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Betting On 2020 US Election

October 31, 2020 9 min to read

The 2020 election of the United States is finally upon us. While the election will have substantial socio-political and economical outcomes, it has also had a massive impact on the gambling industry. Bettors all over the world are eyeing the US presidential election as a precious gambling event. Reports indicate that more than $1 billion have been wagered across the world on the showpiece day of US politics. 

Are you thinking about making a bet on the November 3 showdown? In this piece, we will feature all the facts you need to know before placing a wager on who will become the new POTUS.

 

Can Americans Bet On The Presidential Election?

Even though the American election betting market is a billion-dollar industry, US legislation prevents Americans from taking part in political betting. For sporting events, gambling laws vary from state to state. But, the ruling remains the same nationwide for political betting. No state allows you to gamble on the outcome of any US election. Many betting operators offer prediction contests, but no monetary awards are up for grabs. At FanDuel for example, you can predict who will win the presidency under the “Bet The Ballot” contests. However, there is a way to make money legally from the outcome of the 2020 election. PredictIt.org allows you to trade shares based on your expectations of the election result. 

Since the organization came to being in 2014, the company has traded more than 1.5 billion shares. Apart from elections, the company also lets you buy and sell stocks on administrative and foreign policies. There are around 200 markets from where you can trade shares related to the 2020 election. So, how does this work actually? We will try to explain in the following paragraphs. For each presidential candidate, purchase and dispose of shares anywhere below the $1 mark. US Today reports that Monday’s trades saw Joe Biden shares going for 63-65 cents. Trump shares traded 41-42 cents. 

So, what does this data tell us about the market’s expectations? This interprets that the anticipation for a Joe Biden presidency is around 63-65%. 41%-42% are in favor of Trump’s reelection. The share of the winning candidate will transform into a dollar a piece after the results come out. Therefore, you can make a significant profit if you root for the right candidate.

For example, if Trump wins and you have five shares that favored a Trump reelection you would have a total valuation of $5. You had purchased these shares at 41 cents apiece, meaning you had spent $2.05 in total. So, you will make a profit of $2.95, which is more than twice the money you had invested. On top of that, there is a special price assigned for every single state. The stakes are higher in swing states. That means you can trade on results of a single state, rather than predicting the entire election. Undoubtedly, this is a low-risk investment in non-swing state territories. 

 

Overview

In offshore markets, gamblers have been placing their bets on the US presidential elections. In fact, it is the most engaging gambling activity in Europe at the moment. The traded amount has already doubled than that of the 2016 US presidential election betting market. Betonline.ag had declared last week, that the US election drew more gambling attention than the Super Bowl. The site went on to disclose that, the Biden-Trump showdown has become the most wagered event on the platform since the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather fight in 2017. 

William Hill has announced that the 2020 US election will surpass any other betting activity this year. Before the poll booths open today, the site expects to handle bets worth more than $13m. As of now, Joe Biden is the frontrunner in the books of bookmakers. But, Trump did make some progress on bridging the gap with his Democrat counterpart over the weekends. 

UK betting agencies have assigned a 65% winning possibility for Joe Biden. Their estimations suggest Trump has a 35% chance of winning, which is a 1% improvement on his pre-weekend 34% rating. Betfair has also reported that Trump has made a 1% progress in its estimations. The company also revealed that a person has punted £1m in favor of Biden replacing Trump in the White House. This is the biggest political bet ever placed by a single person. If it comes through, the high roller would take home £1.54m. In today’s market, that sum is equivalent to almost $2m. 

National opinion polls have handed Biden a clear lead over the current president. But, it would come down to the battleground states like Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan to determine the ultimate winner. 

 

Who Are The 2020 Election Candidates?

 

It’s needless to say that the major political party candidates are the strongest contenders for White House. After George Washington, no independent candidate managed to win the presidency. Besides independent candidates, some candidates are also backed by other political parties. But, nobody has occupied the Oval Office without a Republican or Democrat ticket since 1850. Historically, third party and independent candidates didn’t pose much of a challenge to Republican and Democrat party representatives. But, they still had a sizeable impact. In 2016, around 7.6  million voters decided not to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. This voting diversion could prove beneficial for major candidates since it hurts the opposition vote bank in critical states.

Kanye West is the most famous presidential candidate out of the big two in 2020. The celebrity hip-hop artist announced on July 4 that he would be running for president. But, the Independence Day announcement was laughed off by many as a PR stunt. However, he did earn some big-name supports like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and of course, his wife Kim Kardashian. West is not running as an independent. He has established a party of his own named “Birthday Party”, and running under its banner. Michelle Tidball, a bible preacher from Wyoming, is his choice as running-mate. West has pledged his support for a mixed bag of issues covering both liberal and conservative views. A Politico survey conducted between 2000 US voters yielded 2% support for the billionaire rapper. 

