Georgia’s Democratic US Sen. Raphael Warnock is the betting front-runner for the runoff election to determine who occupies the state’s junior US Senate seat come January 2023.
Warnock narrowly topped his Republican challenger, former football great Herschel Walker, during the Nov. 8 election. Warnock received 49.4% of the vote compared to Walker at 48.5%.
Because neither candidate eclipsed the 50% threshold, as required by Georgia law, the two will square off again in less than two weeks on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Bettors think Warnock will prevail in the head-to-head — the absence of other candidates assuring that one will meet the 50% minimum.
Online political betting exchange PredictIt has Warnock in the driver’s seat, his shares of winning the runoff trading at 82 cents. The momentum is behind the incumbent, as his shares just a week ago were trading a bit lower at 78 cents.
Winning shares on PredictIt are redeemed for $1. But that’s before the political wagering exchange takes its 10% cut of profits. PredictIt additionally charges a 5% processing fee for all withdrawals. The site does not levy fees on losses nor shares sold at the same or a lower price than they were originally purchased.
Race Remains Important
The morning after the Nov. 6 election, it seemed as if the Georgia runoff could decide the power of the Senate. But that was resolved after the Democrats managed to flip Pennsylvania’s vacant Senate seat blue with Senator-elect John Fetterman, and incumbent Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly in Arizona and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada managed to hang on to their seats.
With only Georgia unsettled, the balance of the US Senate come Jan. 3, 2023, is Democrats holding 50 seats and Republicans occupying 49. With 50 seats in their control, and Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote in the chamber in the event of legislative deadlock, President Joe Biden’s party has already managed to retain control of the Senate for at least another two years.
But if Walker is able to pull off what would be a rare Republican upset during the 2022 midterms, the GOP could assume control of the Senate should they win the presidency in two years.
A 50-50 Senate would also diminish the Democrats’ power until 2024, as committees would share power. Democrats also would not be able to hold votes should just one of its Senators be absent from a chamber vote. Finally, a 50-50 deadlock could allow a rogue Democrat to singlehandedly stall a bill they oppose, or unilaterally block a Senate confirmation.
The 2022 midterms have reenergized Biden’s political career. The president, who turned 80 this week, was facing long odds of serving a second term in the White House prior to his party preventing the anticipated “red wave.”
Bettors now like Biden’s chances in two years. The president is the betting front-runner on PredictIt to win the 2024 presidential election, his shares trading at 30 cents. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is next at 28 cents and former President Donald Trump third at 22 cents.
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