Sexting Scandal Alters US Senate Race Odds in North Carolina

Posted on: October 6, 2020, 12:07h. 

Last updated on: October 6, 2020, 01:06h.

Former North Carolina State Senator Cal Cunningham’s sexting scandal is greatly lengthening his odds of winning the US Senate seat for North Carolina that’s up for grabs on November 3.

North Carolina Senate odds election
The latest developments in the North Carolina US Senate race between Democrat Cal Cunningham (left) and Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis has political bettors adjusting their positions. (Image: AP)

Cunningham, the Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, has admitted to sending sexual text messages to a woman who is not his wife. The North Carolina seat is one of three Senate 2020 tossups. The outcome could decide which party holds power next year.

Cunningham maintains his lead on the PredictIt market asking who will win the US Senate race in North Carolina. But his shares are currently trading a 58 cents. That’s down from 66 cents before the scandal bombshell.

UK bookmakers have the race tighter. William Hill has Cunningham at 5/6 (implied odds 54.55 percent), and Tillis 10/11 (52.38 percent).

GOP Eyes Comeback

Tillis narrowly defeated his Democratic opponent in 2014. However, some of Tillis’ progressive political moves are isolated him from the Republican party. Tillis has worked with Democrats on immigration reform and cosponsored legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller.

But GOP Senate leaders would certainly welcome him back, especially since a victory in North Carolina could help Republicans retain control of the Senate. The victory is something they desperately desire, especially if former VP Joe Biden defeats President Donald Trump.

The state seemed like a sure thing for the Democrats until the public exposure of steamy texts between Cunningham and public relations strategist Arlene Guzman Todd. Todd is married and has two children with Jeremy Todd, who served 15 years in the US Army.

Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” a text from Cunningham to Todd reads. She replies, ‘You’re so sweet. I would enjoy that.”

In another exchange, Guzman initiates the flirting. “The only thing I want on my to do list is you.” The Senate candidate responds, “Sounds so hot and so fun!”

Cunningham admitted the text screenshots are authentic and apologized to his family. “The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do,” Cunningham stated.

The race has added more chaos by way of Tillis testing positive last Friday for COVID-19. And another woman has come forward with allegations that she’s been having an affair with Cunningham since 2012.

Senate, Congress Control

The latest polling shows the Senate races in North Carolina, Iowa, and Montana will likely determine the power of the upper chamber of Congress.

The Democratic Party is the political betting front-runner. Its shares of controlling the Senate in 2021 trading at 66 cents. GOP shares are at 37 cents.

In Iowa, PredictIt bettors believe Democrat Theresa Greenfield will flip the seat blue and beat Republican incumbent, Sen. Joni Ernst. Greenfield’s shares are trading at 58 cents.

In Montana, incumbent Republican Sen. Steve Daines is the front-runner to keep the seat in GOP hands. His shares are trading at 58 cents, Democratic challenger Gov. Steve Bullock at 45 cents.

As for the balance of power in Congress after the election, a Democratic House and Senate is the PredictIt betting favorite at 64 cents. A D-House and R-Senate is next at 28 cents, and GOP controlling both chambers a distant 13 cents.