Sen. Raphael Warnock Wins Georgia Senate Election in Runoff Closer Than Expected
Incumbent US Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) has officially fended over a robust GOP challenge from political newcomer Herschel Walker.
Warnock narrowly edged Walker during the Nov. 8 general election by about 37,000 votes. But he failed to meet the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff.
Warnock seemed to have all the momentum heading into yesterday’s special contest, as early voting and absentee voting seemed to favor the incumbent. Pollsters and bettors agreed that Warnock would ultimately prevail once the votes were counted.
The PredictIt money prior to the runoff election day was strongly behind Warnock, as his shares of defeating Walker were trading at 92 cents. When PredictIt closes markets after a result has been determined, winning shares are redeemed at $1 a piece.
Smarkets, another peer-to-peer betting exchange, gave Warnock a roughly 94% chance of serving another six-year term in Washington. Warnock prevailed last night by winning 51.4% of the vote over Walker. The Associated Press called the race for Warnock around 9:30 pm EST.
After a hard-fought campaign — or, should I say, campaigns — it is my honor to utter the four most powerful words ever spoken in a democracy: The people have spoken,” Warnock told his supporters in a downtown Atlanta hotel ballroom.
Unlike some other GOP candidates who lost during the 2022 midterms, Walker did not delay his concession.
“The numbers look like they’re not going to add up,” said Walker, a candidate who was encouraged by former President Donald Trump to seek Georgia’s Senate seat. “There are no excuses in life, and I’m not going to make any excuses now because we put up one heck of a fight.”
Dems Extend Senate Control
Warnock’s victory means Vice President Kamala Harris will not serve as a tiebreaking vote in the event of party deadlock. With Warnock retaining his seat, the Democratic Party will occupy 51 seats in the Senate chamber when the 118th Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3.
Less than a month ago, such a Senate makeup was seen as a longshot. The Republicans were expected to welcome in a “red wave” during the 2022 midterms, but the Democrats managed to hold off Senate challenges in Arizona, Nevada, and now Georgia. Sen.-elect John Fetterman’s win in Pennsylvania also went a long way in the president’s party retaining power in the upper congressional chamber.
The midterms have reenergized President Joe Biden’s 2024 chances, should the 80-year-old decide to seek another four years in the White House. PredictIt currently gives the POTUS a 30% chance of winning in two years.
Last-Minute PredictIt Betting?
PredictIt has not yet closed its Warnock-Walker market. The betting exchange typically closes an election market soon after the Associated Press declares a winner.
But nearly 12 hours since the AP called the race in Warnock’s favor, the PredictIt market remains open. Warnock’s shares are trading at 99 cents.
So, how much money could one make by buying Warnock now, as he’s seemingly a sure thing at this point?
PredictIt limits bettors to purchasing $850 worth of shares in any single market. At 99 cents each, that means a market newcomer could still buy 858 Warnock shares.
When those shares are redeemed at $1 each, the net profit comes to just $8. But that’s before PredictIt takes its 10% cut of profits, which would reduce the win by 80 cents.
PredictIt then levies a 5% processing fee on withdrawals, taking the net payout to just $6.84.
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