In some ways, not much has changed since major US news networks called the 2020 election for Biden on November 7. Biden will still be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. In otherways, the 2020 presidential election continues to make daily headlines even heading into the New Year. Although the US presidential election odds have already moved onto the 2024 US Presidential Election, Trump has still not conceded and is unlikely to ever do so.
It was expected that the 2020 election would not be called on election day for either presidential candidate. This was due, in part, to the record-setting number of mail-in ballots received by many states as a result of the pandemic. It was a wild ride for five days as vote results were counted in key battleground states. Between election day and November 7, presidential odds continued to fluctuate dramatically as overseas bettors continued to wager on the ultimate winner.
December 2020 Post-Election Turmoil
Although news stations declared Biden the winner on November 7, states needed to go through the process of certifying the results during the last two weeks of November and into the start of December. This gave the Trump Campaign the window it needed to challenge the results in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Nevada.
By the middle of December, the Trump Campaign filed 60+ lawsuits in state and federal courts. Almost all suits were lost or dismissed summarily, including two suits filed with the US Supreme Court. Each suit alleged some variation of vast election fraud without any facts or evidence to back up the claims in the court filings.
One of the most frivolous of the lawsuits involved a case brought by the Texas attorney general against Pennsylvania and other states to invalidate the election results in those states. Seventeen other state attorneys general and over 100 congressional Republicans joined the suit in the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court summarily dismissed the case.
Despite these setbacks, Trump remains committed to overturning the election at least in the public eye.
December 14 – Electoral College Vote
On December 14, 2020, the members of the Electoral College in all 50 states met to cast their official votes for president. Unsurprisingly, the result did not differ from the results when the news outlets called the election for President-Elect Biden on November 7, 2020.
In what is normally a closed-door session away from the prying eyes of cameras and news outlets, every vote was carried out in all 50 states live on TV or through a live-stream feed. A first for modern elections. Despite Trump attempting to coerce faithless electors, essentially electors who vote against the will of the people and against the certified results, the final vote awarded Biden 306 Electoral College votes.
For many, this solidified Biden’s win, once again. For Trump and his supporters, the post-election turmoil continued.
Presidential Odds Bookmakers Pay Out – Trump Fans Threaten Suit
Once the Electoral College members officially cast their ballots on December 14, 2020, the 2020 election finally became official, at least in the eyes of election bookmakers. Betfair, one of the largest betting exchanges and one of the overseas bookmakers taking election bets, started to pay out. This includes a payout of $1.3 million to one bettor, reportedly the largest single election bet that was paid out.
Betfair’s own rules stated that the winner would be determined based on who had the most electoral college votes. Those votes became official when the Electoral College met and cast their votes for President-Elect Joe Biden. This seemed to be the final nail on the coffin to the Trump Campaign, at least with respect to presidential election bettors.
The same could not be said for the many Trump supporters who placed bets, some placing life savings on Trump winning the election. In their eyes, not all legal votes were counted and the election is not over – even heading into January. Suggestions arose of bringing a class-action lawsuit against Betfair, presumably overseas as election betting is not legal in any US State.
President-Elect Joe Biden’s Path To Inauguration
What comes next in the 2020 Presidential election is what happens after each election, often with little to no news coverage. On January 6, 2021, both the Senate and US House of Representatives will meet in a Joint Session to accept the Electoral College votes cast in December. Most Americans probably never knew this step in the process even existed, but issues surrounding the usual non-event have been front-page headlines for the last two weeks of December.
Congressional Vote On January 6, 2021
Over 140 GOP Congressmen and about a dozen GOP Senators announced that they will object to the Electoral College votes of several battleground states in a Trump-led attempt to overthrow the election results and the will of the people. The Senators, in particular, are demanding a 10-day audit of the election. It is unclear, procedurally, if they can demand such an audit.
Procedurally, if one Congressman and one Senator objects in writing, both chambers of Congress need to debate and vote again. Congress can debate for no more than two hours. Each member can speak for up to five minutes. Both chambers would need to then vote to overturn the Electoral College results in order to invalidate the results of the election. Federal law established these rules in 1887. This is the first time there has been a challenge of this magnitude.
With the Democrats controlling the US House of Representatives, the result of the election will not change. This is an attempt for GOP elected officials to curry favor with Trump and his base. It also gives rise to claims and analysis about how fragile US Democracy really is. If the GOP controlled the US House of Representatives, it is entirely possible that Trump could succeed in overturning the election results and the will of the people in his favor.
What is most notable is that not one of the 140+ Congressmen claim election fraud in their own election or re-election. They only claim that election fraud existed at the top of the ticket without any basis in fact or law.
Regardless of the spectacle that we anticipate on January 6, President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn in at noon on January 20, 2021 – in line with what Presidential odds bookmakers paid out in December.