2020 election odds: The latest predictions for Trump v Biden

James Crump
·4-min read
This combination of file pictures created on 22 October 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee ((AFP via Getty Images))
This combination of file pictures created on 22 October 2020 shows US President Donald Trump (L) and Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee ((AFP via Getty Images))

Donald Trump faces Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the US presidential election on 3 November, in what has been an unprecedented year for America.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant a very different election to years previous, as the candidates have struggled to do as much in-person campaigning than normal.

FiveThirtyEight, an organisation that creates an average from America’s national polls, currently shows Mr Biden with a lead of 8.5 percentage points over President Trump.

While national polls show a landslide voting gap for the Democratic nominee, betting odds suggest a much tighter race between the pair.

Read more: What time do polls close on election night? A state-by-state guide

The 2016 presidential election saw a record number of people place bets on the myriad of outcomes, as $258m (£198.7m) was spent gambling on the contest between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton on Betfair Exchange.

However, by Monday 26 October, the betting service had already received $215m (£165m) placed on the election and was predicting to see $400m (£308m) by 3 November.

In a press release, Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “The 2020 election is on course to become the biggest single betting event of all time.”

What are the current odds for the major markets?

2020 US presidential election winner

William Hill currently has the best odds on Mr Biden winning the election, as it has the Democratic nominee at 8/15.

While Betfair and Paddypower have the best odds for President Trump at 15/8.

Oddschecker shows that 59 per cent of bets on the winner of the election have been for President Trump, and 29 per cent of bets went to Biden.

Read more: Electoral college map: The swing states Trump and Biden need to win

However, 6 per cent of bets have been placed for Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, 4 per cent have been for vice president Mike Pence, while 2 per cent have been placed for rapper Kanye West.

2020 US presidential election turnout

A record turnout is predicted for 3 November’s election, as election officials and advocacy groups have been urging US residents to vote early this year in-person or via mail-in voting, because of fears of long queues forming on 3 November due to coronavirus measures.

By 3 October, more than 3.8 million US citizens had already voted in the election, compared to the 75,000 who had cast their ballot at the same time in 2016, according to the US Elections Project.

Michael McDonald of the University of Florida, who also runs the US Elections Project, predicted that the US will see a record turnout of about 150 million people for November’s election, which would represent 65 per cent of eligible voters, the highest rate since 1908.

Smarkets is the only provider accepting bets on the official US turnout and currently has three categories to choose from.

Betfair’s current swing-o-meter based on odds for each candidate:

For a turnout of under 55 per cent, the betting company has odds of 29/2, while the provider has odds of 10/1 for between 55 to 57 per cent.

Smarkets also has odds of a turnout of between 58-60 per cent at 7/2 and odds of 2/9 for over 60 per cent.

Oddschecker shows that 62 per cent of bets have been placed on a turnout of more than 60 per cent, and 19 per cent have been for between 58 and 60 per cent turnout.

While, 11 per cent have been on under 55 and 8 per cent have been placed on 55 to 57 per cent turnout.

2020 Electoral College votes

The US Electoral College describes the 538 Presidential electors who come together every four years during the presidential election to give their official votes, based on the winner of the popular vote in each state.

In 2016, President Trump received 304 votes while Ms Clinton got 227, despite the Democratic candidate winning the popular vote. A candidate must receive a majority of 270 to win the election.

SkyBet, Betfair and Paddy Power are currently offering odds of 8/1 for Mr Biden to get between 270 to 299 electoral college votes, while Betfair Exchange has odds of 43/5.

While for President Trump, Smarkets are offering odds of 19/1 for him to receive 270-275 electoral college votes, and 10/1 for him to get between 251-269.

Popular vote winner

The popular vote is the total number of percentage of votes that each presidential candidate receives across the US.

In 2016 President Trump received 47 per cent of the popular vote compared to Ms Clinton’s 48 per cent, but still won the election because of the electoral college.

For 3 November’s election, the best odds for Mr Biden winning the popular vote are 1/6 from Bet365, while for President Trump it is 5/1 from Genting Bet.

According to Oddschecker, 43.43 per cent of the bets placed on the popular vote are for President Trump, while 25.25 per cent have been for Mr Biden.

Read more

Where and how to vote in the 2020 US election