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Betting the 2020 US Presidential Election – Odds, Predictions, and Picks

| March 6, 2019 12:00 am PDT
2020 US Presidential Election Betting

Although we’re still in early 2019, the Democratic party is working hard on establishing its candidates for the 2020 Presidential election.

The Republicans hold the White House with President Trump, and he looks like good value for a second term.

However, I’ll also look into who can challenge his nomination from within his own party and provide some 2020 US election predictions.

The Dems have a lot more to figure out after shockingly losing the election in 2016. Hillary Clinton did not prove to be a strong enough candidate, and this led to Trump winning in the end.

Now, the Democratic National Committee has the very important task of evaluating all the candidates and selecting the one with the best chance to win back the presidency.

There are already quite a few important party figures who have officially confirmed they will run a campaign. I will take a brief look at their policies and the chances the politics betting sites give them for both the Democratic nomination and winning the presidency.

But before we go into the US election betting odds and picks, I want to offer a quick review of how the process of selecting a primary party nominee goes and what you should consider once the candidates go face to face.

The US Election Format Explained

First and foremost, you need to know that there is a lot happening prior to you going to the voting booth and pledging your support. Before each presidential election, both parties go through an internal process of selecting a candidate from their ranks.

A lot of politicians run for the president’s office, but few have a legitimate chance of being the primary candidate. So, when all applications are received, the national committee of the party starts staging debates between the candidates. This narrows down the list and leaves only the major candidates.

The debates continue until the national convention of the party comes around in which the primary nominee and their vice president are officially announced. Once both parties settle this, the two primary candidates go head-to-head in another series of policy debates.

Finally, after the two platforms have been discussed at length on national television and rallies, the people head to the voting booths. One important thing to know is that the USA is not a direct democracy, so counting votes is done a bit differently.

The USA has a system called the electoral college. Every state gives a candidate a different number of electoral votes. As a whole, the electoral college consists of 538 electors.

To win the election, the nominee has to secure a minimum of 270 electoral votes.

The number of electoral votes for a state corresponds to the number of senators and house representatives in that state, meaning that the bigger the state, the higher the number of electoral votes is!

For example, California has 55 electoral votes, whereas Vermont only has 3. If more people in California vote for the Democratic candidate, they get all 55 votes. This is important to know as it’s not the number of people who voted for you across the board that counts but how many states you win.

Hillary Clinton got more votes in the 2016 election, but Trump won the higher number of electoral votes from the states and secured the presidency.

Now that we’ve gotten this out of the way, let’s see what betting markets are out there for the US election and if we can spot any value in them. I will check the odds for the candidates from both parties and provide my prediction and pick for the primaries and the election itself.

Odds for the 2020 Democratic Nominee

There are already quite a few candidates from the Democratic party who have officially confirmed their campaigns. Let’s look at the frontrunners and some other interesting names. The odds are courtesy of BetOnline.ag.

Kamala Harris+325
Joe Biden+400
Bernie Sanders+500
Beto O’Rourke+600
Cory Booker+1600
Elizabeth Warren+2000

Kamala Harris

The attorney and junior senator from California announced her campaign back in January and is currently the bookies’ favorite for the nomination. She is viewed as a similar candidate to Hillary Clinton based on the main policies she backs.

Her platform strongly supports the Medicaid-for-all program and increasing taxes on corporations in order to help the working and middle classes. She will definitely receive widespread support across the country, but the Democrats should be wary since an almost identical candidate lost in 2016.

Joe Biden

The former vice president is possibly the closest thing to Barack Obama that the party can put forward. I believe that may be Biden’s biggest advantage in the race. As a member of the Obama administration, he helped run smooth negotiations with Republicans, which led to a number of successful legislations.

His focus will probably be on infrastructure spending, health care, and job creation, which were also three of the biggest sectors that he worked in as VP of the country. However, although I think he will prove to be popular among Democrat voters, he may find it hard to persuade a lot of the swing voters that went Trump’s way in 2016.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie announced he will be running again to the joy of many young voters in the country. He came close to winning the nomination the last time around but ultimately lost to Hillary Clinton. Now he’s back for a second bite of the cherry.

The Brooklyn-born senator from Vermont has policies which are extremely popular among the youth of the nation. His platform supports free college tuition, a federal increase of the minimum wage, and expanding welfare programs.

His easy-going and hip political persona is well received by many, but it is also true that his socialist policies are largely despised as well.

The Rest of the Bunch

Another two high-profile members of the Democratic party have already announced they are running. Those are Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. However, it’s widely believed that they will not be able to acquire much support. The bookies seem to think the same at the moment.

Booker is at +1600, and Warren is considered even less likely at +2000. They will probably be among the major candidates, but it will be hard for both to actually challenge the likes of Harris, Sanders, and Biden.

One name that sparked a lot of hype around the Democratic party is Beto O’Rourke. Although he has not officially announced he is running, the betting sites have him at +600. It’s no surprise since his profile perfectly fits what the Dems are looking for. He is young, energetic, and his policies are supported by a lot of the voting base.

His name started doing the rounds in the mid-term elections where he put up a fight against Texas Senator Ted Cruz. He eventually lost the race, but the fact that a Democrat effectively challenged a sitting Republican senator in Texas is not to be underestimated.

It may be a bit early for Beto to stake a claim in a presidential election, but he’s a guy that I will be closely watching in the future.

Odds for the 2020 Republican Nominee

It’s no surprise that the Republicans are not pushing hard to put names forward here.

Donald Trump filed for re-election immediately after his inauguration and will definitely be running again. However, in the interest of covering both sides of the fence, let’s look at who is likely to challenge him in 2020.

Donald Trump-500
Mike Pence+1200
Nikki Haley+1000
John Kasich+2000
Mark Cuban+5000

John Kasich

The former Ohio governor isn’t on good terms with the President; that’s for sure. Will he actually run a campaign to oppose him? I highly doubt it. Even if there are a lot of people in the Republican party that would rather side with Kasich than Trump, he is nowhere near acquiring the same amount of support across the country.

I expect Kasich will remain on the sidelines and use his position to influence other members of the Republican party. We’ll see if something will actually happen on his front. For now, I believe challenging Trump is more wishful thinking than anything else.

Haley, Pence, or Cuban?

The political betting sites have Mike Pence at +1200, which is odd to me. Pence is the current vice president, and I don’t see any chance he’ll give that up and start his own campaign.

The former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is rumored to have a go, but this one seems unlikely to me as well. Although it could be the Republicans’ answer to Kamala Harris, I doubt they will put energy into supporting a campaign of someone who is still young and inexperienced in the field of big politics.

If you’re feeling doubly adventurous, you might also look at Mark Cuban, who’s at +5000. His name has been mentioned for years, but I don’t think anything will ever come out of that. If it was me, I would actually concentrate on getting the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs, rather than thinking about running the country.

Donald Trump is naturally the frontrunner, and he’s given odds of -500. Given that something super extraordinary needs to happen for him to miss out, I would say the odds are fair here.

Odds to Win the 2020 Presidential Election

It may be a bit early to jump straight to the election, but the bookmakers already have provided odds, and I don’t want to lag behind.

We already know the candidates who may pose the biggest threat to Trump, so let’s see if we can find some early value.

Donald Trump+160
Kamala Harris+700
Joe Biden+800
Bernie Sanders+900
Elizabeth Warren+3300
Cory Booker+3300

No big surprises here, I would say. Donald Trump is odds on to win a second term as all recent presidents have done. The three Democratic candidates we discussed do have a legitimate chance, but the odds clearly show they have a lot of work to do with their campaigns.

Now that we’ve looked at this from all angles, let’s see if we can find some good betting opportunities and make some money.

2020 Presidential Election Predictions and Final Picks

With the sitting President being a Republican, it’s natural that the Democrats will be way busier this time around. It will be a tough decision for the party to pick a primary candidate; that’s for sure.

Who Will Win the Democratic Nomination?

My thinking is that although Harris and Biden seem like the most popular choices, they have a few flaws.  Harris is too similar to Clinton, and Biden is basically there because he was the VP of Obama. The party and the voters have moved onto somewhat different platforms and are more interested in progressive thinking.

That is why I actually believe the Dems may go with Bernie. He had a legitimate chance to beat Clinton last time around, and some say that he would have been a better opponent to Trump. Since it might be the last chance to put Sanders in that position, I believe they might well go for it.

The odds for that are great, so that’s my final pick for the 2020 Democratic nominee.

Bernie Sanders+500

Who Will Win the Presidential Election?

I am going straight to the election since I don’t find any value in betting on the Republican nominee. As we know from history, it’s very uncommon that a president doesn’t go for re-election or is toppled by another candidate in the primaries.

Although I think that the Democratic party will have a stronger ticket this time around, it may not be enough to beat Trump. I believe their biggest chance is Bernie Sanders, and if he gets the nod, I expect he will do everything he can to effectively challenge.

However, the Democrats will be wrong to be overly excited. For me, if nothing catastrophic happens in the current administration from now until the election, there is no doubt that Donald Trump is the heavy favorite. The odds for him winning re-election are very short for my taste, and I would usually not make such a pick, but I have to say that it will take a lot to derail him.

Despite the fact that there are numerous investigations into his dealings, there hasn’t been anything of substance. He has been able to keep his head above the water for more than two years now. It looks like the Democrats will have to drop their hopes of something happening and actually focus on the platform of their candidates.

If they manage to do that, they will stand a chance, but in any case, Trump will be ready for it. That’s why, as it stands, I am backing him for a second term.

Donald Trump+160


This wraps up my early look at the presidential election betting markets. I hope that the brief review of the election system in the USA helps you determine which path you want to take with this.

As I stated several times, I believe the Democrats have a long road ahead of them, but they might just pull something off if they choose the right candidate. For me, that is definitely Bernie Sanders, as the others do not have the same appeal and experience in the race.

Let me know if you agree with my take and if you think I’ve left something out. I will be happy to read your thoughts on the subject.

Elias Wagner

Elias Wagner has been a soccer fan since he was a young boy. He still has a huge passion for the sport itself as well as betting on it and writing about it.

Outside of soccer, Elias also enjoys other sports including basketball, tennis, and snooker. He's been writing for GamblingSites.com since 2018.

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