Betting market favors a Biden win

Originally published at:


just for historical reference, here is the same site’s stats for the 2016 election 6 weeks out:


WHat’s the odds on the collapse of American Democracy?


It depends on the time frame, but whoever wins it’s more a matter of when than if.



Which shows that the betting market means nothing?

On election day, gamblers were saying Clinton was winning 0.75/0.25-- they had much greater confidence in a Clinton win then than they do of a Trump win were the election held today.

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Wait, what?
That chart appears to show contract trading going on after the election. How does that even work? Shouldn’t the bets have been resolved after the election?


I had a hunch.

Kid Midas is raising a glass of Light Water™ to that

Maybe the bets switched to “will the election results stand”?


Payout wouldn’t come until inauguration day. I guess a few people thought the whole Russian collusion might have tanked him before taking office.

What’s left of it, anyway.

I remember when betting markets were a new idea in the late 90s/early 2000s that there were people touting their accuracy with claims like “the Market guessed every single race correctly last time!”, but that included the time after the polls were closed and the results were announced.

In reality they pretty much track the polls because most people are operating on the same set of data.

As always predictions made this far in advance mean basically nothing. This horse race stuff is only useful to give talking heads something to opine about other than deadly plagues or whatever Trump put on Twitter last night.


Even money.


American what?


I don’t know how much credence to give “the betting markets,” but it is telling that Trump’s campaign is now spending a bunch of money on TV ads in an attempt to hang on to Texas, where Biden is nearly in a statistical tie.

The last time Democrats won Texas was 1976 when they ran a Southerner against an unpopular, unelected incumbent who unexpectedly ended up in the job because predecessor resigned in scandal. It wasn’t supposed to be a swing state in 2020, but here we are.


I’m surprised Pence is only 1¢. Wouldn’t you say there’s a non-trivial chance that Big Dump could tap out for health reasons before November?

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For a Pence win, you’re summing probabilities, though. You need to sum the probability of Trump to be incapacitated and 25th’d, The probability of Pence getting the nomination at the GOP convention, and the probability of Pence subsequently winning that election.

That’s a narrow path you have to take to victory, hence Pence is pence.


Thanks, didn’t know he would need to be re-nominated. What’s the reasoning though that he would be any worse than Trump to win the election?
Maybe a better question is how is Harris a 3¢? Wouldn’t half the voters have to write her in?

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You know you’re betting for Biden right?

He doesn’t have to be- Trump is not favoured at the moment, so assuming that Pence would have exactly the same probability of winning once he reaches the general election, it’s still three low probabilities multiplied together before he wins the thing.

Let’s throw some rough numbers into this thing.
74 year old male- probability of death in 12 months (source). 0.032394 Five months until the election, so multiply that by 0.416. Pence is the most prominent Republican who could take over from trump (and he could be the presumptive nominee after the convention), so 0.5 probability of getting nominated, then another 0.43 for the probability of a win in the election.

This gives you a probability of Pence winning of 0.00289731936‬, or a 1-in-345 chance.

Buying that for a cent on the dollar is still way overvalued.

That’s way overvalued as well. at the moment, her path to victory is:
Biden drops out -> she gets nominated at a contested convention -> wins Election
Biden chooses her as running mate -> Biden is incapacitated before the election but after the convention, -> wins Election.
Either one of those chains adding up to a 3-in-100 shot is also tenuous, but people gotta play the long odds, I guess.

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