How Betting Odds Shifted Following 2020’s First Presidential Debate

3 min read

Following Tuesday night’s debate, the US presidential betting odds took a turn in favor of Joe Biden. President Donald Trump’s performance, according to the bettors, was subpar.

US presidential betting odds
The US presidential odds suggest Joe Biden will become the next president. (Image: CBS)

Poker player Mike Dentale, an avid Trump supporter, must be seeing things differently than the average gambler. He called Biden “toast” during the debate.

Oddsmakers don’t seem to agree with that claim. In fact, they see things completely opposite. The US presidential betting odds and current polls suggest Trump is headed for a defeat in his re-election bid. Of course, the former host of “The Apprentice” was a heavy underdog at this point in the election four years ago. Hillary Clinton was such a massive favorite going into Election Day in 2016 that online sportsbook PaddyPower paid out its Clinton bettors before the election. Oops.

Former online poker pro Nate Silver, who runs the political polling website FiveThirtyEight, gave Trump just a 30% chance to win in 2016. He’s now giving Trump a slightly less of a chance to win in 2020 (21%), based on FiveThirtyEight’s polling model.

Current US Presidential Betting Odds

Entering Tuesday’s debate, Oddsshark handicapped Trump’s odds at even money, with Biden checking in as the slight favorite (-120). The former vice president is now an even bigger favorite less than a day after the first debate ended.

On Sept. 30, the current US presidential betting odds are as follows: Joe Biden -140, Donald Trump +120. It’s too early for FiveThirtyEight to get enough new polls in to find out what type of impact the debates had on voters. Silver will likely have a grasp on that within a week.

The US presidential betting odds have drastically shifted numerous times since early January. On Jan. 7, Biden was a heavy underdog (+400) compared to Trump. He dropped even further in the following weeks as it appeared Bernie Sanders was destined to win the Democratic nomination.

On Feb. 27, Biden checked in as a +2000 dog. Then, many Democratic candidates dropped out, paving way for the former VP to scoop the nomination. Just one week later and the lifelong politician was considered a nearly even money proposition to win the presidency.

Throughout the year, Trump’s odds haven’t shifted much. He’s dropped as low as +140 to win and as high as -180. His approval rating, per FiveThirtyEight, has also remained steady throughout his presidency. The Donald received an approval rating score in the low- to mid-40% range ever since his inauguration in Jan. 2017.

Election Day 2020 is Nov. 3, and for the millions of Americans who are fed up with all the polling, ads, and mudslinging, that day can’t come soon enough.

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