Betting on politics: US mid-term election results

Matthew Partridge reviews his performance betting on the US mid-term elections – with mixed results.


Martha McSally
(Image credit: 2018 Getty Images)

The results of the midterm elections in the US are in and they make for mixed reading for this columnist. I made 20 bets (22 if you count them individually). The Senate race in Arizona won't be officially called until after MoneyWeek has gone to press, but at the time of writing Democrat Krysten Sinema looked to be trailing Republican Martha McSally (pictured). Of the remaining 19 bets, I correctly called 15, including the bet on the Democrats taking back the House of Representatives and the Senate races in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Texas.

I also correctly predicted that Andrew Cuomo would be re-elected as governor of New York, though that was hardly unexpected. Republican Jon Carter narrowly triumphed over Mary Hegar in the 31st District of Texas. Finally, I was also correct to tip Beto O'Rouke getting between 40% and 50% of the vote in Texas.

I also made some notable missteps. Far from being reduced to 50 seats or less, the Republicans will in fact increase the number of Senate seats they hold. Andrew Gillum and Richard Cordray ended up coming short in their contests to become governors of Florida and Ohio respectively. Overall, my 19 combined bets made a profit of 7.5%, though if McSally ends up winning in Arizona it will fall to only 2.5%. If you count the bets individually, I ended up making 2.2%.

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Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri