Europeans Bet on Trump in 2020

The Democrats have regained the House, which will serve as a check on Trump’s influence, but the Republicans gained seats in the Senate and won crucial governorships. What does it all mean for Trump’s prospects in 2020, or for the chances of his eventual challenger? Betting trends show that Europeans believe Trump will win reelection.

How do betting patterns factor in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, particularly from bettors in Europe? Quite a bit, it turns out. While most polls and pundits had Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 election, betting trends in Europe had Trump winning, especially as the election drew near. In September leading up to the 2016 election, 55% of online bets were placed on Trump to win; in October it was 67%; and in November it was 75%.

What do European bettors think about 2020? Thirty-six percent of bets placed on the 2020 presidential election have been placed on President Trump to win, by far the largest percentage. This is especially striking when considering the anti-Trump sentiment is growing in Europe. According to a recent Pew Global poll, only 10% of Germans and 9% of French have confidence in Trump. Even so, they’re betting on Trump to win.

To be fair, these numbers are likely to be very skewed since there is no Democratic nominee. Therefore, it follows that the incumbent would attract the most bets, since that is the only sure bet in the presidential race thus far. A better indicator is the percentage of bets placed on the Democratic nominee. At this early stage, Kamala Harris leads the field with 25% of bets placed, followed by Hillary Clinton (22%), Elizabeth Warren (17%) and Joe Biden (15%).

Polls remain the most accurate method of demonstrating voter intention, but polls do have a vulnerability: low numbers/small sample sizes, and an inability to ascribe a likelihood to an outcome, especially a surprise one. Even the most respected, most robust polls rely on relatively low numbers of people/respondents/small samples. Their models seek to reach a statistically significant sampling of “likely voters” to serve as a demographic microcosm of the country. They’re usually pretty good at representing the population of voters, except when there’s an outlier like Trump.

Betting, by contrast, is predicated on another two principles: volume and a desire to make accurate predictions of event outcomes. To be clear, when we say online betting, we’re not just referring to the betting lines/odds that can be translated into the percentage chance of a particular outcome taking place (e.g even odds suggests there's a 50% chance). We’re referring to the number of bets placed and the general trend in odds movements, which can be a better indicator of enthusiasm for a particular candidate. The general trend for Trump and the chances the odds gave the now President represented the opinions of millions of market participants, who all had one thing in mind: make an accurate prediction as to the winner of the election.

An opinion poll presents a snapshot of voter intention at any given time and is used to provide a prediction of the likely voting result in a race. The key difference is that betting odds can be translated into a percentage chance of an event in the future occurring. So while an opinion poll may suggest that, for example, 43% of voters in a particular state intend to vote for the Democrats, betting odds would indicate the likelihood of a Democrat victory. For example,  a Huffington Post opinion poll gave Donald Trump only a 1.7% chance of victory, in comparison to betting trends which handed the President a far greater 25-40%.

The reason that odds provide such an accurate forecast of the chance of an event taking place is that a bet is effectively a futures contract based on a prediction, driven by a speculator who has parted with their cash with the objective of making a profit thanks to the accuracy of their forecasting. When you consider that hundreds of thousands of individuals have bet into the political markets for any major event, this 'wisdom of the crowd' shapes the odds as a barometer of public opinion, which perhaps should be given additional weight when that opinion exists even in spite of that negative sentiment.

Alex Kostin, journalist, betting analyst, specializing in politics and author of Art of Betting. Alex is based in Copenhagen, where he works at BetterCollective.com (NASDAQ: BETCO), leading provider of educational platforms and content within iGaming industry.

The Democrats have regained the House, which will serve as a check on Trump’s influence, but the Republicans gained seats in the Senate and won crucial governorships. What does it all mean for Trump’s prospects in 2020, or for the chances of his eventual challenger? Betting trends show that Europeans believe Trump will win reelection.

How do betting patterns factor in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, particularly from bettors in Europe? Quite a bit, it turns out. While most polls and pundits had Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 election, betting trends in Europe had Trump winning, especially as the election drew near. In September leading up to the 2016 election, 55% of online bets were placed on Trump to win; in October it was 67%; and in November it was 75%.

What do European bettors think about 2020? Thirty-six percent of bets placed on the 2020 presidential election have been placed on President Trump to win, by far the largest percentage. This is especially striking when considering the anti-Trump sentiment is growing in Europe. According to a recent Pew Global poll, only 10% of Germans and 9% of French have confidence in Trump. Even so, they’re betting on Trump to win.

To be fair, these numbers are likely to be very skewed since there is no Democratic nominee. Therefore, it follows that the incumbent would attract the most bets, since that is the only sure bet in the presidential race thus far. A better indicator is the percentage of bets placed on the Democratic nominee. At this early stage, Kamala Harris leads the field with 25% of bets placed, followed by Hillary Clinton (22%), Elizabeth Warren (17%) and Joe Biden (15%).

Polls remain the most accurate method of demonstrating voter intention, but polls do have a vulnerability: low numbers/small sample sizes, and an inability to ascribe a likelihood to an outcome, especially a surprise one. Even the most respected, most robust polls rely on relatively low numbers of people/respondents/small samples. Their models seek to reach a statistically significant sampling of “likely voters” to serve as a demographic microcosm of the country. They’re usually pretty good at representing the population of voters, except when there’s an outlier like Trump.

Betting, by contrast, is predicated on another two principles: volume and a desire to make accurate predictions of event outcomes. To be clear, when we say online betting, we’re not just referring to the betting lines/odds that can be translated into the percentage chance of a particular outcome taking place (e.g even odds suggests there's a 50% chance). We’re referring to the number of bets placed and the general trend in odds movements, which can be a better indicator of enthusiasm for a particular candidate. The general trend for Trump and the chances the odds gave the now President represented the opinions of millions of market participants, who all had one thing in mind: make an accurate prediction as to the winner of the election.

An opinion poll presents a snapshot of voter intention at any given time and is used to provide a prediction of the likely voting result in a race. The key difference is that betting odds can be translated into a percentage chance of an event in the future occurring. So while an opinion poll may suggest that, for example, 43% of voters in a particular state intend to vote for the Democrats, betting odds would indicate the likelihood of a Democrat victory. For example,  a Huffington Post opinion poll gave Donald Trump only a 1.7% chance of victory, in comparison to betting trends which handed the President a far greater 25-40%.

The reason that odds provide such an accurate forecast of the chance of an event taking place is that a bet is effectively a futures contract based on a prediction, driven by a speculator who has parted with their cash with the objective of making a profit thanks to the accuracy of their forecasting. When you consider that hundreds of thousands of individuals have bet into the political markets for any major event, this 'wisdom of the crowd' shapes the odds as a barometer of public opinion, which perhaps should be given additional weight when that opinion exists even in spite of that negative sentiment.

Alex Kostin, journalist, betting analyst, specializing in politics and author of Art of Betting. Alex is based in Copenhagen, where he works at BetterCollective.com (NASDAQ: BETCO), leading provider of educational platforms and content within iGaming industry.