Fool Me Twice? Georgia Senate Election Odds Ignore Reality

raphael warnock and jon ossoff bumping elbows in covid masks

Typically, the betting community is pretty good about predicting election outcomes. At the very least, they’re far more reliable than the average political pollster in America.

But after the obvious fix we all saw with the still-contested 2020 Presidential election, it’s curious that bettors are taking the GOP on both tickets in the Georgia Senate runoffs.

Georgia, after all, is one of the epicenters of President Donald Trump’s election challenge.

In fact, Georgia has the distinction of being the only state where the fraud was captured on camera for all the world to see (provided, of course, that your world isn’t entirely filtered by the lens of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Snopes, Politifact, and other nakedly partisan outlets).

With apparent impunity, Georgia polling station staffers – and Georgia polling machines – both stacked the deck against the incumbent. And it worked.

At least, it looks like it’s working so far.

But armed with this knowledge – and the fact that the very same people and machines will be processing the votes for the Senate runoff – bettors are inexplicably favoring the Republican candidates on both races.

Take a look at the current Senate odds for yourself:

2021 Georgia Senate Runoff Odds

Via Bovada

  • Kelly Loeffler (R) -145
  • Raphael Warnock (D) +110
  • David Perdue (R) -200
  • Jon Ossoff (D) +150

Via BetOnline

  • Kelly Loeffler (R) -165
  • Raphael Warnock (D) +135
  • David Perdue (R) -200
  • Jon Ossoff (D) +160

Via MyBookie

  • Kelly Loeffler (R) -200
  • Raphael Warnock (D) +150
  • David Perdue (R) -220
  • Jon Ossoff (D) +155

For context, let’s set the table:

Republican Kelly Loeffler is the incumbent against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, and their 2020 showdown was a special election with a stacked field.

Warnock won 32.9% of the vote, while Loeffler took just 25.9%.

So why is Loeffler ahead on the betting boards at all the best online election betting sites?

Well, we don’t know. Especially when we take a look at how the other top candidates in this particular race finished:

  • Doug Collins (R) – 20%
  • Deborah Jackson (D) – 6.6%
  • Matt Lieberman (D) – 2.8%
  • Tamara Johnson-Shealey (D) – 2.2%
  • Jamesia James (D) – 1.9%
  • Derrick Grayson (R) – 1%

The remaining field breakdown was 2.4% Republican, 2% Democrat, 1.3% Independent, 0.7% Libertarian, and 0.3% Green Party. By historical alignment, this works out to roughly 3.6% Democrat and 3.1% Republican.  

Add them all up, and Republicans are working with 50% of the vote, while Democrats are sitting at – of course – 50% of the vote. Polls show a dead heat, but somehow, bettors are confident in Loeffler here.  

Meanwhile, in the other contest of import, Republican David Perdue is the incumbent in his race against challenger Jon Ossoff.

In the 2020 general election, Perdue beat Ossoff 49.7% to 47.9%, earning nearly 100,000 more votes that the Democratic candidate.

Further, Libertarian Shane Hazel earned about 2.3% of the vote.

Typical voter alignment means most of those votes would go to Perdue (if they go anywhere at all). That should bode well for Perdue. In normal times, he’d seem like a lock.

But these are not normal times.

And Georgia didn’t even bother to hide its unethical, unconstitutional election “meddling” during the biggest, most under-the-microscope political race in modern history.

What makes bettors think the same people – with the same machines – will do anything but double down on the last piece of the puzzle?

Remember the stakes: The Georgia Senate runoffs are the difference between a Democratic governmental trifecta and the GOP being able provide a crucial check and balance in the upper chamber of congress.

This, to the hucksters that risked it all just a month and a half ago, isn’t going to go ignored. They aren’t going to give up at the finish line.

If you’re a bettor and just saw what took place on November 3-4, you have zero rational reason to pick either Republican candidate in this one.

Again: same people, same machines, same tactics.

Don’t think so? Just ask Stacey Abrams:

Fool me once…