US Election 2024 could be biggest yet on Betfair
Sam is in Washington D.C. to bring us all the latest
Will it be Biden v Trump II or should you back an upset?
Biden's odds on the slide with his memory questioned
When we booked the trip over to Washington DC, we knew today would be a big moment in the US Election cycle, what we didn't realise was how significant a day for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden it would turn out to be.
In fact, the 12 hours from 8am to 8pm perfectly epitomised how absolutely unhinged this race to the White House is and will be if things continue the way they are.
We started our day focused on Trump's Supreme Court appeal hearing against Colorado's decision to disqualify him from their ballot.
I didn't know what to really expect outside court, the scene was reminiscent of the Central line going down during rush hour, lots of people waiting for something to happen with an overwhelming mix of frustration and an unavoidable wait for information.
Unsurprisingly, we didn't get a verdict, and it's unlikely there will be one for another week or so. One thing is for sure, it will need to come before Colorado's primary on Super Tuesday (March 5).
When the news came that court was adjourned for the day, all eyes were fixed on the tiny screens each broadcast crew had with the live feed of Trump's speech/press conference/rambling outside his Mar-a-Lago property.
We didn't learn anything new.
Digging into the data on the Exchange, after each of Trump's outrageous improprieties, his odds to return to the White House improve. Today was no different, he started the day at 2.285/4, and when the court was adjourned his odds were 2.226/5.
Despite all the furore around the Supreme Court, that wouldn't be the biggest news story of the day.
While we were hovering around the Supreme Court, we got chatting to a friendly, well experienced member of the Washington press pack. He told us that under Trump's administration, the lid, which is journo lingo for when the White House lets them know when the day's business will be finished, was regularly around 10pm. Now, under the Biden administration the lid was coming around 2pm.
So, for the President to call an unscheduled press conference late in the day was absolutely out of the norm, unprecedented even.
News had come through around 4:30pm of the report into Biden's handling of classified documents during his time as VP under Barack Obama from Special Counsel, Robert Hur, and the comments were extraordinary, and market moving.
The report should have been good news for President Biden, it cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing. However, It was anything but good news. It was a political bombshell.
"A well meaning elderly man with a poor memory." Is what Hur said.
The report even went on to suggest that he had trouble remembering when he was Vice President and when his eldest son had passed away. Something the White House immediately dismissed in communications to the media.
Within minutes the 81-year-old's odds to win the election had drifted from 3.02/1 to 3.39/4.
Then the press conference happened. The President was mad. He came out fighting, clearly frustrated with questions about his memory from journalists, he hit back.
As he headed out of the room, something a journalist said on the ongoing war in Gaza must have caught his attention, because he came back to defend his record in the negotiations for peace between Israel and Palestine.
In doing so, he called Egyptian President Mohamed al-Sisi the president of Mexico. It didn't take long for several clips on social media of this movement, which, given he went out to defend his memory and competency to serve four more years, this was not a good look.
It's been a rough 72 hours for the President.
It's not even the first gaff he's made this week, he mixed up French President Emmanuel Macron with their former President Francois Mitterrand who has been dead for 30 years, and he confused Germany's former chancellor Angela Merkel with their other former chancellor Helmut Kohl, who too has passed away.
The drift on him continued and has now stabilised at around 3.9. Meanwhile Trump, who started the day facing a Supreme Court appeal hearing relating to his role inciting insurrection, at 2.285/4, is now into 2.166/5.
Watching the evening's events unfold, literally a stone's throw away from where it was all kicking off was very surreal. It reminded me of the day when Liz Truss announced she was stepping down as Prime Minister, the energy on College Green, where media gather and broadcast from outside Westminster, was palpable, and there were similar vibes in the US capital today.
To be honest, I didn't expect to have to update the odds board too much while we were here, but now the market has moved that significantly, I'm going to have to give it a full wipe down.
Court adjourned with Trump still the favourite
The latest from our man Sam
Trump odds unmoved ahead of SCOTUS decision
Wednesday was a brilliant sunny day in Washington, President Biden was in town and he even graced us with a flyby in Marine One.
From conversations with people on the ground what's becoming very clear is the number one concern for many in Washington, and one that will dominate the election debate, is the economy.
The democratic leaning members of the public I have spoken to have serious fears for the state of finances under a possible Trump administration.
Whereas those with a Republican sway are demanding a change to aid the American economy.
You can barely walk down the block without meeting people that have jobs in the American political system here in Washington, even though those we spoke to wouldn't go on record, they were more than happy to share their views.
Apprehension. Fear. Biden or Bust.
I'm yet to speak to someone who thinks the election is going to be anything other than Biden vs Trump round two. Even those in the Washington bubble I have spoken to can't see anyone else in the running.
Which, for an outsider reading the news that comes out of both camps every other day, is difficult to understand.
When I asked about the forgetful elephant in Joe Biden's room, there was an admittance that youth was not on the President's side.
For Trump, a big day awaits for the election favourite, unsurprisingly he's in court again today. TV news here are billing it as Trump's Ballot Battle at the Supreme Court, although this won't be his first trip up those marble steps, and it won't be his last before the vote in November.
