Americans who hadn’t voted early in the midterm elections were heading to the polls on Tuesday, as investors waited to see if this Election Day would end with Democrats losing their grip on the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
Betting market Predictit was giving Republicans about a 90% chance of winning the House and more than a 70% chance of taking control of the Senate.
Analysts have warned that it might take time to determine which party has scored control of the Senate.
“In the Senate, results are very likely to be clouded for days thanks to very close races/vote counting in PA, NV, AZ, NH, CO, WI, OH, NC and a likelier-than-not December runoff in Georgia, required if no candidate gets over 50%,” said Terry Haines, founder of Pangaea Policy. He was referring to the competitive contests in nine states — Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia.
Haines wrote in a note that “markets SPX, +0.27% shouldn’t expect a definitive result for days, which is market negative since it impairs investor positioning pre- and post-election.”
Republicans have seized on high U.S. inflation in their midterm campaigns, while President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats have emphasized issues such as their support for abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The House or Senate switching to red from blue would fit the historical pattern in which a first-term president’s party tends to lose congressional ground in the midterms.
More than 44 million Americans already have voted in advance either in-person or by mail, according to U.S. Elections Project data. That’s above the 39.1 million ballots cast early in the 2018 midterms, but below the 2020 election’s total of 101 million.
U.S. stocks DJIA, +0.61% looked set to open modestly higher on Tuesday. They’re down hard this year, hit by the Federal Reserve hikes to interest rates as the central bank tries to tame inflation.
And see: Meet the 10 biggest megadonors for the 2022 midterm elections