Smarkets: Trump carries momentum as US 2020 markets tighten

Smarkets said that market dynamics are being radically reshaped as US 2020 odds narrow with just two months left of campaigning before US voters hit election polls on Tuesday 3 November.

Tracking market developments, Smarkets detailed that its betting exchange is reflecting the majority of US 2020 polls, as challenger Joe Biden saw a comfortable double-digit lead narrow to just 50% against President Trump’s 49% chance of retaining his presidency.

Changing campaign dynamics have seen Biden’s presidential chances drastically reduced from a mid-July high of 63% (1.58) to a 1% lead (2.01) over President Trump, who is now carrying US 2020’s campaign momentum.

Reflecting on events since July, Smarkets Head of Political Markets Sarbjit Bakhshi said: “The deteriorating situation in Kenosha and Portland could be improving Trump’s chances of winning the presidency, with Biden’s lead in our market disappearing over the summer.”

In its update, Smarkets – which has recorded $4.6 million wagered on its US 2020 – has maintained that Biden still holds a significant lead on its ‘live election forecast’, in which he is projected to win 302 electoral college votes.

Yet, Smarkets noted that Trump is gaining ground on its individual state forecasts as the President is reported to have swung 10 seats since last week: “If our Electoral College markets also start to move from their current prediction of a Democrat victory, things could be looking bleak for Biden,” added Bakhshi.

Sarbjit Bakhshi – Smarkets

Come 3 November, Biden will be tasked with winning the ‘battleground states’ of  Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida which Trump won by a margin of less than 1% in 2016.

Highlighting the Electoral College’s unique structure, Smarkets currently holds a 1-in-3 chance that Trump repeats his 2016 performance by winning the presidency but losing the popular vote.

“This is despite our aggregation of markets on electoral college votes suggesting a Biden victory at 302 to Trump’s 236,” explained Bakhshi. “Trading activity on our platform implies an 80% probability that the Democrats win the popular vote, meaning that if Trump does prevail in November we could see him repeat what he managed in 2016 and do so without winning the most votes. 

“After a very troubling summer, all eyes will be on Biden to show that he can exert the moral leadership needed to heal America if he does win the presidency.”

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