Just a day before crucial twin runoff elections in Georgia decide which party will control the U.S. Senate, bookmakers’ odds suggest the races are extremely tight.
Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are on the ballot on Tuesday after neither of the incumbents, Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, managed to win more than the 50 percent of the vote in November’s election.
The Democratic Party needs to win both seats in Georgia, which President-elect Joe Biden narrowly carried in the 2020 election, in order to win control of the Senate.
If either or both Perdue and Loeffler manage to retain their seats, the Republicans will hold a narrow majority in the upper chamber and make it more difficult for the Biden administration to push through his legislative agenda for at least two years.
But a victory for both Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock would evenly split the Senate 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to cast any tie-breaking votes needed.
But despite polls showing the Democratic candidates narrowly ahead of their Republican opponents, betting odds show bookmakers believe the GOP is slightly more likely to retain control of the Senate.
Oddschecker, which aggregates betting data from dozens of bookmakers, shows Warnock is likelier to prevail in the state’s special election matchup against Loeffler.
Warnock’s odds are at 4-7, implying a 63.69 percent chance, while Loeffler’s victory is priced at 13-10, with an implied probability of 43.48 percent.
The odds indicate the race between Perdue and Ossoff is much tighter.
The betting website has a Perdue win at 11-13, with an implied probability of 54.05 percent. Ossoff is priced at 4-5, which a slighter higher implied probability of 55 percent.
And when it comes to which party will ultimately win control of the Senate, Oddschecker has the Republican Party at 5-6, implying a probability of 54.64 percent. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, was priced at 1-1 to win control of the Senate, implying a 50 percent chance.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of head-to-head polls in Georgia, Ossoff and Warnock lead Loeffler and Perdue by around two percentage points each with just hours left until the polls open.
In the weighted average, Ossoff is supported by 49.2 percent of Georgia voters, while Perdue is backed by 47.4 percent. By comparison, Warnock is supported by 49.5 percent of voters, while Loeffler is backed by 47.2 percent.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that President Donald Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn the state’s 2020 election result.
In a recording of a Saturday phone call published by The Washington Post, Trump told Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes” and made baseless claims about voter fraud in Georgia.