When Is a Senator a Senator?

Here’s an odd story. I’m a fan of real world futures markets. I don’t take them too seriously, but they’re fun to watch. Every so often, I peer into PredictIt to see what they have to say,

This year, PredictIt had a market for the number of GOP senators in the next congress. After the election, the Republicans increased their majority to 53 seats. So the contract for 53 won, right?

Not so fast.

Senator-elect Rick Scott said he won’t step down as governor of Florida until his term ends. That means he’ll be sworn in on January 8, five days after the other senators. So even though the GOP won 53 seats, they’ll only have 52 senators at the start of the session.

According to the rules, it looks like the case for 52 will prevail. So even if you’re analysis was correct, you can still lose on a technicality.