Betting on politics, along with nearly all non-sporting events, is not permitted by any regulated, licenced and legal on-shore sportsbook in the USA. Our Political Odds Probability Tracker is presented strictly for research and entertainment purposes and we do not encourage those based in the USA to bet on politics.
Our data feed responds to significant changes to bet365’s UK market. Thus, in politically quiet periods without many odds fluctuations there are correspondingly few data points. When there is a lot of turmoil in the odds, as there was in March 2019, there are more data points to pull from.
The resulting X-axis is not to calendar scale, rather it denotes the dates of odds changes, however frequent or infrequent.
We are constantly working to improve our visualisation of the 2020 election betting odds. As the election campaigns continue, we will make this page more dynamic, comprehensive, and easier to use.
A probability is simply a mathematical expression of the likelihood of something happening. These probabilities are derived from bet365’s UK-based market on American politics, where odds are ascribed to a wide range of candidates for 2020, both confirmed and speculated.
The odds fluctuate in real time based on a simple supply and demand mechanism, like gold, a stock, a currency or any other commodity openly traded – the more popular a candidate is with the betting public, therefore the more money bet on them, the shorter their odds become which ultimately translates to their % chance increasing.
Political bettors factor in a wide range of variables when placing their wagers and since their only objective is to correctly forecast an event in order to make a profit, there is a huge incentive to make a correct prediction.
When these forces are applied to a pool the size of the legal market, with millions of participants, this represents a significant ‘wisdom of the crowds’ scenario, which may go some way to explain why betting markets gave Donald Trump as much as a 40% chance of winning in 2016, compared to some polls which had him on less than 2% and Hillary Clinton at over 98%.
The key difference between a betting market and a poll is this – a poll is a snapshot of voter intention at any given time, often including those who are undecided, with an average sample size in the thousands. A betting market is a global future prediction pool, updating in real time, factoring in the opinion of millions of individuals forecasting an event – backing up their opinion with their own cash.
This is the math behind the procedure:
Probability = 1 / decimal odds - To convert probability to percentages, multiply by 100.
If a candidate has decimal odds of 1.3 according to the market, their Probability of winning will be:
Probability = 1 / 1.3. This gives us a .769 Probability of winning. To convert this to a Percentage (which is what we’ve done), multiply Probability by 100. So, .769 x 100 gives us a 76.9% Percentage of winning according to the market odds.
Informal Presidential Election betting markets flourished in 19th century Wall Street, but have been illegal since the 1930s, and remain so in the United States. During this time, however, bettors managed to correctly predict 11 out of the 15 presidential election outcomes (Source).
Polls have always been one of the factors bettors consider when wagering, although the odds always reflect the market’s interpretation of all data available, including many private systems used by professional gamblers. Polls and betting markets are ultimately influenced by their human participants so ultimately neither is 100% accurate. Remember, no human or computer is yet to create a system that forecasts the outcome of events being held in the future with 100% accuracy and if that was ever to be the case, the betting industry would cease to operate.
Studies have also shown that even if there is no monetary element involved, the excitement of having correctly predicted the outcome is a reward and motivation in itself (Source).
The probabilities we present are derived from bet365’s UK-based betting market (where betting on all political markets is legal and regulated) which is one of the biggest in the world in terms of volume.
We’ve converted the odds into a more user-friendly percentage to express the chance each candidate has. For Americans on home soil, this is simply another tool to utilize in order to understand each candidate’s prospects of becoming President, cutting through the noise at a time that can be stressful and confusing, no matter which party you support.
The US Presidential Election will be held on November 3, 2020. The Presidential campaign is a long one, and it’s easy to get lost. The process has two main stages: the Primary Election, and the National Presidential election.
The Primary Election is where the major political parties, Democratic and Republican, choose which candidate will represent them in the Presidential election. This is done by candidates securing delegates in state primaries and caucuses to gain the official nomination as the Presidential Candidate at their party’s national conventions.
Once the candidates have been decided, they choose their Vice Presidential running mates. Then the race is on for the opposing parties to campaign and gain the most support across the nation.
The National Presidential campaign precedes the actual Election and is the thing most people are familiar with; one Republican versus one Democrat, along with their chosen Vice Presidential Running-Mates
Throughout the national campaign, there are usually three live televised debates, which are often critical to a campaign’s success (among a huge variety of other factors and unforeseen events).
Finally, it’s Election Day. This Presidential Election it’s on November 3, 2020. The winner is usually known by the end of the day. Henceforth, they are known as the President Incumbent and will be inaugurated on January 21, 2021 to officially take over (or just continue if President Trump is elected to a second term).