With an incredibly busy final month before the US presidential election, it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking for ways to bet on the 2018 vote. If you’re interested in betting, you have a variety of options to choose from with multiple books making sportsbooks available for people eager to wager on the 2018 midterms.
One of the more interesting angles that surfaced in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election was the fact that US bookmakers have been taking bets on the results of the midterms for months. The election was particularly interesting because it effectively served as a proxy war between the Republicans and Democrats with the president-elect, Donald Trump, famously stating that the election was “rigged” in favor of Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton. Trump also made the controversial comment that he would have won the popular vote if it hadn’t been for certain electoral college members who he claimed rigged the election in favor of Clinton (a claim Trump has made multiple times since).
While the results of the presidential election were not in doubt, for a time, the betting odds were surprisingly generous to Democrats. For example, the Westgate Bookmakers initially offered 10:1 odds on a Democratic takeover of the Senate and 12:1 odds on the House of Representatives. Those odds now sit at 5:1 and 8:1 respectively.
One of the reasons behind the seemingly unfathomable odds was that a large number of people viewed Trump as an unqualified disaster who would only embolden the far left in America. Although the president-elect has moderated his stance on a number of issues (particularly those surrounding immigration and national security), many bettors believed that his polarizing effect would greatly impact the 2018 midterms.
In the end, while the Democrats did make historic gains in the midterms, Trump was reelected as expected. However, the GOP did manage to pick up a Senate seat in Maine, giving the president-elect another chance at filling Supreme Court vacancies and further altering the court’s balance of power. Regardless, the odds of a Democratic takeover in 2018 remain incredibly low.
What Will the GOP’s New Senate Majority Look Like?
One of the most interesting political betting stories of the past year was the emerging Republican majority in the US Senate. Since Trump’s surprise election victory in 2016, the GOP has seen a number of its seats in the lower chamber flip from Democratic to Republican. Currently, the GOP holds 48 seats in the Senate with the potential to add another two or three more seats in the coming weeks and months. Here’s a closer look at the emerging Republican majority in the Senate and what it means for US politics.
New Republican Sen. Majority
After the 2016 presidential election, many Americans may be surprised to learn that the GOP now holds a majority in the Senate rather than the other way around. Looking at the Senate map prior to the midterms, one would think that the Democrats would hold the upper hand simply because they had more seats. However, the GOP’s rise to power is largely the result of Trump’s unique ability to galvanize the Republican base and draw support from people who might not have voted Republican in previous presidential elections. As a result, the GOP gained a net of 10 seats in the Senate during the midterms, giving the party its first real shot at altering the chamber’s balance of power. This was largely thanks to a string of special elections in 2017 that the GOP won in places like Staten Island, New York, Georgia, and Florida, where Democrats typically don’t stand a chance because of the state’s “Republican leaning” demographics.
Next Up For The GOP: The House Of Representatives.
While the GOP managed to pick up a Senate seat in Maine (which Trump won by one vote) in the 2018 midterms, it lost several other closely contested House races. However, the party’s overall performance was still strong enough to secure a solid majority in the lower chamber and give it another shot at changing the chamber’s balance of power. One of the races the GOP lost was in New York where, despite Trump’s efforts to campaign for Republican candidate, John Faso, the democratic candidate Mark Murphy beat Faso by a 51% to 49% margin. Another example can be found in California’s 39th congressional district where, despite a last-minute advertising blitz from the president, Republican candidate Young Kim was unable to overcome a 10% deficit in voter polls. Now that the dust has settled and the midterms are over, the GOP faces the monumental task of trying to govern America while protecting itself from a Democratic wave in the next presidential election.
To do that, the party needs to concentrate on making sure that its members stand for something and can actually get something done. It also needs to rebrand itself as the tolerant, moderate Republican party that Trump claims it is not. If it wants to continue to grow its base, it also needs to make sure that its members do not cross the line of what’s acceptable to the general public. Doing all of that will be a tall order, but the GOP clearly intends to try.