US Election Betting – Markets turning towards Biden

Trump on the drift for re-election as Covid-19 stresses grow

Joe Biden /Wilmington ©imago images / ZUMA Wire 15.03.2020

The surge of Covid-19 could potentially throw a spanner in the works of Donald Trump’s reelection chances. The political landscape has become a little volatile.

Big shifts over the last couple of weeks in the US Presidential 2020 betting market at Betfair have been happening.

Biden closes the gap in US Election Market

Democratic hopeful Joe Biden was matched at 2.34 on the Betfair Exchange with Trump at 2.12* (betting odds taken from Betfair at 0306 GMT on Saturday, 14th March 2020).

The gap has certainly narrowed.

On the Betfair Sportsbook, Biden and Trump were neck and neck as even-money favourites in the US Presidential Election 2020 Market* (betting odds taken from Betfair at 0306 GMT on Saturday, 14th March 2020).

Just to put that into context, Trump was 4/5 odds-on in the market in early January and not even the Impeachment trial against him really convinced bettors to move against him.

But perhaps the Coronavirus is going to be the biggest test of Trump’s tenure yet.

The Pandemic Team factor

One of the biggest stories to hit Trump has been over the former White House pandemic team, set up by former President Barack Obama. When President Trump was questioned as to why his administration had shut down the team a couple of years ago, he stated that he knew nothing about it.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown hit Twitter following the President’s denial, tweeting a picture of a letter that he had sent to the White House in 2018. In it, Brown raised concerns about the lack of measures in place in helping to prepare for any potential pandemics, following the disbanding of the office.

President Trump has also brushed aside notions that he is to blame for the USA not being adequately equipped with tests for COVID-19. There have been failures in the supply chain and many believe that delays and slow responses to the outbreak have been detrimental. That they have played a major part in the spread of the virus across the USA.

Earlier in the week the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci had told Congress that adequate testing was not happening. Other reports are suggesting that the White House were fully aware of the threat in January and delayed any action.

So what does this mean for the president?

A knock in support when the country goes to the polls later in the year? A lack of trust and leadership perhaps in the eyes of the public in such desperate times? Perhaps a big pull away of time from a re-election campaign?

Biden on the rise

The race for the Democratic nomination has thrown up a surprise. After a slow start, Joe Biden has been surging. It’s basically a two-horse race at the moment between the former Vice-President and Bernie Sanders.

Before the voting action on the path to deciding the nomination began, it was Sanders who was the favourite. Things have shifted dramatically now after a clutch of wins for Biden at Super Tuesday and beyond.

Biden is now at 1/25 odds-on to be the Democratic Candidate, which is a huge swing from where he had been in the market* (betting odds taken from Betfair at 0306 GMT on Saturday, 14th March 2020).

Stocks on the crash

No-one knows the full extent of what the fallout of the coronavirus will be. It’s unclear about the efficacy of measures to contain it, how long Covid-19 is going to force border closures and travel restrictions, and what it will do to the economy amid wide-scale shutdowns. It has led to uncertainty showing up in trading.

Stocks have crashed in the USA, as they have done so in other countries.

So there is a massive fear of recession coming now, if the country hasn’t already dipped its toes in the water. Trump declares himself a businessman and the economy has been one of his big riders. It is, by and large, all about the money for him.

So if the financial situation swings against him as well, that would be a massive blow for Trump’s re-election hopes.

Even though it seems at times that very few turn against The Donald, he looks as if he is under more pressure than ever in what has been a remarkably divisive term.

More choppy waters ahead?

Trump is also currently waiting on a hearing in the Supreme Court. The President is trying to shut down the release of his tax and business records with regards to his highly-questioned relationship with Deutsche Bank.

Trump is battling his own accountants and bankers in that one. A hearing is due on March 31 for that.

Congress committees and New York State prosecutors pressing for the release of the pertinent business and financial records. Trump has already lost appeals at lower levels of the judicial system over this.

But he has a Republican-sided Supreme Court to potentially save him there. However, if the hearing goes ahead that would pile on even more pressure. Another reluctance to be transparent could see him take another popularity hit.

In Summary

Is the US Presidential Election 2020 market going to shift the other way, with Biden streaking to a shorter and shorter quote? Probably not. The country appears to still be split fairly evenly and any margins are not going to widen to extremes.

On February 25th, 2020 Trump had a 45% approval rating. On March 11th it was 33%*.

Things are likely to evenly balance out more later in the year when normal life resumes after the coronavirus outbreak. Things will rebuild and if the economy gets going again, that could be a great vessel on which he could ride.

But this is currently a massively interesting time in political betting.

Will Trump come back swinging by blaming China for everything and rallying his base? Can Biden and the Democrats make the most of any advantage to prise open any cracks, wider?