Bitcoin Surges To Record High, Stocks & Bonds Battered As Dems Look Set To Take Both Georgia Senate Seats

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jan 06, 2021 - 04:45 AM

Update (2325ET): With 95% having reported, Warnock is now projected the winner by Decision Desk and Ossoff's lead appears insurmountable based on normal voting patterns.

Source: NYTimes

The big dump of votes from DeKalb changed everything...

Source: Fox News

10Y Yields broke 1.00%...

Bitcoin screamed to a new record high above $35k...

Ethereum has broken out to the upside...

And the Nasdaq has plunged...

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How the night progressed:

  • 1910ET 1% Both Dems

  • 1920ET 3% Both Reps - stocks rallied

  • 1930ET 8% Both Dems - stocks stalled

  • 1940ET 11% Both Dems - stocks rallied

  • 1950ET 17% Both Dems - stocks at high of day

  • 2000ET 19% Both Dems - stocks tumbled

  • 2010ET 30% Both Dems - stocks low of day, gold spiked

  • 2020ET 40% Both Dems - stocks tumbling

  • 2030ET 45% Both Dems - stocks new lows

  • 2040ET 49% Both Dems (small move back towards GOP) - stocks at lows

  • 2050ET 54% Both Dems (losing their edge)

  • 2100ET 60% Both Dems but lead shrinking

  • 2110ET 65% Both Dems lead continues to shrink

  • 2120ET 69% Both Dems lead projection

  • 2130ET 70% Both Reps take lead on a raw count - we note that the pace of voting is slowing dramatically

Something odd just happened:

  • 2140ET 76% Both Reps lead on the raw vote count

  • 2150ET 78% Both Democrats remain heavily favored, despite their deficit in the tabulated vote. They’re favored to win the vote left to be counted by 9 to 10 points - stocks sinking

  • 2200ET 80% Warnock projected lead steady, Ossoff projected lead shrinking - Chatham County, which includes Warnock’s hometown, Savannah, and Cobb County, an increasingly diverse Atlanta suburb, still have large chunks of uncounted votes.

  • 2210ET 82% No change

  • 2220ET 85% While both Reps have solid tabulated vote count leads, both Dems remain projected to win.

  • 2230ET 86% The chance of a Loeffler victory are extremely small now but Perdue still stands a chance based on projections - stocks sinking

  • 2240ET 87% Warnock's lead is now projected to be insurmountable, Nasdaq making news lows

  • 2250ET 87% No change

  • 2300ET 90% Warnock's odds of a win top 95%, Ossoff odds top 89%

  • 2305ET 91% Reps both lead raw count but Chatham County (Savannah) just called it for the night (a Dem stronghold county) - will resume at 8am

  • 2310ET 91% Perdue is leading by 120,000 votes. But state election official Gabriel Sterling says DeKalb County has 171,000 votes to upload. Those will skew heavily to the Democrats. However, there was a discrepancy... there is only 117,000 votes left to upload...

  • 2320ET 95% A sudden surge of votes (presumably from DeKalb County) has pushed Warnock over the top and Ossoff even with Perdue


Stocks are making new lows as Warnock's lead grows on the projected vote...

The reflation trade is back on as Nasdaq plunges, Small Caps are bid...

And bonds are also getting dumped...

And PredictIt odds collapsed...

These were the most expensive Senate races ever...

  • Roughly $404 million was spent on advertising in the Perdue-Ossoff race, according to Advertising Analytics, making it the most expensive Senate race ever.

  • Nearly $300 million was spent on advertising in the Loeffler-Warnock race, making it the second most expensive Senate race ever - behind only Perdue-Ossoff.

Most Georgia voters said that deciding which party controls the Senate was the “single most important factor” in casting their ballot, according to A.P. voter surveys.

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Update (1900ET): The polls have closed in the two Georgia Runoff elections that will determine control of the US Senate...mostly!

Yahoo News reports that voting hours have been extended at several polling sites in the Georgia runoff election.

judge ordered the Chatham County Board of Elections to extend the voting times in two locations beyond 7pm ET, after they experienced technical difficulties.

"A power outage, or something happened that knocked the power out at the polling location, which stalled the ability for citizens to vote for about 35 minutes," said Chatham Elections Board Member Antwan Lang.

The court order means that the county’s Old Courthouse polling station will stay open until 7.33pm ET, and Beach High School will close at 7.35pm ET, according to WSAV.

Turnout in the duel Senate runoffs has already set a record in Georgia, beating a record previously set in 2008, when former Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) faced off against Democrat Jim Martin.

And now we wait.

Gabriel Sterling, the elections system manager in Georgia, said that it could be “a couple days” before the winners are called if the results show tight races. Of course, if November was anything to go by, should one of the Democrats be leading early, we suspect the media will be quick to call the race... but not if Republicans are leading.

As a reminder, Biden 'won' Georgia by 11,779 votes in November and many media outlets did not call the state for at least three days after the election.

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Update (1342ET): With hours to go before polls close in the Georgia Senate runoff elections, three of the four candidates for Senate, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, made public appearances. The fourth candidate, David Purdue, remained in quarantine following several of his campaign staff testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

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For anyone living under a rock, if both Democrats win today, Democrats will control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

While the vote count during the Georgia general election took ten days before the state was called for Joe Biden, Tuesday's vote count is expected to be relatively fast, according to the New York Times, which suggests that a combination of fewer races on the ballot and a new rule requiring counties to begin processing early and absentee ballots at least one week before future elections, will result in a speedy result.

