- Control of the US Senate will be decided tomorrow (Tuesday, Jan. 5th) by two runoff elections in Georgia
- Democrats are favored in both races
- But the margins are slim, and the GOP is favored to retain Senate control
Tomorrow in Georgia, two runoff elections will decide control of the US Senate for at least the next two years.
The first race sees incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue running for reelection against Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff.
The second Senate seat, which was vacated by Johnny Isakson in December 2019 for health reasons, is being contested by Republican Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock. Loeffler has been filling the seat since she was appointed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp last December.
The Senate is currently split 50-48 in favor of the GOP, meaning the Democrats need to win both seats in order to control the Senate. (In the event of tied votes in the Senate, the Vice-President casts the deciding vote.)
On the eve of election day, both Democrats are favored to win. However, the races are tight and the GOP is favored to retain Senate control.
Georgia Senate Runoff Election Odds
|Candidate||Odds to Win Seat|
|Raphael Warnock (Dem)||-180|
|Kelly Loeffler (GOP)||+150|
|Candidate||Odds to Win Seat|
|Jon Ossoff (Dem)||-120|
|David Perdue (GOP)||-110|
|Party||Odds to Control Senate|
Odds as of Jan. 4th.
Warnock vs Loeffler
Raphael Warnock is the biggest favorite on the board right now. He has a two-percent lead on Loeffler in the latest numbers compiled by FiveThirtyEight.com (49.6% to 47.6%).
According to @FiveThirtyEight's poll of polls, both incumbents currently have ground to make up.
📈 Raphael Warnock leads Kelly Loeffler by two points.
📈 Jon Ossoff leads David Purdue by .nine of a point.
— Luke James (@LukeJames_32) January 1, 2021
Warnock also received 1.617 million votes during the November 2020 election compared to just 1.273 million for Loeffler. However, there were 21 candidates who received at least 13,000 votes in November. Republican Doug Collins came in third with 980,454 votes. No other Democrat received more than 325,000 votes. The overall split between GOP votes and Democrat votes was extremely tight.
A positive sign for Warnock is that early-voter turnout has been high. The same held true in the general election when President-Elect Joe Biden carried Georgia by a slim margin – 49.47% to 49.24% – over Donald Trump.
Ossoff vs Perdue
The polling for the Ossoff vs Perdue race indicates a tighter battle, which is reflected in the odds. The aggregate data suggests Ossoff has a 49.3% to 47.9% lead.
Unlike his party-mate Loeffler, Perdue outpaced his opponent in November. The first round saw Perdue garner 49.73% to Ossoff’s 47.95%. The third candidate, Libertarian Shane T. Hazel, received the remaining 2.32%, which was enough to keep Perdue from reaching the necessary 50% threshold to win outright.
The online betting odds, above, have juiced baked in and are also influenced by where bettors are putting their money.
SBD’s in-house analysis makes the true odds (i.e. no juice) puts the odds at Raphael Warnock (-250) vs Kelly Loeffler (+250) and Jon Ossoff (-200) vs David Perdue (+200).
In other words, our numbers suggest Warnock has a 71.43% chance to win and Ossoff has a 66.66% chance to win.
Overall, however, the Democrats still only have a 47.6% chance to win both seats, which equates to true odds of +110.
If our numbers are accurate, there is value betting on the Democrats in the individual races, but there is no value in betting either party to control the Senate.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.