Green Party founder and social worker Howie Hawkins will try his luck for the US presidency after three failed attempts for becoming the governor of New York. Hawkins has been pushing for a universal healthcare plan, like Bernie Sanders, and has also promised to work on an environment-friendly “Green New Deal”.Numbers provided by Pew Research Centre reflect that Hawkins has 1% support of the US voters. Angela Nicole Walker is his vice-presidential nominee. 

Clemson University senior lecturer Jo Jergensen is another mentionable name outside the Democrat and Republican candidates in the 2020 election. The 2020 presidential campaign has not been an abrupt jump to politics from academics for Jorgensen. She had previously contested in the 1992 US House of Representatives election. Jorgensen is representing the Libertarian Party in the US presidential race. She was the vice-presidential nominee of the party in the 1996 election. Currently, the party is considered the third largest political party in the US.

 

Who Will Win the Election 2020?

 

The national polls are showing that Joe Biden will win the presidency, but in the US election system, the national polls are not the most ideal benchmark to forecast the final result of the election. Biden has 52% approval in the national polls, while 44% had faith in Trump. But, this is reminiscent of the 2016 national polls, which showed Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton winning by a  3 million vote margin.

But, the electoral college system of the United States emphasizes on winning the battle in key states, rather than winning more votes overall. This is the reason Hillary Clinton couldn’t gain the presidency in 2016. Hillary won the popular vote, meaning she had a higher vote count overall than Trump. But, her failure to secure 270 electorate votes, resulted in a Trump victory. 

So, where the candidates are winning the votes is more important than how many votes they are getting in total. Some states are traditionally Republican or Democrat. So, winning the swing states is vital. 

Who is leading the polls in swing states? Here’s what the recent poll shows us: 

 

StateBIDENTRUMPWho won in 2016?
Arizona47.5%47.0%Trump by 3.6%
Florida48.3%46.6%Trump by 1.2%
Georgia47.6%47.8%Trump by 5.2%
Iowa45.8%47.2%Trump by 9.5%
Michigan49.8%44.7%Trump by 0.2%
Minnesota48.0%43.7%Clinton by 1.5%
Nevada48.6%45.0%Clinton by 2.4%
New Hampshire53.4%42.4%Clinton by 0.4%
North Carolina47.4%47.9%Trump by 3.7%
Ohio46.0%47.4%Trump by 8.2%
Pennsylvania49.2%46.3%Trump by 0.7%
Texas46.5%47.7%Trump by 9.1%
Virginia51.7%40.3%Clinton by 5.4%
Wisconsin50.7%44.1%Trump by 0.8%

 

Source: Real Clear Politics, Associated Press. Last updated: 2 November

 

Trump had won by narrow margins in the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This year, Biden seems to have commanded considerable leads in all three of those states. In states like Iowa, Texas, and Ohio, Trump had won comfortably in 2016. But, recent polls show that Biden has closed down the gap substantially. Trump is still leading there but by very slim margins. Allan Lichtman, a historian and former academic, has successfully predicted all US elections since 1984. Lichtman implements a 13-variable system to forecast the winner. 

This year, Lichtman’s model has concluded that Joe Biden will prevent Donald Trump from serving a second term in the office. The former American University professor had also foreseen Trump’s win in 2016.Lichtman identified the mishandling of the Covid pandemic as the primary culprit to blowing the hole in Trump’s reelection aspirations. Police violence controversy and an underperforming economy also played a part in this. 

The Economist, 538 and a handful of other credible platforms have echoed Lichtman’s sentiment and predicted a win for Joe Biden. But, as 2016 taught us, rule out Donald Trump at your own risk. 

 

Where Can I Bet On Election 2020?

 

Betting on the US election 2020 is legal in Europe, Asia, and Australian markets. Betfair, Bwin, Sportsbet.au all major gambling operators outside the US are offering various odds on the election. 

 

Final Say

Predicting the future is always a risk, but the fate of the US election 2020 looks to be pretty certain at the moment. So, placing a wager on a Joe Biden presidency seems to be easy money. But, Donald Trump has shown us in the past that he can pull some magic trick out of the hat at the very last moment, despite being treated as an underdog throughout the majority of the campaign. So, the thrills of uncertainty is still pretty much evident in the US elections 2020. We are predicting a Joe Biden victory, but a dramatic turn of events could prove us wrong. Who knows? 

 

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Remi

Remi is a full-time barber but when he clocks out his other passion is Formula 1 racing, which he enjoys seasonally along with other high adrenaline sports.

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