Decision Day in Georgia: Political Bettors Predict Republicans Retain Senate Control
It’s decision day in Georgia, as voters in the Peach State head to the polls to decide who will be their two Senators in DC. The outcome will determine the balance of power in Congress.
Political bettors are putting money on the Republican Party maintaining Senate control. The PredictIt marketing asking which party will have a majority in the Senate after the Georgia determining vote is cast has GOP shares trading at 60 cents. Democratic shares are at a distant 41 cents.
For the Democrats to take Senate control, they need to win both of today’s senate races in Georgia. No candidate in the two Senate races received a majority vote in November, leading us to today’s runoffs.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) is being challenged by Democrat Raphael Warnock, a pastor in the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up and preached. Sen. David Perdue (D) is challenged by Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 33-year-old former congressional aide and journalist who would become the youngest Senator with a win.
If both Warnock and Ossoff are able to flip the seats, the Senate would be split 50-50. That would make Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote for the Democrats.
While the PredictIt marking regarding Senate control is in the Republican Party’s favor, things are much closer in the two individual runoffs.
As polls opened this morning, Perdue is the betting favorite, his shares of winning at 54 cents, Ossoff at 49 cents. Perdue, a former businesses executive who worked for Reebok and Dollar General, has sat in Congress since 2015.
Warnock is the frontrunner against Loeffler, his shares of becoming the senator from Georgia trading at a commanding 60 cents.
Political pundits believe the momentum is tipping in the Democrats’ favor due to disorder in the Republican Party. President Donald Trump’s refusal to admit defeat, and his recently released call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) urging him to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn the presidential election in his favor, is said to be riling up enthusiasm among blue voters.
“Chaos in the Republican Party may be a key reason behind their [GOP] declining prospects in the two runoffs, with the candidates facing challenges over their loyalty to Donald Trump and his attempts to overturn the election with unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud,” opined Patrick Flynn, an analyst at political betting exchange Smarkets.
Trump and President-elect Joe Biden are both in Georgia urging their supporters to vote. Biden said during a speech that with a Warnock and Ossoff win, Congress will be able to move swiftly in getting COVID-19 aid, including a $2,000 stimulus payment to qualifying individuals, to Americans.
It’s about real lives, your lives, the lives of good, hardworking Americans,” Biden declared. “You need the money, you need the help. Look, Georgia, there’s no one in America with more power to make that happen than you.”
Trump maintained in his address to Georgians that the presidential election was rigged in Biden’s favor, and that for the state’s Senate seats to remain red, Republicans must get out and vote.
“You’ve got to swarm it,” the president said.
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