsters do sometimes get things wrong – but in this instance it appears almost certain that the GOP will succeed in accurately reflecting the data.
Senate Betting Odds
Over in the Senate, it’s a different story. The Democrats have battled hard to win seats here but know the task is immeasurably difficult, as America swings in favour of the right.
The big issue has been around the Biden administration and its inability to pass legislation – in part due to Democratic senators getting in the way of proceedings.
The infighting has not gone down well with the public, who are concerned about gas prices, inflation and civil rights being taken from them.
The Dems have perhaps looked too inward during this election cycle and they’re now on the verge of losing control of the Senate. Currently, it’s split 50/50 with vice president Kamala Harris having a deciding vote on any issues that are evenly split.
This isn’t a great way to govern but it’s better than the likely alternative come November 8th, which is a GOP majority.
If the Republicans win a majority here they can effectively control the legislative process and restrict Biden’s ability to manage the economy and society as he wishes.
Bookmakers gave the Dems slight hope of victory here when reducing their odds in early October. Likewise, the pollsters thought growing support for the Democrats could result in a slender Senate majority.
But the campaign appears to have run out of steam. FiveThirtyEight say it’s now a dead heat in the Senate, although the GOP could win as many as 56 seats. This really is a coin toss that could decide the political direction of America for years to come.
And the bookies are backing the Republicans. Having set the odds of a GOP victory at 4/6 (60%) some weeks ago, bookmakers now give them a 4/11 chance (73%) of controlling the upper chamber.
Meanwhile, the Democrat odds have fallen to 2/1 from 11/10, which now suggests a one-in-three chance of winning.
Evidently political betting sites are going bigger on a GOP win than the polls, but we have to take into account the odds depression that multiple bets on a Republican victory creates.
In this market, 55% of all wagers have sided with the Republicans, which in turn reduces their odds.
Congress Majority Betting
While William Hill are offering markets on individual Senate and House results, many are also looking at the combined odds for both chambers. And this market has caused a stir by flipping a number of times over the past few months.
Back in the summer it appeared as though a Rep House/Rep Senate result was all-but guaranteed. The odds had come in, while the chances of the Democrats winning either chamber had seemingly ebbed away.
But then the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade and it triggered a huge swathe of support for the Democrats. So much so that in September the most likely outcome in Congress was a Rep House/Dem Senate at odds of 6/5.
But the Democrats have made little progress since then, and the Republicans have benefitted from the media coverage around the number of Donald Trump picks who are now on the ballot.
The chances of a Republican majority in both chambers is growing rapidly. Three weeks ago betting sites had a Rep House/Rep Senate favoured at 4/7 (63% likelihood), which has now come in further to 1/3 (75%).
In turn, the odds of a Democrat Senate and Republican House have widened from 13/8 (38%) to a new price of 11/4 (26.7%).
On this basis it looks as though the Democrats have run out of steam. They’ve all-but surrendered the House and have a reduced chance of winning control of the Senate.
Biden is facing a difficult two years ahead, while the GOP will be buoyed by this impending result.
Expect to see rumours of Donald Trump running for president in 2024 resurface, while there will be calls to shut down the January 6th riot inquest.
US politics is about to turn on its head once again.
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