Midterm elections were an important hurdle as the Republicans and Democrats battled for control of Congress. Americans followed the elections closely and lined up to cast their ballots. Others betted on the likely winners.
Outcomes proved lucrative for those betting on midterm races, with payouts as high as $2,500, a BetUS spokesperson told Newsweek. Payouts won’t be much higher, as bettors are restricted on political wagers.
A PredictIt spokesperson told Newsweek that Tuesday night was the biggest trading night the betting market saw since 2020. Betting continues for the undetermined races, and some bettors are looking ahead to the 2024 elections by already placing bets on who the likely presidential candidates will be based on the midterm election results.
Fox Business reported that after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential Republican presidential candidate, coasted to an easy reelection victory against Democrat Charlie Crist on Tuesday night, his odds of securing the 2024 presidency were above former President Donald Trump‘s for the first time.
One report from Election Betting Odds, a site that averages live odds pulled from various election betting markets, estimates that betting is a better determinant of election outcomes than the polls themselves, the reasons being that bettors look at factors other than polls and people close to the election might trade before news breaks of a shift in the races.
John Stossel, the co-founder of Election Betting Odds, tweeted that betting is a way to show Americans the most likely outcome of the elections, ahead of polls and experts quoted in the media.
Despite Democrats’ optimistic view of Election Day, bettors thought differently, putting money behind Republicans winning the House.
Stossel said that in 2016, media reports and polls heavily favored Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump, but bettors switched their beliefs the evening of election night before reports were published that Trump was favored to win.
“The bettors are usually right,” Stossel said. “They predicted Biden’s win (in 2020) and called nearly every state correctly.”
However, this year, US Bets said election betting markets likely followed polls and proved to not be as accurate as typical.
“The election betting markets largely had it wrong the last few weeks—maybe because they tailed polls that didn’t tell the whole story,” US Bets tweeted, accompanied by a video of betting analyst Paul Motty on Friday morning.
“You have got to know how to differentiate between polls taken when there’s 8 to 10 percent undecided. I don’t even consider that really a poll because that isn’t going to be the result,” Motty said in the video. “You have to think ahead of that.”
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