New Hampshire Senate Odds: Value In Betting A Republican Upset?

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on March 1, 2022
maggie hassan

With the continued lagging approvals of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda stuck in neutral, the New Hampshire Senate odds could be one to watch as the year goes on as Maggie Hassan runs for re-election.

With much of the media attention given to the race evaporating when Chris Sununu decided to seek another term as Governor instead of being the Republican nominee, the race has flown under the radar, making it an attractive bet.

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New Hampshire Senate Odds

PartyMarch 1 PriceEquivalent Odds

New Hampshire Political History

The last time the GOP won a Senate seat in New Hampshire was 2010, when Kelly Ayotte won resoundingly in the red wave that year. Since then, Ayotte lost re-election in 2016 to Maggie Hassan, who is now running for re-election herself, and Democrats have twice won the other Senate seat, including in the red wave of 2014.

New Hampshire swung considerably left in 2020, with Biden’s 7% win coming off the heels of Hillary Clinton winning it by less than a point in 2016, and it’s a state where Democrats have done well down ballot – winning the Senate race in 2020 by more than 15% and winning both House seats.

Had Sununu – the popular incumbent Governor and member of the dynastic Sununu family in New Hampshire – run for the Senate, he’ll easily be favored over Hassan, but with him and Ayotte declining to run for the Senate, the New Hampshire GOP don’t have any good options.

In a sense, the New Hampshire GOP bench is like the Patriots QB room once Tom Brady left in 2020 – they had an amazing, incredible option who said no, and their options after that were all below replacement level.

Regardless of who the GOP pick – former soldier Don Buldoc or State Senate President Chuck Morse are the leading contenders – Hassan has a sizable polling lead over both of them, and neither of them have any ability to command the kinds of cross-over support needed to win a Senate race.

For Republicans to win a Senate race in a seat like New Hampshire, they’re going to need ex-Republicans who last voted for the party at a Presidential election in 2012 to vote for them for Senate, but the problem for the GOP is neither Buldoc or Morse can command that support.

These voters have a record of still electing Republicans locally – that’s how Sununu has won by commanding margins despite the state’s blue hue – but they’ve been unwilling to vote for Republicans for Federal office because the GOP’s candidates have been too extreme for the electorate.

Bolduc is a Trumpian figure with endorsements of many local politicians and disgraced former Trump official Michael Flynn, and Morse is the leader of a State GOP agenda that has seen the party lose State House seats at an alarming rate throughout this term, and neither have any ability to win over Biden-voting moderates in the suburbs.

Maggie Hassan only being 52 cents is absurd given both the state polling as of right now and the fact the GOP have a massive candidate problem without Sununu or Ayotte. The GOP could definitely win the state if Biden’s approval stays this bad and Hassan runs a horrible campaign, but even then, the 49 cent price isn’t the way to bet the GOP in New Hampshire.

Number Of GOP Seats

SeatsMarch 1 PriceEquivalent Odds
46 or fewer$0.01+9900
56 or more$0.08+1150

If you think the GOP are going to win in New Hampshire, the bet isn’t the 2-way New Hampshire market, it’s this one, where the GOP to win 54 seats is only 18 cents.

If the GOP win New Hampshire, they will win Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona first – New Hampshire is the state where the GOP have the biggest mountain to climb and the worst candidate to do it with.

Mark Kelly, Catherine Cortez-Masto and Raphael Warnock are all defending states Biden won by less than 3% – and Kelly and Warnock states won by less than 0.5% – whereas Biden won New Hampshire by more than 7%. Bolduc or Morse are also worse candidates than anyone the GOP could put up in any of those three states, which means that if Democrats lose New Hampshire, they’re losing all four.

The only reason to fear that the 18 cents on 54 seats might lose if you think the GOP win New Hampshire is if the GOP win more than 54, but here, the options are limited. You could bet 55 at 9 cents and have the duo for 27 cents – still a much better price than betting New Hampshire outright – or you could even add 56+ at 9 cents for ultimate security, and still be betting a lower price than the New Hampshire ticket itself. That said, there’s no equity on 56+, so you don’t have to worry about it.

If New Hampshire goes, that’s seat 54. Colorado would be seat 55, and then after that there’s no even remotely plausible GOP Senate gains. Given the map, there is no even possible gain unless you get into states Biden won by nearly 20% after Colorado, and even then, federal races are more closely tied to Presidential partisanship. There’s not gonna be 56 or more GOP Senators.

Now, if you think the GOP will win New Hampshire, there’s probably a decent chance they beat Michael Bennet in Colorado too, but whether you just bet the 18 cents on 54 or the 27 cent combo of 54 and 55, there’s no reason for anyone who wants GOP upside betting on the New Hampshire market, because they’re just overpaying compared to what they should.
PredictIt odds can often be badly correlated, and looking for these kinds of values is often worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

Maggie Hassan really should win New Hampshire – they have an incumbent in a state which swung to them more than the nation at large, and the New Hampshire GOP are having a rotten year.

It’s not impossible for them to lose, and it would not be an immense shock if they did – after all, Democrats did lose Colorado in 2014, a similarly partisan state to current New Hampshire in a bad midterm – but they have to be considered clear and obvious favorites now.

That said, if you think the GOP are live against Maggie Hassan, don’t bet them to win the seat, bet the GOP seats market – it’s a much better way of getting a better price on the same action.

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Evan Scrimshaw

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