The end of a turbulent election season is nearing an endâ€”with Georgia voters heading to the polls to decide the balance of power in Congress in twin Senate runoff elections Tuesday.
Democrats secured a narrow House majority as well as the White House during November’s general election. But they must win both of Georgia’s Senate elections to gain an effective majority in the Senate. If they do, the Senate would be split 50-50 between Democrats and aligned independents and Republicans, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote for Democrats.
Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are on the ballot Tuesday as no candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in November.
Sen. David Perdue is being challenged by Jon Ossoff, while Sen. Kelly Loefflerâ€”who was appointed to the Senate by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp less than a year agoâ€”is up against Raphael Warnock.
Both Democrat candidates are favored to unseat the incumbent Republicans in their individual races, according to bookmakers.
However, betting odds on Election Day show bookmakers believe the Republican Party is slightly likelier to retain control of the Senateâ€”an outcome that requires either Perdue or Loeffler to win.
Oddschecker, a website that aggregates betting data from dozens of bookmakers, has Warnock as the odds-on favorite to defeat Loeffler.
Warnock is priced at 6/11, with an implied probability of 64.52 percent, while Loeffler is at 7/5, which has a much lower implied probability of 41.67 percent.
The race between Perdue and Ossoffâ€”who would become the youngest member of the Senate if he were to prevailâ€”is much tighter, bookmakers believe.
Oddschecker has a Perdue win at 42/41, with an implied probability of 49.5 percent. Ossoff is priced at 4/5, implying a 55.56 percent chance.
The website has the GOP retaining control of the Senate at 4/5â€”implying a 55.56 percent chanceâ€”while Democrats winning control was at 21/20, with an implied probability of 48.78 percent.
The high-stakes nature of the races was underscored by the fact both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden headed to Georgia on Monday for last-minute rallies to help turn out supporters.
Trump continued to air baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him at a rally in Dalton as he urged Georgians to vote in “one of the most important runoff elections in the history of our country.”
At his rally in Atlanta, Bidenâ€”the first Democrat to carry Georgia in a presidential election in almost three decadesâ€”said: “Georgia, the whole nation is looking to you. The power is literally in your hands.”