Officials can’t actually count the ballots until the polls close, but they can do all the time-consuming prep work. That means votes cast before election day — more than three million, according to Gabriel Sterling, a top state election official — should already be compiled, and pretty much all officials will need to do Tuesday night is hit “tabulate.”

The new rule allows counties “to essentially do everything except hit the button to print off the total,” said David Worley, the sole Democratic member of the State Election Board. -NYT

Nearly 3.1 million Georgians cast their ballots early - roughly 40% of all registered voters in the state, according to data from the University of Florida's US Elections Project.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day.

And for some Tuesday satire from the Babylon Bee, here are 9 things you need to know about the Georgia election:

1. If your preferred party loses, the whole thing was rigged. If your preferred party wins, it was a legitimate and fair election.

2. There are a lot of good songs about Georgia. "Midnight Train to Georgia", "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" -- lots of great songs.

3. There really isn't anything at stake here, aside from the Constitution, the Supreme Court, the Electoral College, your 401K, and the very fate of Western Civilization itself. So don't sweat it.

4. Trump has vowed to use his trusty divining rods to locate votes if Republicans come up short. After famously misplacing his divining rods in November, he found them just in time for the Georgia runoff.

5. Before you read any information on the election, call Mark Zuckerberg's cell to make sure it's legit. He's there for you. Always. In every corner of your house. Watching you. 

6. Pay no attention to the briefcases under the vote-counting tables. They are there for decoration, OK?

7. This election is a clear choice between vegan Communist baby-killers and racist Klansmen who want to kill grandma. Choose wisely. The choice is clear. We don't want vegans in office, do we?

8. Remember to wear a poncho just in case pipes start bursting as soon as Republicans start winning. Plumbing tends to explode at opportune times.

9. No matter what happens, Jesus is still king. Hey, I thought this was supposed to be satire!

*  *  *

Everyone is focused on Georgia today, where two Senate run-off votes will either give see a 50-50 tie or the Republicans retain a slim majority. "Hilariously," Rabo's Michael Every writes, "markets are moving on the recent surge in the Predictit election odds from ‘Dem zero’ to a 50-50 toss-up for both seats" although on Tuesday the odds of a "blue sweep" dipped modestly from 48 to 44, indicating a lower probability the Dems win both runoffs.

As discussed at length yesterday, the market concern is a ‘blue wave’ means more fiscal spending, and so faster Fed rate hikes or less easing, and a stronger USD. Yet with Democrats like Manchin seated, Every writes that "one would again have to be mad to assume a 50-50 Senate would just turn on the taps" and adds that at that point "the whole ‘Great Reflation!’ story is also shot down after its umpteenth insane iteration."

Of course, everyone has their opinion about what happens next depending on the outcome which is why everyone will be glued to their favorite ideological echo chamber to follow tonight's developments in Georgia. Luckily, as Goldman's chief political economist Alec Phillips writes, results are likely to come more quickly than in the presidential election in November.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. there are fewer mail ballots to process and count than the last time; the state has received 1.02mn mail ballots through January 4, compared to 1.32mn in November;

  2. there are fewer individual votes per ballot to tabulate; this runoff election includes only the two Senate races and one other statewide race, compared to around 20 races on the ballot in many parts of Georgia in November, and

  3. counties were required to begin processing ballots 8 days ago, whereas in November they were allowed to do so but not required.  

And while the actual vote tabulation will not start for any ballots (mail or in-person) until 7pm, everything else (signature checks and other verifications) should be done before then, at least for ballots received before election day. As such, Goldman believes that it is likely that most counties will have counted nearly all of the votes by midnight or soon thereafter.  

Assuming that the vote counting occurs as outlined above, how long it takes for media outlets to call the results will depend on how close the races are and which candidates lead.

If the the margin is greater than few tenths of a point in either direction with most of the ballots counted, news organizations are likely to call the race reasonably quickly, potentially by the early hours of Wednesday (Jan. 6).  

If the margin is narrower, it might depend on which candidates lead. A very close race with a slim Republican lead is likely to take longer for news organizations to call, as the late-counted ballots (i.e., late-arriving mail ballots and provisional ballots) have in the past leaned more Democratic (plus the media is clearly pro-Democrat).

On the other hand, if a Democratic candidate holds a lead of a few tenths of point by the early hours of Wednesday (Jan. 6), Goldman believes that "media outlets might be more likely to call the race based on the assumption that residual ballots would not change the outcome."  Validating this timeline, this morning Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger indicated the Senate races were likely to be called on Wednesday (Jan. 6) morning.  Regardless of when networks call the races, the results will not become official until election officials certify the results, which under Georgia law must occur by Jan. 15. 

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One final point: due to the closeness of the race, there are no clear odds of who will be the winner. Furthermore, as Rabobank noted earlier, opinion polling at the state level tends to be more challenging than national polling. What’s more, the rapid demographic changes in Georgia – which made it a battleground state in the first place – make it even more difficult to calibrate the statistical methods. So the actual outcome may be very close and this also means that it could take some time before we know the final results. Oh, and in keeping with the current political climate, the results - whatever they are - are likely to be contested.