Americans who hadn’t voted early in the midterm elections headed 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.
Polling locations began to close first in most of Indiana and Kentucky starting at 6 p.m. Eastern, with other states due to follow suit as the evening progresses.
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
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 45 million Americans voted in advance before Tuesday 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.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished higher by more than 300 points after pulling back from session highs, as the main U.S. equity indexes
notched gains for the third session in a row.
Stocks are down hard this year, with the S&P 500 lower by 20% as the Federal Reserve’s hikes interest rates in an effort to tame inflation.
Biden was among the politicians making a last-minute pitch to voters on Tuesday, as the president tweeted the following: