I have been getting beat up on PI lately, so naturally, I was extremely happy to find out that Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) is ruining a slam-dunk market for how many Republican Senators will be in office next year, and has given me a chance to stuff my pockets with some holiday gold. That’s because, according to an announcement Scott made on Tuesday, he’ll be missing his first week in the Senate so that he can finish-out his term as Governor of Florida. This is massively important to how PredictIt will settle the “How many Senate seats will the GOP hold after the 2018 midterms” bet.
Obviously, the answer to this question is 53, because that’s how many Republicans were elected, right?
Nope. Wrong!!!! Look at the rules and you will see the dilemma.
PredictIt’s market rules:
“At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the number of U.S. Senators who were elected with a ballot-listed or otherwise identifiable affiliation with, or who have publicly stated an intention to caucus with the Republican Party shall be the number or range identified in the question.”
Ruh Roh! What’s up with “at the beginning of the 116th Congress?”
That’s fancy talk for “at kick-off time on opening day,” which we know is set for January 3. So this bet isn’t a head count for total Senate class size, it’s a head count for total attendance on the first day of school. And Rick Scott won’t be there.
But wait, even if Rick Scott isn’t sworn-in on January 3, is his Senate seat actually vacant?
His seat IS vacant. That’s because:
(1) Florida’s constitution won’t let someone be both Senator and governor at the same time (shout out to Zoltar for fishing this amazing fact).
So saying that Scott’s Senate seat will technically be filled on swearing-in day, even though he’ll still be in action as governor, is a lot like saying that you are a huge fan of women’s rights while you are pushing a shopping cart full of The Cosby Show DVDs. The two things are mutually exclusive.
(2) Part of a Senator’s oath of office is confirming that he/she has brought his/her certificate of election. So technically, there will be no paper trail to affirm Rick Scott’s election until January 8. Watch this bit of tape to get what I mean.
All of this is no bueno for “53” holders. 52 looks like the right choice.
Is there any way that “52” holders get boned on this?
— Yes. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could change the start date of the 116th Congress. But that means re-booking lots of photographers and caterers, as well as losing a solid week of time that could be spent confirming judges that make Elizabeth Warren want to inject herself with cyanide.
— Someone could die, resign, or switch parties.
— And there is a VERY remote chance that PredictIt’s weird rules wouldn’t count Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as a Republican, since he was appointed and not elected. But anyone who makes this argument is being more ridiculous than Robert Durst’s lawyers were when they said that he murdered and dismembered his neighbor in an act of self defense.
Give me a break, haters.
Say what you want about Rick Scott being a greedy health care executive making millions of dollars off of other people’s suffering, then using his ghoulish wealth to buy his way into politics– this marketplace is charity, plain and simple. If you are part of the 43% of Americans who know how to read things other than Instagram, then you can make money by taking a quick look at this marketplace’s rules.
Rick Scott’s tardy arrival in Washington is going to be pure gold. This man is basically Robin Hood. Now forgive me while I go get rich off a loophole in PI’s rules that contradict’s the actual results of the 2018 election.
America is amazing. 52 wins.