A Recap Of The Presidential Election Day Odds Shifts

Few people can deny the power that November’s Presidential election in the US will have in defining the year 2020. Democratic candidate Joe Biden – according to reputable news outlets – has clinched victory over Trump. Here’s a day-by-day odds recap of events from the week of the election. Stay tuned.

A Fortnight Before Election Day

Joe Biden held a firm lead on his opponent in both the polls and the bookmaker odds two weeks before vote day (November 3). However, there was a peculiar trend that began to take shape at this same time. A large portion of bettors from all over the world seemed to be confident in hedging their bets on the underdog – which was, and still is, Donald Trump. On the week of October 23, many websites were reporting a high number of bets on the republican candidate, with some individual wagers going into the thousands of dollars.

Betfair, for example, came out during that same period to report that 75% of wagers on the election were placed on Trump. Importantly, at the time, he had odds that hovered between 33% and 36% on winning the election. It was a strange phenomenon as at the time, many analysts were speculating that this could mean that beyond what the odds said, Trump could actually win.

As Voting Commenced

In simple terms, this year’s presidential election has been a merry-go-round of emotions and, more importantly, predictions. The only metric that hasn’t shifted much is the national polls. On the morning of in-person voting on November 3, Biden held a well-maintained eight-point lead over Trump in the national polls. As much as many reports referenced the 2016 election where Hillary Clinton had a similar lead at the polls and still lost, it always seemed unlikely that those circumstances would repeat this time around.

At the commencement of voting, bookmakers began to update their odds predictions for both candidates by the hour. Here’s a short recap of those updates:

Monday (Eve of the Election): A day before in-person voting was set to commence across the country, the odds of both candidates had pretty much settled to where they averaged in the weeks leading up to the election. Biden had 66% odds, and Trump had 33%. More importantly, Trump’s odds had briefly touched 40% for in the week before the election, as the Biden-Ukraine controversy emerged once again. This wasn’t to last, however, as Biden would take back his two-thirds win probability.

Tuesday (Election Day): The first time the odds were updated early on Tuesday morning, Biden’s had slipped to 61.4% and Trump’s had surged to 38.6%. As the votes began to pour in, the numbers gradually returned to previous levels, hovering around 67% for Biden and 33% for Trump.

However, late in the night that day, there was a drastic shift that saw trump’s odds soar as high as 74.2% to Biden’s 25.8%. This would be a temporary reprieve for the Republican candidate, however.

Wednesday: The day after elections were held saw Trump lead the odds through the early hours of the day, continuing a trend that had begun Tuesday night. By 6 am, however, Biden took a lead that he would continue to build upon. Since the points exchange on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Trump’s highest odds have been 26.2%.

Thursday: As conclusive results began to pour in from both sides of the aisle, the election outcome became clearer: Biden was building an insurmountable lead on Trump at the front of the electoral vote race to 270. As such, the last time Trump had a double-digit implied chance of victory was 1:30 pm Thursday and with 10.6% to Biden’s 89.4%. His odds have slipped even further since then.

Friday: It marked a day of woes for President Trump as his chances slipped to abysmal levels. At 8 am, he had a 7% chance compared to his opponent’s 93%. However, as the day continued, he fell to just 3.3%, giving Biden his largest odds percentage tally in this election at 96.7%.

A Landslide Win

As the bookmakers originally predicted, Joe Biden eventually won convincingly against Donald Trump. He managed to garner a majority in both the popular and electoral vote. At the time of writing, Biden has even surpassed the required number of 270 electoral votes to win, as he currently has 290 against Trump’s 214. The Associated Press has called the race and it looks like following a transitional period, there’s going to be a new president in the White House. More importantly, though, betting providers are clearly going to be settling bets on Biden.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.