Politics Betting: Mid-Term Elections Betting Preview

Mid-Term Elections Betting Preview – Recommended Bets

Recommended Bets

Mark Kelly (D) to win Arizona Senate @ 1.73 – Bet365Katie Hobbs (D) to win Arizona Governor @ 2.25 – Bet365John Fetterman (D) to win Pennsylvania Senate @ 1.36 – Bet365Josh Shapiro (D) to win Pennsylvania Governor @ 1.36 – Bet365Republicans to win House, Democrats to win Senate @ 2.0 – William Hill

Outside of a Presidential year, the biggest betting event in
US politics is the mid-term elections. The season is already well underway,
following a summer of primaries.

My best US bet of the year, pinpointed in January, already landed with ease at odds of around 5/4, as Brian Kemp became the Republican Nominee for Georgia Governor.

What’s In Play?

All 435 seats for the House of Representatives.
Gubernatorial races in 36 states. 35 of the 100 seats in the US Senate.

All are scheduled for November 8 and all are betting heats.

The Senate and House races will have big implications for
President Biden’s ability to deliver legislation. Presidential candidates for
2024 are sure to emerge, especially from those Governor races.

What Are The Betting Options?

Regarding the big picture, Betfair offer odds on which party wins a majority in either the Senate or the House.

William Hill offer a market on the double. For example, they offer Even money or 2.0 that the Republicans win the House, Democrats the Senate.

Note if the Senate is tied 50-50 as it currently stands,
that will count as a Democrat win as Vice President Kamala Harris holds the
casting vote.

That even money double reflects the current projection.

The Democrats are now slight favorites for the Senate,
following a big turnaround in recent weeks.

The Republicans, however, remain very strong favorites to win the House. Their latest Betfair odds are just 1.17.

Going deeper, we can bet on the outcome of all the states
deemed competitive. Or even the exact number of seats each party will win in
each chamber.

What’s The Form Guide?

So why is the betting so different for each chamber?

Simply, the electorates and dynamics differ. Every
Congressional district is up but only 34 states will vote for the Senate.

Also, House districts are manipulated along partisan lines
and are to an ever larger extent, gerrymandered. Whereas a Senate race covers
the entire state.

Historically, mid-term elections for the House work against
the party of the president. Opponents tend to be better motivated to
turnout. 

During President Obama’s two terms, his party were hammered
in both sets of mid-terms.

But when President Trump was in the White House, the
Democrats enjoyed a ‘Blue Wave’, sweeping the House with 235 seats – an
improvement of 41.

Yet on the same day, Trump’s Republicans increased their
Senate tally to 53, from 51.

Thus, 2018 illustrates how results between the two chambers
do not necessarily correlate.

When the House was last contested, on the same day as the
2020 presidential election and therefore involving a more even turnout, that
Democrat advantage fell to just 222-213.

It seems extremely unlikely that they will be able to hold
their majority, now they are the incumbents and the Republicans have the extra
motivation.

Backlash Against Biden Seems Inevitable

Joe BidenImage: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Indeed, the signals have long implied that President Biden
will suffer a similar backlash.

It has proved the case in special elections, the disastrous
loss of Virginia’s governorship and very nearly a catastrophic loss of New
Jersey.

His approval ratings have since sunk to a dismal level, below 40%.

However, momentum may be reversing.

Biden has enjoyed several wins in recent weeks – gas prices
falling rapidly, bipartisan bills that few thought possible, better job numbers
than expected, the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri. 

Generic ballot polls are tied, with more led by the
Democrats than not in recent weeks, although are still well short of the double-digit
leads enjoyed before 2018.

Fivethirtyeight’s model rates them only 20% likely for the
House.

Nevertheless, the Senate is a different story, as a 59%
forecast from Fivethirtyeight illustrates.

The states in play are relatively favorable to Democrats –
an exact reversal of 2018, when Republican Senators defied the Blue Wave at
House level.

Furthermore, the Republicans seem intent on a course of
electoral suicide. 

Abortion And Jan 6 Investigation Are Hurting Republicans

Protests at the Supreme Court of the United StatesProtests at the Supreme Court of the United States. [Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr]

Whereas there are easy gains to be made on living standards and inflation, self-inflicted cultural wars could prove their undoing. The transformative issue seems to be abortion.

The Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade sent
Republican activists delirious, but it is consistently unpopular with the
majority of voters. It crystalized a key dividing line in US society and
politics, and energized Democrat campaigns.

Likewise, the January 6 Committee Hearings are proving a disaster for Republicans.

Whereas a hardcore of their activists remain fervent Trump
supporters and deny the 2020 election result, that position is at direct odds
with median voters.

Numerous election-denial extremists and QaNon believers have won primaries, damaging their party’s brand and chances in key races. US elections are always about Independents, rather than hyper-partisans.

Consider two critical swing states, where both the Senate
and Governorship are in play.

Remember, Biden’s election win was only possible by narrowly
gaining Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Mid-term, Democrats should be vulnerable here to a competent
challenge, but that looks unlikely.

Pennsylvania And Arizona To Stay Blue

In PA, the Republican candidate Doug Mastriano is one of
those extreme candidates.

A QaNon conspiracy theorist who attended Trump’s rally at
the Capitol on Jan 6, and denies the validity of Biden’s election win. He
trails Josh Shapiro by 8%. 

For the Senate, Trump’s choice ‘Dr’ Mehmet Oz won the
nomination. He’s since been shown to be a resident of a different state (NJ)
and a dual national, with Turkey. He trails John Fetterman by 11%.

This would represent a gain for the Democrats, as it is an
open seat following the retirement of Republican Pat Toomey.

Bet365 offer odds of 4/11 about each of these race leaders. Short odds for sure, but it is very hard to envisage either Democrat failing.

In Arizona, the party has traveled very far to the Right in
recent years, since the late John McCain was untouchable in Senate races.

Their 2022 slate revel in dissing the McCain legacy – which
makes zero sense in a state where Independents loved him. 

Instead they have Kari Lake up for Governor, against Katie
Hobbs. For the Senate, Blake Masters takes on Democrat incumbent Mark Kelly.

Both of these candidates are again, QaNon believing election-deniers, holding unabashed extreme right views. Their Secretary of State candidate is Mark Finchem – a long-term member of the Oath Keepers.

This is the violent far-right terror group whose leadership
has been charged with sedition on January 6.

The betting really doesn’t reflect the nature of the
candidates.

Bet365 offer 8/11 about Kelly – who leads by 8.6% on
average, and frequently hits 49% or higher – and 5/4 about Hobbs. She
too is clearly ahead in the polls and hitting the high-forties.

If Kelly and Fetterman do land these Senate seats for the
Democrats, that would alter the overall tally to 51-49 in their favor.

Republicans would need a net gain of two elsewhere.
Possible, but not easy or obvious, given the map.

The most vulnerable Democrat defences are in Georgia and
Nevada. The latter is a genuine toss-up, between incumbent Catherine Cortez
Masto and Adam Laxalt.

Bet365 rate the Democrat outsider but the polls have her
1.5% up on average. 

As for Georgia, I much prefer the incumbent Raphael Warnock
at odds of 10/11 against ex-football star Herschel Walker.

His lack of political pedigree is showing already and his
campaign is plagued with several scandals, including domestic violence
allegations.

Outside those states, changes are unlikely, and if there
were an upset, there’s at least an equal chance the Democrats would benefit.

They have a strong favorite in New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan,
while the two probable if not certain Republican defences are Wisconsin and
Ohio, by Ron Johnson and J.D. Vance respectively. 

Overall, I reckon it will work out as either 51-49 to the
Democrats, or 50-50 again, leaving them in control. The difference would hang
around Nevada.

My recommendation, therefore, is that even money double with
William Hill
on a Republican House and Democrat Senate.

Recommended Bets

Mark Kelly (D) to win Arizona Senate @ 1.73 – Bet365Katie Hobbs (D) to win Arizona Governor @ 2.25 – Bet365John Fetterman (D) to win Pennsylvania Senate @ 1.36 – Bet365Josh Shapiro (D) to win Pennsylvania Governor @ 1.36 – Bet365Republicans to win House, Democrats to win Senate @ 2.0 – William Hill