Our award-winning reporting has moved

Context provides news and analysis on three of the world’s most critical issues:

climate change, the impact of technology on society, and inclusive economies.

Betting markets favor Biden over Trump, but odds narrow in U.S. race

by Reuters
Friday, 7 August 2020 12:59 GMT

By Divya Chowdhury and Aaron Saldanha

Aug 7 (Reuters) - Betting markets favor Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden over Republican President Donald Trump in November's U.S. election, though the odds between them have narrowed during the last week, two betting market aggregators said.

British betting and gambling company Ladbrokes Coral Group gives Biden a 61% win-chance and Trump 36%, while New Zealand-based prediction market PredictIt has Biden leading Trump by 59 cents-to-43 cents.

"Biden broke out in the lead on June 1, largely in response to the (coronavirus) pandemic and has maintained that since, but in the last week the race is starting to narrow," Will Jennings, head of public engagement at PredictIt, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Friday.

"I would put (a Biden landslide victory) at 30%-40% since there are still three months, and of course, the 'October surprises' to come."

Public opinion polls have shown Trump losing ground since the death in May of African American George Floyd in police custody sparked Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and globally.

"Trump was a narrow favorite in April, so the position has flipped since then," Matthew Shaddick, head of politics betting at Ladbrokes Coral Group, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.

"Although it was around the time of the BLM-inspired protests that his polling and betting position got a bit worse."

Betting markets are overwhelmingly dominated by men, Shaddick said.

"It's possible that might introduce a bias, given that Trump polls better with men over women."

Leading the tables for Biden's running mate are Senator Kamala Harris and Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama's national security adviser, followed by U.S. Representative Val Demings and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.

"At the moment, it's a two-person race. Kamala Harris has led the DVP (Democratic vice presidential) market for months," Jennings said. Biden is expected to name his choice in the coming days and has promised to choose a woman.


"This election is going to be the biggest single betting market of all time," Shaddick said.

"Looks like stakes on this election will be around 2x that of 2016 at least, and that's confirmed by other betting platforms like Betfair," Shaddick said. "So, it's very liquid, in betting terms."

The election prediction market is expected to get more active as Election Day nears on Nov. 3.

"We continue to see a steady climb in trader interest," Jennings said.

Election prediction markets "don't have the level of volatility a financial market may have from week to week, which is a big draw for day traders." (These interviews were conducted in the Reuters Global Markets Forum, a chat room hosted on the Refinitiv Messenger platform. Sign up here to join GMF: https://refini.tv/33uoFoQ)

(Reporting by Divya Chowdhury in Mumbai and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Savio Shetty in Mumbai; Editing by Howard Goller)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.