2022 Senate Midterm Election Odds One Month Before Election Day

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on October 3, 2022
senate midterm election odds

With a few national polls suggesting that Democratic momentum has stalled, there’s some question about whether the Republican Party has the momentum. Throw in some polls in key Senate battlegrounds, and there’s a sense of GOP optimism. Where do Senate midterm election odds stand?

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2022 Senate Midterm Election Odds: Party To Win Control

With the Democrats in the White House and holding the tiebreaker with the Vice President on 50-50 votes, Republicans need 51 seats to win control. Click on the odds in the table to bet now.

PartyPredictIt PriceImplied Odds
Democrats$0.54 -124

With the current state of play in the Senate, there are four truly competitive Senate races that might flip the balance this year. Democrats have a fairly safe 47 seats and the GOP should win 49 seats without much difficulty.

The Big 4 races – Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia – are where the Senate will be decided. Democrats need to win 3 to win the Senate with VP Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote. The GOP needs to win 2 of the four to get a 51/49 edge that renders Harris’ vote moot.

The GOP are optimistic because Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania and Adam Laxalt have gotten some good polls recently, but when you go through the 4 states together, the case for GOP optimism falls apart.

Pennsylvania Senate Seat

Since last week’s column, John Fetterman has led in 5 more polls of the race, but because Emerson College released a poll showing Oz only down 2, Republicans think he’s going to win.

The fundamentals of this race remain the same – Oz has consolidated loyal Republican votes who were mad about the primary. His vote share is stagnant in the low 40s, his approval rating is south of 50, and the undecideds skew young and Black – also known as “Democrats”.

Fetterman should win.

Arizona Senate Seat

The GOP have, in effect, conceded Arizona.

The prominent GOP SuperPAC designed to win the Senate – the Senate Leadership Fund – cancelled their ads in support of Blake Masters last month, and haven’t changed that tune. Masters, a pro-privatized Social Security, pro-charging women who get abortions with murder election denier, is down 7% on average and has no money.

His campaign was initially funded by his former boss Peter Thiel, but Thiel has made no efforts to come in over the top with a huge ad buy to save Masters. On the other side, Mark Kelly is a strong incumbents with positive approvals and more money than he knows what to do with.

There’s almost no one in Republican politics willing to go in for Masters, and most Republicans have conceded that their path to 51 runs through other states.

Georgia Senate Seat

Here, Herschel “Bad Air” Walker is running against Reverend Raphael Warnock – the pastor at Atlanta’s famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, and incumbent Senator. Walker’s campaign has been a disaster so far, with the former football star barely able to get through a speech without a verbal gaffe.

The Walker campaign has been well funded by Washington, but Warnock still has more money, due in part to recurring donations started during the 2020-21 runoffs in Georgia from national Democrats. Warnock’s path to victory runs through repeating those runoff victories for him and Jon Ossoff. If Warnock can get Black turnout high enough, and do well enough with social liberals in the Atlanta suburbs, then he wins.

Walker is almost a lab created bad candidate for those social liberals in the Atlanta suburbs – a credibly accused domestic abuser who routinely says absurd and crazy things doesn’t do well for voters who want competence. Warnock should be able to recreate the Black turnout surge, especially with Stacey Abrams running for Governor.

Recent polls have Warnock stretching a lead big enough to avoid a runoff – if no candidate gets 50% on the night, it goes to a December runoff. Fortunately for Democrats, a runoff in December would help Democrats, as the electorate gets Blacker and more urban in runoffs compared to General Elections.

Nevada Senate Seat

Here, the polls have been better for Republicans, but it’s the state where that means the least.

In 2008, 2010, 2012, 2016, and 2018, Democrats overperformed their polls – even in 2016 and 2018, when they routinely failed to meet their polls. Nevada polls have been historically very bad, predicting wins for GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle in 2010 and Donald Trump in 2016, and with every poll of the race underestimating Jackie Rosen’s support in 2018.

Yes, Trump beat his polls in 2020 in Nevada, but he did so because there was a country wide shift towards Hispanics and Las Vegas was a ghost town, which hurt Democratic support amongst working class service workers at all of the various Vegas casinos and restaurants.

We know from big sample National polls that Hispanics are mostly matching their 2020 partisanship. The reason many of the close or GOP-leading polls have those results is a big rightward shift with Hispanics from 2020 – the exact cause of most polling misses.

Polls in Nevada have consistently underestimated Democratic support with Hispanics – which is why they’ve outperformed their polls so consistently here. That happening again here isn’t a guarantee, but it does feel similar to those years.

Democrats should feel most worried about Nevada, but in the same way that caution around good Democratic polls in Ohio or Wisconsin is warranted, the same applies in Nevada for Republicans.

Outlook for Senate Midterm Election Odds

The GOP needs to win two seats of those four to win the Senate, and they haven’t even locked down 1 yet.

Nevada is likely their best chance to win a seat, but the chances of another GOP-leaning polling miss should concern anyone buying those polls. Pennsylvania looks nominally attractive until you realize that the majority of undecideds are anti-Oz racial minorities who will probably vote Democratic, and that Oz can’t get above 42%. The GOP has given up on Arizona, whether they explicitly say so or not.

Could the GOP win the Senate with a Nevada and Georgia combination? Maybe, but that would require Herschel Walker to win outright in November – meaning his margin of victory would have to be bigger than the Libertarian vote, projected to be around 2%.

Could a rising National GOP wave make all of this irrelevant and sweep away Democrats? Sure, if one came – but the evidence for this theory is a couple of national pollsters who got embarrassed in 2020 for being too pro-Democratic showing bad results for Democrats. The majority of the polls still point to a neutral to Dem-leaning environment, and even usually pro-GOP pollsters can only find slight Democratic leads.

There’s no real reason for GOP enthusiasm or optimism about the Senate at this point – they could win it, but they probably won’t. They’re clear and substantial underdogs to win the Senate, and it will take a substantial shift to change that, especially when the main problem is they chose horrible candidates.

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