Donald Trump leading the charge in political betting markets

Donald Trump leading the charge in political betting markets

In the space of a few months, the answer to the pressing question of who will be the next president of the United States of America will be revealed. On Tuesday, November 3, Americans will cast their vote in the general elections and the world will be waiting with bated breath to find out, who will emerge victorious. Will it be the incumbent president Donald Trump or will it be presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden? It’s the right coin-tosser.

donald trump bet - Donald Trump leading the charge in political betting markets

From the moment electioneering began its been a roller coaster ride. Be it in the race for the Democratic nomination, which was fraught with intrigue – and never more so during the lead up to Super Tuesday, when it became clear that it amounted to a choice between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden; be it in the overarching 2020 US Elections landscape, where political point-scoring between Republicans and Democrats is an established spectator sport.

Even now, when conventional campaigning and rallies are on hold, go to ground because of the global coronavirus pandemic, it’s still a hotly contested race. Played out in the media and the virtual space with customary zeal and intensity befitting one of the most important decisions in any democracy.

As it stands, Donald Trump is dubbed the clear favorite by political pundits. That the ‘America first’ president has no legitimate challenger for the Republican ticket, which he’s keen to cash in for a second term in office to complete his legacy, underscores the positive outlook for his prospects in the 2020 US Elections. Additionally, there is a clear advantage in incumbency, underscored by historical trends that reveal approximately 90% of incumbent presidents win a second term in office. 

On the other side of the political coin, Joe Biden emerges as the presumptive Democrat nominee after the entire field of hopefuls – Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, amongst others – one by one dropped out of the race. The Democratic National Congress (DNC) is going to make the final call with respect to the nomination later this summer, but that hasn’t deterred political pundits from serving up the former vice president pegged as Trump’s main challenger. Colour the world shocked if the nomination goes elsewhere.

A most recent opinion poll released by Monmouth University revealed Biden leads Trump ever so slightly among registered voters that were polled, 50% to 41% with the remaining 9% either undecided or voting independent. [Source USA Today].

How much meat is on that bone however is debatable given that polls in the 2016 election leaned favorably towards Hilary Clinton rather than Donald Trump. Indeed, Trump was the longshot bet to win the 2016 elections because of his perceived unpopularity among urban American voters. Tale told, Trump defied the odds and the polls to become the 45th president of the United States. 

On one hand, there’s an argument to be had about the polls being essentially spot on. Hilary Clinton did win the popular vote – the total number of votes cast – by a significant amount. Almost three million more votes to Donald Trump, which is approximately the entire population of states such as Kansas and Mississippi. 

Where Trump can hang his victory on is the electoral college vote, which he won handsomely. A presidential candidate needs 270 votes to win but Trump blew that number out of the water by winning 306 electoral college votes to Hilary Clinton’s 232 electoral college votes. 

It’s worth pointing out that it was only the second time in the history of the US Elections that a president lost the popular vote but won the electoral college vote needed to ascend into the Oval Office. Republican George W. Bush was the first to win in such a manner when he beat out Al Gore despite collecting 544,000 fewer votes. 

If politics are fluid and ever-changing, so too is political punditry and, in turn, predicting the results of the general elections. Right now, ‘the Donald’ may be the unpopular choice but a lot can change in an election cycle. 

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