The race between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden is heating up with only a few hours left before the United States goes for the polls. Although the polls show Biden maintaining a consistent lead in the battlegrounds, the online betting markets give a different picture.
With millions of dollars riding on the 2020 US Presidential Election, Trump's winning odds seem to have shown a remarkable surge in the past few hours. Needless to say, for gamblers, it's a kind of particular high stakes, with political betting sites showing volatile movement over the past few days.
Trump Makes Slow Gains
Biden has enjoyed a lead in almost all the battleground polls all through this summer, which somewhat narrowed down from 5 percent to 3 percent lately, but the online betting markets tell a different story. No doubt, the political betting sites give a real time, minute by minute picture of the presidential race, which has turned wildly volatile in the closing days.
Nonprofit online prediction market PredictIt, which has been allowed to do domestic betting on US political outcomes, has interestingly placed the odds of Biden winning the polls at around 63 percent, down from the 70 percent highs earlier this month. Moreover, Trump's winning odds have surged to 40%.
However, Biden is still quite ahead although the gap has somewhat closed over the past few days. According to Goldman Sachs analysis of PredictIt data, Biden leads national polls by roughly 9 percent, almost twice as much as former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's lead in the days leading up to the 2016 election.
In 2016, PredictIt had the odds of Clinton winning at about 80 percent. According to Goldman Sachs, "state-level polls from presidential elections from 1992 to 2016 show that roughly a week before the election, a candidate leading with a [margin of two percentage points] won that state around three times out of four."
That said, according to a report in Forbes, a team of analysts from Goldman Sachs say that "Prediction markets suggest the election outcome is still highly uncertain, implying just over a 60 percent chance that Biden will win the Electoral College."
Millions at Stake
The most cited source for election forecasts, RealClearPolitics, rounds up six states as Top Battlegrounds: Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin. Among these, Biden is leading in the average of polls in all states except North Carolina. Besides, he is narrowly leading in the seventh state Georgia. According to PredictIt, Trump is now a big favorite in Florida and Georgia, leading with 61 percent in both. The gamblers are pretty much counting him out in the upper Midwest; his odds in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are all between 21 percent and 24 percent.
Undoubtedly, the US Presidential Election has become one of the biggest events of the online betting markets, not only in the United States but also in Europe, where Biden appears to be a clear favorite. U.K.-based Betfair Exchange's odds favor Biden at 66 percent.
Trump, on the other hand, has a 35 percent chance. Despite the stark difference, here too Trump has managed to gain in the final days. His prospects were actually an improvement from the weekend, when his odds were at 34 percent. Betters on the UK exchange Smarkets also have been witnessing Trump's odds jumping slightly on the same level lately.