As votes were cast at locations across the country earlier this week (on the 3rd of November), the race to collate and count those votes began amid tensions nationwide from voters across both sides of the aisle. Reports making the rounds today show, however, that Biden’s numbers place him far closer than President Trump to the finish line of 270 electoral votes.
It’s been a rough week for America. Even though the November 3rd date was known by voters months ahead of time and early mail-in votes broke previous records, polling stations still saw an unprecedented turnout. Voters turned up in almost overwhelming numbers and even despite the pandemic in an election that saw a record 65% of eligible voters cast their ballots.
Well, as results continue to trickle in from states where votes have been counted, it looks like former Vice President Joe Biden has doubled down on early projections as the favorite and will win this election. According to the latest figures that emerged from the reputable UK-based bookmaker Betfair at 1:15 am today ( November 5 ), Biden is dominating the probability spread – with an 87.2% implied chance of reaching the required number of electoral college votes before Trump. The president, on the other hand, has slipped to carrying a 12.8% chance of victory.
The Electoral College Vote Tally
Undoubtedly, the main reason why Biden is now sitting pretty with such a high win probability lies in his current share of the electoral college votes. As it stands in early Thursday, Biden has managed 264 electoral votes while Trump has 214. This means that the democratic challenger needs only six electoral college votes to emerge victorious in the election. Interestingly, Biden is also leading the popular vote tally with 72.1 million votes against Trump’s 68 million. As most will remember, 2016’s election saw President Trump win the electoral vote majority but lose that of the popular vote – an outcome that was sufficient to win him the election.
As a recap, US states are assigned a varying number of electoral college votes tied to the number of constituencies. For example, Florida has 29 electoral votes while Alaska has just three. In true winner-takes-all fashion, whoever wins the popular vote in any state automatically wins all the electoral votes up for grabs there.
The Odds Trends Over the Last Few Days
Recognizing that an election is an event where odds can change according to real-time events, bookmakers have continued to monitor the election and adjust the odds to reflect the events unfolding on the ground. Here’s a short recap of BetFair’s odds trends since the voting polls opened on Monday:
Monday, November 2, 2020:
Tuesday, November 3, 2020:
Wednesday, November 4, 2020:
Thursday, November 5, 2020:
All times are in the ET time zone.
As was made clear by the trends, the odds gap between Trump and Biden was actually closer going into the election, but has widened since.
The Key Battleground States
As it currently stands, both candidates are engaged in a fierce tussle for victory in a few swing states or “electoral battlegrounds”. These are Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. These three states combine for a total of 51 electoral votes and together, could swing the election in favor of the trailing candidate Donald Trump, who is incidentally ahead in all three states.
As things stand, however, all Biden would have to do, from a mathematical standpoint, is deliver Nevada. The silver state will supply him with the exact six electoral votes he needs to reach the finish line. After turning over some states with strong republican numbers like Arizona and Wisconsin, it would be hasty to bet against him doing the same in Nevada.
Trump, on the other hand, gained huge momentum after a four-percent margin win in Florida. The state and its 29 electoral votes were key to keeping him in the running.
Even if Biden wins, Trump will have at least 70 days in office before a transfer of power takes place – and according to rumblings at the White House, it looks like the president will consider legal recourse in the event of an unfavorable outcome.