Joe Biden surges to odds-on favouritism

This article first appeared at on 3rd June 2020

After several days of protest at police brutality and racism, bettors are delivering a clear verdict on Donald Trump’s crisis management. Whereas the signals from Betfair markets had offered a contrast to the incumbent’s terrible polls, they are now beginning to follow suit.

Biden matched at lowest odds yet

At 1.95, the former Vice President hit his lowest odds yet on the exchange this morning in response to an avalanche of money. Over £1M was placed on Biden yesterday via more than a thousand bets. A £130,000 bet at 1.07 for the Democratic Nomination was the biggest bet placed on any US election market yet in this cycle.

It comes in the wake of an extraordinary few days, which early polling signals suggest are disastrous for Trump. As Americans watch footage of peaceful protesters and journalists being attacked by police, the president’s polls are moving from troubling to catastrophic.

Polls point to massive defeat for Trump

The highly rated ABC/WAPO survey recorded Biden 10% ahead at the weekend. Worse has followed since. Last night’s Ipsos/Reuters survey had Trump’s approval at just 39%, compared to an atrocious 57% disapproval. He trails 37/47 to Biden for the presidency.

The significance of these numbers is that Trump is losing his own, normally loyal, supporters. As I’ve argued constantly since 2016, to win again he needs to win new voters – an extremely tall order given record strong disapprovals. Even that famous fence-sitter Nate Silver observed how bad these numbers are yesterday.

More specific to the crisis, Monday’s Morning Consult poll was equally dire – trailing Biden on every measure. Voters say they are more likely to vote for Biden by 45/31 as a result of the crisis, whilst he led by 12% for the presidency and by double-digits to handle Covid-19 and police reform. Again, Trump’s approvals were down at a meagre 40%.

There is further evidence of revolt within Republican ranks. Last night saw several primaries, including a surprisingly good performance from no-hoper challenger Bill Weld, while ‘white supremacist’ Congressman Steve King was humiliated in his Iowa district.

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