Trump Sinking in Odds, Polls As Election Nears
In 2016, when Donald Trump was shockingly elected President of the United States, people were in disbelief.
This time around, even though Democrat challenger Joe Biden is currently being given a double-digit advantage over Trump on average across the numerous election polls, people remain skeptical about the outcome. They remember that four years ago, Democrat Hillary Clinton also led Trump in the polls. But it was Trump who earned the seat in the Oval Office of the White House on election day.
The polls leading up to the 2016 election suggested that Clinton was on her way to victory. A poll taken by NBC News on the eve of the election gave Clinton a six-point edge over Trump. She’d held forth with an average margin of between 4 to 6 percentage points since the second week of September that year.
When she lost, people were quick to suggest that the polls didn’t know what they were talking about. In fact, nationally, Clinton did win the popular vote 48.2 to 46.1.
But hold on there for a minute, because we’re here to tell you that when it comes to assessing the Presidential election through analytics and probability, the experts are looking at the wrong data.
Polls are flawed. They’re taken at face value when the fact of the matter is that no one knows for certain whether all pollsters are on the up and up, or whether respondents are being truthful with them. Were they partisan and cooked the books so to speak by just contacting specific demographics so that it would skew positively for their preferred candidate?
Now, no one is saying that polls are all fixed. Is just that polling isn’t an exact science.Betting, on the other hand, offers much more reliable data when it comes to outcomes. Oddsmakers at sportsbooks are paid to be right. And the vast majority of the time, they are.
Betting On Politics
What’s that you say? You didn’t know that you could place wagers on the outcome of the election? Yes Virginia, there are betting odds offered on political outcomes. If any Virginians want to put a wager down on Trump or Biden, all they need to do is go to an online sports betting site and open an account.
What’s interesting is that in 2016, on the eve of Americans going to the polls, bookmakers were actually giving Trump a path to victory. It was a narrow one, to be sure but it was there. And so was the suggestion that a wager on Trump – who was a +525 underdog, meaning you’d win $525 on a $100 bet – was worth the risk.
Those same bookmakers aren’t seeing anything resembling a path to victory for Trump this time around. Even though the betting odds are closer – Biden is the -179 odds-on favorite, while Trump is at +151 – all they see is a Biden blockade preventing a second term for the Donald.
The Math Doesn’t Work For Trump
Trump’s betting odds have been cratering over the past couple of weeks. The only October surprise in this election cycle is how badly his campaign is sinking.
Any way you do the math right now, it adds up to a Biden victory.
Trump’s odds lengthened from +129 to +148 following his unhinged performance in the first Presidential debate, when he ranted and frequently interrupted Biden, all while spewing as CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale put it “an avalanche of lies.”
For Trump, his best hope at reelection was to keep the country focused on America’s improving economy. Instead, when he tested positive for COVID-19 and an outbreak of the deadly virus raged through the White House, it put the coronavirus that’s killed over 200,000 Americans back atop the news cycle.
There’s been no empathy for Trump as he fights this deadly disease. Instead, his odds grew even longer.
As recently as February, the betting line gave Trump a 70 percent chance of victory. Today, his probability of winning the election is down to 38.3 percent. Biden is a solid 61.7 percent to be the winner.
Unless there’s a dramatic turnaround prior to Americans going to the polls on Nov. 3, Biden will be the country’s next President.
You can bet on it.