Implied probabilities are calculated using data offered by PredictIt.
Last Updated: 2023-09-22 03:00:03 PDT.
Bonus.com sources its election odds from PredictIt. PredictIt is a prediction market run by Victoria University of Wellington. Although PredictIt is due to shut down in February 2023, it still offers odds on major election markets.
2024 US Presidential Election Odds
The 2020 US Presidential election was considered the most important election of modern times. (Although, the next election is always the most important almost by definition.) With the midterms coming up, the 2024 Presidential election is already heating up.
The three main contenders for the White House in 2024 are Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Joe Biden. Trump has been holding rallies, but his constant stream of criminal and civil investigations is a liability. The top secret documents he hoarded at his private resort pose a national security risk that could push principled national security hawks toward Biden. (Supposed national security hawks like Marco Rubio defended Trump’s false assertion that there was no formal declassification process.)
Trump’s main antagonist is Florida governor, Ron DeSantis. While he hasn’t announced a presidential run, he has courted the MAGA vote through some of his conservative stunts. Most recently, he sent 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, arguing that Democrats should shoulder the burden of caring for undocumented immigrants. This kind of trollish behavior is what MAGA voters admired in Trump, and DeSantis has no path to the White House without the MAGA vote.
However, DeSantis’ presidential odds are likely inflated. Election odds simulate a general election where everyone votes. It doesn’t take the primaries into account. One survey reported at the end of August 2022 found that 46% of GOP voters would back Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary. Another 25% would back DeSantis, and 13% would back Mike Pence. DeSantis’ support is on the rise, but Trump still the clear frontrunner for the Republican presidential nominee.
Joe Biden and Democratic Presidential Candidates
Unlike the rivalry between Trump and DeSantis, the Democratic field doesn’t have a clear replacement for Joe Biden. During his presidency, Biden has signed legislation that has:
- Banned the sale of ghost guns
- Established energy efficiency standards for mobile homes
- Reducing scenarios that lead to surprise medical billing for some emergency and non-emergency care
Biden also has infrastructure, gun control, environmental, and health care victories to tout on the campaign trail. He also carries the image of a moderate Democrat compared to progressive candidates that conservatives vilify. That gives Biden an advantage in the general election. With no clear rival, Biden remains the Democratic frontrunner for 2024, even though he hasn’t committed to a second term.
2022 US Midterm Election Odds
While the midterms are a referendum on the president’s party, the midterms often hinge on economic issues.
(The 2018 midterms were the exception. President Trump made a strategic blunder by stoking fears of insurance companies dropping coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Consequently, healthcare was an abnormally large concern among 2018 midterms voters.)
The 2022 US Midterm Elections are predicted to deliver control of Congress to the Republicans. Our Midterm Election odds tracker offers markets on major House and Senate races, congressional control, and other election markets.
How Odds On Elections Are Calculated
PredictIt users trade contracts that are priced from $0 to 99 cents. Winnings bets are paid $1, and losing bets are paid nothing. This price structure means price equals probability. A 73-cent trade on Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress implies a 73% chance of that outcome.
In some cases, prediction markets can be more accurate than professional polls. However, market accuracy depends on the members of that market. If users are well-informed and trying to overcome their biases to make correct predictions, then a prediction market can be a valuable forecasting tool.
PredictIt’s users are interested in politics and are drawn from across the political spectrum. They also have money on the line, which should make them at least try to overcome partisan biases. PredictIt is a good companion to professional polling, but it shouldn’t be a bettor’s only source.
How Accurate Are The Betting Odds For The Election
As with any wager, it’s important to look at the sources of information that lead people to choose one bet or another. News coverage and election polling are the two most common sources of information that prediction market users pull from.
After the 2016 election, many looked for alternatives to professional polls. Although, every presidential election is likely to be close in times of high polarization. All the presidents from 1841-1861 were one-term presidents. (Zachary Taylor died in office. Millard Fillmore served out Taylor’s term, but didn’t get the Whig nomination for the next election.)
In an age of polarized elections, many polls will predict close races. Polls and prediction markets that strongly predict one side winning are tempting to fall for. Many voters and bettors want certainty about which party will control Congress. However, these predictions should be treated with caution.
2024 Election Key Dates
Here are some of the key dates that could affect polling numbers for the 2020 US Presidential election:
- November 5, 2024: US Presidential Election
- December 10, 2024: State Electors Must be Finalized
- December 16, 2024: Electors Meet to Vote for President and Vice President
- January 6, 2025: Congress Certifies Election Results
- January 20, 2025: Swearing-In of Next US President
Can You Bet On The 2024 Election In The US?
Legal US online sports betting websites do not offer election betting. PredictIt is due to shut down in early 2023, and the CFTC denied Kalshi’s request to offer congressional control futures. With election deniers in such prominent political positions, the belief that political betting undermines democratic confidence is widespread. Political betting and election betting are not likely to be widely available for the 2024 race.
The West Virginia Lottery briefly approved three sports betting companies to open election betting. However, Governor Jim Justice rescinded this approval within an hour.
While there is some interest in election betting, it doesn’t have the mainstream interest or acceptance that sports betting has enjoyed.
FAQs – U.S. Presidential Election Betting And Odds
Yes, but only in Ontario. Ontario offers election markets on American and Canadian elections. So, while bettors may find articles hyping DraftKings election odds, they’re only available to Ontarians. Election betting is illegal in many states and frowned upon in the rest. With the widespread belief that election betting could harm election integrity, there’s little appetite among politicians to allow election or political betting.
No. Due to regulations against political and election betting, sportsbooks won’t take an election bet. When Nevada state set the regulations for sports betting in 1985, they restricted betting to professional sports. Over the years, Nevada loosened the rules to include college sports and the Olympics.
There is still talk of Vegas presidential odds, though. Some of the top oddsmakers in Vegas are offering their predictions. These are marketing gimmicks rather than serious wagers.
Bettors’ perceptions of the likelihood of an outcome change constantly. News and current events inform bettors’ predictions the same way those forces inform voters’ choices. As bettors’ confidences change, so will the odds on different election outcomes.
Endorsements are a critical part of an election, because an influential endorser can convince many other people to vote for the endorsed candidate. In 2016, evangelical pastors were crucial for making the case for Donald Trump, who had little to nothing in common with evangelical voters. High-profile police union endorsements could help Democratic candidates fight off accusations of being soft on crime.
Endorsements are important parts of successful campaigns, regardless of party affiliation.
Some of the most well-respected polls for US elections include:
These sites conduct their own polling. Ipsos and Siena in particular often work with news organizations like Reuters or the New York Times to cover election stories.
Voters should look for polls like these that pull from a representative sample of Americans. Polls conducted by cable news shows are inaccurate because their audiences can skew in one political direction. News organizations can work together with polling companies to offer robust polls, but polls that news organizations conduct themselves should be treated with caution.
US presidential odds percentages will total over 100% for most of the race. The extra percentage over 100% is called the overround. In prediction markets, the overround is a measure of uncertainty.
If the market is certain of the odds of each outcome, then there’s only one price that users can trade at. A user wouldn’t be able to buy a Republican sweep of Congress trade at 75 cents if the market was certain at 73 cents.
Elections are never that certain until the votes are counted. In the lead up, users who want to buy a Republican sweep at 71 cents, 73 cents, or 75 cents may all find sellers. That range of prices comes from a range of opinions about how likely different outcomes are.
That price range also leads to overrounds that can reach as high as 10%.