Is a 2016 US Election Betting Repeat on the Horizon?

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Is a 2016 US Election Betting Repeat on the Horizon?
Photos by Morry GASH and JIM WATSON / AFP

One week to go until the most important US Election Betting decision in a generation. The feeling in the air is eerily similar to that of 2016 when the Democratic candidate headed into the final weeks with a comfortable lead only to have it slip away.

It has been a nasty campaign, just like in 2016 and most of the rhetoric seems oddly familiar to us as we head down the final stretch of what has been a fascinating US Election Season. Just like in 2016, this election could go either way and the choice couldn’t be more contrasting.

The Election odds and Election polls, through it all have been pretty consistent, with the odd peak or valley for each of the candidates along the way. For many reasons, 2016 is similar to 2020, but for many other reasons, this is a totally different race. Let’s break it down.

Steady Joe

By this time in the 2016 campaign season, Hillary Clinton was still the favorite but was on her way down, in terms of the Polls and US Election betting odds. Donald Trump was making up some serious ground at this point in the campaign and trailed Hillary by just four points on this date four years ago.

It just hasn’t been the case with Steady Joe. Biden has been the betting favorite, according to Bovada, since June 4 when he was listed at -110 and Donald Trump was EVEN odds for a second term. Biden has not slipped below that point and Bodog’s oddsmakers have had him as high as -200 on October 14. BetOnline also has had Biden a 2-1 favorite within the last few weeks. As of Tuesday, Biden is the -185 favorite, and Trump is a +140 underdog.

As far as polling goes, Joe Biden has maintained between an 8-11-point lead over Trump nationally. Just like the odds, the polls haven’t waivered all that much the last couple of months.

Something that is notable about the positive polling for Joe Biden is the fact that he has been up over 50% pretty consistently, even in Fox New Polls the last month or so. That would mean that Donald Trump would not only need every one of his supporters to come out and vote, but he would need every Independent voter to cast a ballot for him and would also need to pull some Democrat voters away from Joe Biden – seems unlikely.

As a result, respected and prominent political website FiveThirtyEight says that Biden has an 87% chance of winning the 2020 Election.

Photos by various sources / AFP

Unfavorable Ratings

Let’s face it – neither candidate was well-liked in the 2016 campaign, Hillary perhaps less than Trump. Trump won’t be able to seize upon that fact in this race. People actually like Joe Biden and trust him more on most issues facing the Electorate, including the economy, something that Trump has always had a significant edge.

As it stands right now 22% more of those polled view Trump as unfavorable than they view him as favorable. The -22 net favorable rating means that 22% more people dislike Trump than they like him. Bombast, mistruths, complaints like the one levied at 49-year veteran CBS journalist Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes”, and incessant attacks on political foes, pop-culture icons, and even the beloved Anthony Fauci appear to finally be revealing some consequences for the sitting President.

Joe Biden on the other hand has a +1 favorable rating, meaning that more like him than don’t. If the people that simply like Joe vote for him, theoretically he should win.

COVID-19

No matter what Donald Trump says, everyday Americans are living with the coronavirus. People around the country have lost their jobs, parents are questioning the viability of sending their kids to school and the families of 225,000+ have gone through a grieving process the last eight months. Like it or not, as President, Trump bears some responsibility.

COVID-19 is top-of-mind for American voters according to poll after poll and it just may do what Hillary Clinton couldn’t do in 2016, ultimately providing Joe Biden the deciding assist in 2020.

So…

If you were one of the lucky ones that saw value when Joe Biden was at -110 on June 4 or laid your betting dollars down on the former Vice-President when he was a +130 Underdog in May – congratulations. Value betting on the US Election seems like a thing of the past.

… Unless of course there is a repeat of 2016!