Republican Glenn Youngkin Virginia Election Surprise Pays Bettors Liberally

Posted on: November 3, 2021, 11:50h. 

Last updated on: November 3, 2021, 12:11h.

Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Younkin (R) pulled off the upset many conservatives hoped for on Election Day, narrowly edging former Gov. Terry McAuliffe by roughly two percentage points.

Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin betting odds
Bettors who backed Glenn Youngkin, shown above, in the Virginia gubernatorial race have plenty to celebrate today after the Republican pulled off the upset. Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe was viewed as the pre-election favorite but lost by about two percent. (Image: The New York Times)

For savvy political bettors who wagered on Virginians putting a Republican in the governor’s seat, it was a bountiful outcome. A week ago, Youngkin’s shares of winning the gubernatorial race were trading as low as 36 cents.

PredictIt has closed its 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election market after Youngkin was declared the winner. Each PredictIt share will be redeemed at $1. That means bettors who had the political foresight to see the upset and wagered money on the outcome by grabbing shares when they were just 36 cents made 64 cents per share owned.

Youngkin, the former co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, which was part of the 2018 takeover of the then-bankrupt Caesars Entertainment, spent some of his fortune on his first political campaign. The 54-year-old says it was worth the gamble to buck Virginia’s blue-state drift.

On the campaign trail, I heard stories that were unique and powerful. But the challenge is overcoming a culture where the state overwhelms self-empowerment is all too common,” the governor-elect said during his victory speech. “We’ve been expected to shelve our dreams, to shelve our hope, to settle for low expectations.

“We will not be a commonwealth of low expectations,” Youngkin declared. “We will be a commonwealth of high expectations.”

Bettors Bewildered 

Though the political bettors who saw the Youngkin victory made bank on their insight, the majority of the betting public lost with McAuliffe. The bulk of the action UK bookmakers took on the Virginia gubernatorial was on the Democratic candidate. British oddsmakers are legally permitted to offer political betting on US elections.

Prior to Tuesday’s decision day, McAuliffe was at 4/6, which made him the betting front-runner.

Political pundits and bettors largely got it wrong. And yesterday’s outcome has some under the belief that a red wave is approaching.

Since Biden took office, voters have seen that Democrats are divisive, incapable of governing, and lurching towards the extreme far-left. Virginians sent a clear message that they’ve had enough,” opined Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee. “The red wave has begun.”

Republicans say Tuesday’s strong GOP showing, which included a much-closer than expected gubernatorial race in New Jersey, demonstrates how the party should move forward post-Trump.

The former president’s shares of being the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee dropped four cents during the GOP’s big 2021 election night. However, the party’s divisive leader still commands a substantial lead, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is a distant second at 23 cents.

Youngkin is not listed on the PredictIt 2024 GOP market. But that could change should bettors file enough inquiries to buy stock on a potential White House run from the new politician.   

PredictIt 4-1-1 frequently references betting lines and trends using PredictIt data. Here’s a quick refreshing on how the site operates lawfully in the United States.

PredictIt allows bettors to buy up to $850 worth of shares in each of its political betting markets. The cap is part of the betting exchange’s efforts to appease federal regulators and maintain that the platform’s primary purpose is to provide political insights, with its data made available to the academic community at no cost.

PredictIt has received a “no-action” relief letter from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight. Since legal books, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, have not received permission from any state gaming regulator to offer political election outcomes, PredictIt holds a near-monopoly on political wagering stateside.