Tuesday 3 November, 10.00am
For today's recommended bet, Paul Krishnamurty steers away from the presidential race odds to calculate a projection for the Senate...
"This outcome covers the Republicans winning 50, 49 or 48 seats. That is a highly plausible spread on current ratings."
It may feel like the only question at this election is "Trump or Biden" but that is not the case. Election day in America involves races all the way down to the most local level. The battle for Congress may not quite be centre-stage but it is extremely prominent.
Today's bet focuses on the overall 'Senate Majority' market. There are three options - Republican Majority, Democrat Majority and No Majority. Here's how it works.
How the Senate Majority market works
There are 100 Senators. So far as their votes in the Senate count, the current split is 53 Republicans to 47 Democrats. However two are in fact Independents who choose to caucus with Democrats - Bernie Sanders and Angus King.
Thus the official tally is actually 53-45 and the basis on which the market will be settled. So the Democrats need a net gain of six seats in order to gain a majority. That outcome is a mere 2.35/4 chance on the exchange. Too short in my view, perhaps due to misunderstanding of those rules.
No majority bet covers a range of outcomes
Instead, back 'No Majority' at 3.39/4. This outcome covers the Republicans winning 50, 49 or 48 seats. That is a highly plausible spread on current ratings.
Here are the key numbers and races to watch. Alabama is highly likely, if not completely certain, to revert back to the Republicans following a mid-term upset. There are no further projected pick-ups for the GOP, so our bet would now require the Democrats gaining between four and six.
Running down the list, our 4-6 range looks very plausible.
Two Democrat gains look absolutely nailed on - Arizona and Colorado. Maine is also highly likely, if not completely certain at odds around 1.331/3.
Beyond that, they're favourites for North Carolina and Iowa. In addition Montana and the two Georgia races are highly competitive. Further down, 'Blue Wave' advocates will look at long-range gains such as South Carolina, Texas, Kansas, Alaska and Kentucky.
Taking them all would yield reduce the Republicans to 41 seats and ensure a comfortable win for Democrat Majority. It isn't completely out of the question but I'll be very surprised if they gain the last three, My realistic range is 44-51.
GOP boosted by better Trump performance?
As discussed in my analysis of last night's debate, I expect a slight boost for Republican incumbents in light of Trump's improved, more stable, performance. That might reassure voters who fundamentally lean conservative but dislike Trump. For example, John Cornyn in Texas is significantly outpolling the president.
Taking these odds now will, in my view, create a strong position to hold on election night when these races are settled.
Tuesday 3 November, 10.00am