What Are the Odds for GOP Regaining Control of the US Senate in 2022

By  //  February 16, 2022

The 2022 United States Senate elections will take place on 8th November 2022. Fourteen Class 3 seats held by Democrats and twenty Class 3 seats held by Republicans are up for regular elections. The winners will begin their six-year terms on 3rd January 2023.

Alongside the general elections, a special election will be held for a Democrat-controlled seat in California to fill the last weeks of the current Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Democrats are not defending Senate seats in states where Donald Trump (Republican) defeated Joe Biden (Democrat). Republicans are defending Senate seats in two states where Joe Biden won in the 2020 presidential election, namely Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In the 2020 Senate elections, Democrats gained three seats, and the two independent Senators caucused with them. Thus, the Senate was split between the Democratic and the Republican Parties, each holding 50 seats. 

Five Republican Senators will not seek Senate reelection in 2022, including Richard Shelby from Alabama, Roy Blunt from Missouri, Richard Burr from North Carolina, Patrick Toomey from Pennsylvania, and Rober Portman from Ohio. As for the Democratic Senators, only Patrick Leahy from Vermont is not seeking reelection. 

Republicans are the Odds-On Favorites

According to a report on betting on political markets, the 2022 United States Senate elections is among the most interesting political events to bet on this year. Bookmakers have already started accepting bets on whether Republicans (also referred to as the Grand Old Party or just the GOP) or Democrats will gain control of Congress next year. At the moment, the Democratic Party is the odds-on favorite. 

According to the odds comparison site Oddschecker, the odds for a Republican majority stand at ⅕, representing an implied probability of 83.3%. The odds for the Democratic party to tip the balance of power in the Senate are 9/2. The odds for no majority are 66/1. 

If the Republicans win the majority in the US Senate, they can stop any legislation proposed by President Biden. Republicans hold 50 seats in the Senate, meaning they have to win one more seat to gain Senate control. 

Republicans Have Hard Time Finding Quality Candidates to Join the Race

Republicans have good chances of defeating the Democratic incumbents in four states, including Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. If the GOP manages to defeat the Democratic Party in one of these states, they will take control of the Senate. But Republicans are still looking for quality candidates to join the race. 

In Arizona, the Republican candidate for a Senate seat is the state’s governor Doug Ducey, but he has announced that he will not run for election in 2022. In Georgia, the major Republican candidate for a Senate seat is the former football player and Trump’s friend Herschel Walker. But last month his reputation was damaged after allegations of domestic violence against his ex-wife emerged on the surface. 

In Nevada, Republicans hope that former state attorney general Adam Laxalat will join the race to challenge the one-term Democrat Catherine Masto. So far, Laxalat has not announced any plans to run for reelection. 

In New Hampshire, Republicans hoped for the Republican Governor Chris Sununu to challenge the Democrat Maggie Hassan. But in November 2021, Sununu announced that he will not run for Senate in 2022. His late decision gave Hassan a significant advantage in the race. 

In Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Ohio, Democrats have already announced the names of their top recruits. Meanwhile, Republicans have problems landing their top recruits to run for the Senate. 

In Wisconsin, the two-term Republican Ron Johnson will seek reelection to a third term. In Iowa, the Republican Chuck Grassley also announced that he will join the Senate race. In Nevada, U.S. Representative Val Demings will challenge Senator Marco Rubio. 

In Vermont, the only state where a Democrat Senator will not seek reelection, former United States Attorney for the District of Vermont Christina E. Nolan is pursuing the Republican nomination for the US Senate. Democrat Peter Welch will run for Senate.