By Isla Knightley | | 4 mins
Georgia Governor Odds: Can Stacey Abrams Beat Brian Kemp?
Stacey Abrams, Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, will face incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp in a rematch this November that is sure to test the state’s traditionally conservative political leaning again.
Kemp narrowly defeated Abrams for office in the 2018 governor’s race. But, this time, political betting markets aren’t expecting another close race - at least not if the current political odds are any indication.
Gov. Kemp, wielding the power of incumbency, is priced as the runaway favorite at -500 with UK bookmaker Ladbrokes. This same sportsbook tips Abrams, who made history four years ago by becoming the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor, as the conspicuous underdog at +350.
Betting on politics is not legal in the United States, but it is over in Europe where sportsbooks and their corresponding betting apps regularly post U.S. politics odds such as these known as “specials.” American news media often cites these markets in discussion and if political betting is ever legalized in the U.S, it’s bound to be a hit with bettors.
2022 Georgia Governor Odds
|Brian Kemp (R)||-500|
|Stacey Abrams (D)||+350|
Odds as of June 22, 2022
By any political measure, Georgia is expected to be one of the biggest battleground states on both the Senate and Gubernatorial landscape in the upcoming 2022 midterms. How those unfold will therefore have far-reaching consequences for both parties, and act as a potential harbinger of future success in the 2024 US presidential election for the winning party.
Kemp's Odds As Republican Candidate
For the second time in as many general elections, Republican Governor Kemp will face a challenge from Democrat Abrams for the Georgia Governor’s seat later this year when the 2022 general elections get underway on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Georgia voters determined Kemp as the victor in 2018 by a narrow margin, but sports betting sites are giving him a solid chance against Abrams again, despite her greater political profile today.
In part, Kemp’s favorable outlook is down to the power of incumbency, which plays a significant role in U.S. politics. It’s often said that few things in life are more predictable than the chances of an incumbent candidate winning re-election. Losses by an incumbent are the exception, not the rule.
Kemp used his powers of incumbency to push a raft of legislation through Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature. Tax cuts, sanctioning the carry of concealed handguns without a permit in public, and pay rises for public employees are just some examples of the legislation Kemp pushed through to fire up GOP support ahead of May’s primary.
Another factor, arguably, was winning the Republican primary itself. Kemp beat his Trump-endorsed Republican challenger David Perdue in a landslide to secure the GOP nod while, at the same time, handing the former president his biggest electoral setback in the 2022 primaries. Indeed, with that victory, Kemp gave bettors a timely preview of the power of incumbency in play.
Abrams' Odds As Democratic Candidate
Abrams secured the Democratic nod last month after formally winning her party’s primary. However, her bid was never in doubt or threatened, for that matter.
The 48-year-old former State House leader ran entirely unopposed, and the Democratic primary was merely a formality to rubberstamp Abrams’ progress to the next step in her bid to become, not only Georgia’s governor, but also the first black woman ever elected governor in U.S. history.
Four years ago, Abrams squared up to Kemp in the 2018 general election, drawing national attention for many reasons, including her bid to write herself further into the history books.
History alas wasn’t made then, though Abrams gave Kemp a run for his money over a bitter 10-day battle. In concession, Abrams acknowledged that the election results would certify Kemp as the victor. But, at the same time, she stressed this wasn’t a normal concession, decrying the opposition’s “deliberate and intentional” voter suppression that thwarted her campaign. And for that reason, she claimed “I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right."
Abrams has since risen to national prominence. She forged close ties with President Joe Biden while putting herself forward as a potential 2020 vice presidential candidate, and thereafter she became a leading national Democratic voice as a voting rights activist.
Notwithstanding Abrams’ slim chances according to the oddsmakers, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’s going to be a formidable election opponent in this rematch of her 2018 battle with Kemp. Or that this governor’s race will be once again the most heated and closely watched of all the gubernatorial races in the nation this fall.