Democratic nominee Joe Biden has inched out to a nine-point lead over President Donald Trump in the latest Bonus.com US Presidential Election Odds Tracker. Despite another chaotic news cycle, Biden appears to be headed into the first debate with a sizable national advantage.
Biden has maintained large leads at betting markets such as Betfair and PredictIt. At Betfair, Biden holds implied odds of -123, while Trump lags behind at +126. At PredictIt, a Biden win share costs 57 cents to win a dollar. President Trump’s price solidifies his role in this election as the underdog, costing 42 cents per share.
The FiveThirtyEight model lists Biden as a larger favorite with a 78% probability to win the general election in November. Trump holds a 22% probability or a roughly one-in-five shot of re-election.
Even though most polls show solidifying support for the Democratic nominee, the betting markets have yet to adjust. The disparity between the two continues to provide value for Biden bettors heading into the first debate.
Do Voters Care About the Supreme Court?
Although Biden’s advantage seems to have stabilized, the upcoming election took a swift turn this week on the news that Supreme Court Justice, and noted liberal, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from pancreatic cancer.
Trump quickly promised to fill Ginsburg’s spot, despite the Republicans famously shutting out Barack Obama’s 2016 Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Even though Democrats called hypocrisy, the Republican-led Senate appears ready to put through a nominee in near-record time.
But with all the bluster from both sides about the Supreme Court, it begs the question, do voters care?
If anything, it appears that the Supreme Court could galvanize Democratic voters in areas with hotly-contested races. With Senate control up for grabs, races in states like Iowa, Maine, Colorado could see undecided voters shift to the Democratic nominee.
Democratic supporters flooded the fundraising site, ActBlue, with more than $150 million in the 72 hours after Ginsburg’s death.
Having the new Supreme Court nominee seated before the election could potentially backfire for the Republicans. Rather than having a dangling carrot to get them to the polls, right-leaning court-conscious voters could skip the general election in November. In an election where several states will have razor-thin margins, neither party can afford to lose voters.
The President feels that getting the new nominee seated will only help his re-election efforts. As CNN’s Dana Bash reported this weekend, the President believes the nominee will act as a “new running mate.”
Does Trump Want to be King?
President Trump has long signaled that he would love to remain President for several terms. A notion most Republican lawmakers have laughed off when grilled by the media on the subject.
But Trump’s threats of remaining in office grabbed new life during a Wednesday press conference. When asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power, the President said, “We’re going to have to see what happens.”
The President has long railed against mail-in ballots’ security, although there is little evidence of fraud. His main argument is that Democrats are setting up long counting periods after the election to stuff the ballot box. But Wednesday’s Quinnipiac poll showed that voters from all parties expect the results to take several days.
The nightmare scenario for post-election America shows early returns with Trump comfortably in the lead in battle states. But due to the outstanding amount of mail-in ballots that take longer to count, and will skew primarily toward Democrats, Trump calls himself the winner, potentially setting up a court battle that could get very ugly for the country.
Get Ready For Debates
There is one truism when it comes to a President’s performance in their first re-election debate; they usually do terribly. Since they are roughly four years removed from their last debate after a non-contested primary season, Presidents are known to show considerable rust.
In 2012, President Obama famously lost his first debate to Mitt Romney, and it wasn’t even close. Romney showed a mastery of several topics and even landed a few jokes, while the Democrat struggled to make compelling points. Obama rallied in the next two debates after being scared straight and later won re-election.
While Biden has spent ample time preparing for the first debate over the past couple of months, Trump’s team feels his daily banter with the press will keep him sharp.
Chris Wallace, Fox News anchor, will moderate the first debate and has chosen his topics for the two candidates. One of the issues, “Race and Violence In Our Cities,” drew stiff criticism from the Biden Camp. The wording, a talking point long used by Trump at his rallies, could seemingly give Trump a breather if he struggles out of the gate.
In a rocky campaign season, the first debate on Sept. 29 could provide the next turning point for the election.