2022 Election Senate odds: Will Republicans regain upper chamber?

Democrats are narrowly in control of the U.S. Congress, but Republicans are licking their chops for next year’s midterm races because, over the last 30 years, the party out of presidential power has usually made substantial gains in midterm elections during a president’s first term, with the most substantial occurring in 1994 and 2010.


Given Democrats’ extremely slim margins of control, the prediction that the Democrats will lose at least one, if not both, chambers of Congress can be supported by historic precedents.

However, changes in the Senate have been less consistent than in the House. And given next year’s election trajectory in Congress’ upper chamber, the likelihood of a Republican takeover there deserves a second look.

Can Democrats hold their 50-50 majority in the Senate?

First, let’s take a look at the collective odds for Congress.

2022 Election Congress odds (House and Senate together)

Republicans only need a net gain of one seat to capture the Senate, but Democrats are well-positioned to make gains because the GOP will be defending more seats. Moreover, several seats are being vacated by Republicans in swing states where Democrats have experienced some electoral success over the past 5 years.

As of May 10, OddsChecker’s betting odds gave Republicans -144 odds, or an implied 40.9% chance to win back both the House and Senate in 2022. Democrats stood at +186, or an implied 35% chance to retain control of Congress. Hence, at this moment a winning $100 bet on Republicans to win Congress would net $69.44 while the same bet on Democrats to maintain their advantage would generate a $186 net.

With the polarizing nature of the current American political landscape, neither oddsmakers nor bettors believe there’s much of a chance that control of Congress will be split following the 2022 midterm elections but that’s the most likely scenario at this point (As of May 24, 2021).

Let’s look at the Senate odds; the numbers are tighter.

2022 Election Senate odds

As of May 24, 2021, per OddsChecker, the Republican Party is the 3/4 (-133) favorite to win Congress’ upper chamber while the Democratic Party is the underdog at 8/7 (+114). Hence, a successful $100 bet on Democrats would net $114 while the same bet on Republicans would net just $79.19.

We see only 10 Senate races where possible flips could occur.

Pennsylvania (Democratic Flip)
Incumbent: Republican Pat Toomey (retiring)
Strong edge Democrats

Georgia
Incumbent: Democrat Raphael Warnock
Toss-up

Wisconsin (Democratic Flip)
Incumbent: Republican Ron Johnson
Strong edge Democrats
Johnson hasn’t said whether he’s running for reelection, and it’s not clear which decision would give Republicans better odds of retaining this seat.

North Carolina
Incumbent: Republican Richard Burr (retiring)
Toss-up

Arizona
Incumbent: Democrat Mark Kelly
Strong edge: Democrats

Nevada
Incumbent: Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto
Slight edge: Democrats

New Hampshire (Republican Flip)
Incumbent: Democrat Maggie Hassan
Moderate edge: Republicans
Gov. Chris Sununu is a serious threat.

Ohio
Incumbent: Republican Rob Portman (retiring)
Slight edge: Republicans

Florida
Incumbent: Republican Marco Rubio
Moderate edge: Republicans

Colorado
Incumbent: Democrat Michael Bennet
Moderate edge: Democrats

Can Republicans flip seats in 3 of the 4 states below and successfully defend in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina?

  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • Georgia

We’re strong on Democrats’ chances in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin so, in our scenario, Republicans would have to win in at least 6 of the 7 remaining states above to capture the Senate.

Tags: 2022 Election, 2022 Senate Races, odds

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