This case however, could stop Trump's campaign in its tracks.
The US Supreme Court Justices are going to hearing his appeal over Colorado's decision to disqualify him from their ballot because of his actions surrounding the January 6 Capitol riots.
The make or break scenario comes because this decision will stand nationwide, and if Trump fails in court, states could follow in Colorado's steps and strike him from their ballots too.
One quick glance at the Betfair Exchange market and it looks as though Trump has little to worry about. He's still leading the race for the White House at 2.285/4, and 44% of the £9.9million already wagered has been for him.
It would be a massive shock if the Justices don't rule in Trumps favour.
All will be revealed tomorrow. I'll be on the ground following the day's events and providing updates over on X, make sure to follow @BetfairExchange for all the latest from sunny DC.
Trump's odds unmoved since appeal court decision
Touchdown in Washington and after checking in, I enjoyed a late afternoon walk around the US Capitol building, which basked in the golden hour sunlight.
While the scars of the January 6th insurrection three years ago are no longer visible, standing at the bottom of the hill, at the scene of those famous news images was very surreal.
It may have been three years ago, but Washington hasn't forgotten, as I stood looking across the Reflecting Pool, the news came through that the federal appeals court rejected Trump's claim of immunity, meaning he could face criminal charges, for the events after the election in 2020.
Despite that, Trump's odds to be next President have held firm around 2.285/4, out from a shade of odds-on last week, but still clear of Joe Biden at 3.0 who has also made headlines in the past few hours when he appeared to mix up French President Emmanuel Macron with their former leader Francois Mitterrand who died almost 30 years ago - oh merde.
The mood in the US feels apprehensive, there's a buzz around the place but not everyone is too open to chatting politics and there's a hesitation around the big question Trump or Biden?
After speaking to people on my way here, what's becoming apparent is there are two key themes that will dominate the campaigning in the run up to November's election, immigration and the economy. It would seem the Atlantic isn't that big after all.
From those I've spoken to so far, there's a feeling among them that Donald Trump is better placed to handle those talking points.
The big question still remains, with all these dates in court, can he even make the ballot?
What will Washington trip tell us about the 2024 battle?
With more than three billion people heading to the polls this year, 2024 promises to be a huge year for the political markets on the Betfair Exchange.
Back in 2020 the Betfair Exchange US Election next President market broke all records and became the world's biggest ever betting event, with a total of £1.7 billion matched.
So far the 2024 US Election winner market has been another rollercoaster, with the frontrunner position changing several times in the three years since the market opened. Joe Biden, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have all been favourite to win the 2024 election.
DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, has dropped out of the race, and former President Trump has several ongoing legal battles, including a make or break date in the Supreme Court this week.
Unlike the last US election in 2020, this time borders are open, planes are flying and Betfair I am in Washington DC on a fact finding mission.
What do the people of America feel ahead of November's vote? What's the appetite for a rerun of 2020's election and will Trump successfully appeal Colorado's decision to strike him of their ballot at this week's Supreme Court hearing?
I will be on the ground to keep us updated...
Expect US Election drama again in 2024
Four years ago, it was my first time covering a US Election for Betfair and as the results from each state were being reported, my eyes were glued to the changing odds on the Exchange. It was the closest I'd felt to what I imagine it's like being on a stock exchange trading floor.
I've covered several general elections, by-elections and local elections over the years as a journalist, but nothing could quite prepare me for the absolute rollercoaster that is a night covering the Betfair Exchange US Election markets on live TV.
I remember seeing Biden go out to 4.03/1 overnight when Trump won Florida, then at 7am in the back of a taxi home from the central London TV studios, the market completely flipped again. I got home, had a couple of hours sleep and was back on TV at 10:30am updating viewers about how the market was more or less confirming Biden as the winner.
Biden v Trump II?
Even though we are nine months out, seeing how the market has developed and fluctuated so far, it feels as though we're going to be in for another one of those nights again on 5 November.
There are so many questions already. Will Biden be the Democratic Party candidate again? How can Trump survive so many legal battles? Is it really going to be the two going at it again? Who else could be a candidate for the Republicans and Democrats?
I'm very excited to be heading to Washington DC to speak to members of the public to gauge the mood and hopefully answer some of those burning questions.
Looking at the market, it's obvious to see that punters are asking similar questions too. So far in 2024 we've taken more bets on Michelle Obama to win the election than Biden. The speculation and rumours will only increase ahead of the Democratic congress in August.
Just 12 months ago, Trump wasn't even the favourite to win the Republican nomination. DeSantis was the 6/42.50 fav, but fast forward a year and he's spent millions and hasn't been able to even get close to the support needed to take the ticket off Donald Trump.
There's been barely any movement on his odds for Republican Vice President nominee, even though he very publicly endorsed Trump. What was it he quoted that Winston Churchill actually never said? Failure is not fatal. I'm not convinced about that, Ron.
Nikki Haley is still hanging in there, just, but baring a bad day for Trump in the courts, her campaign looks spent according to the odds.
This time four years ago, Joe Biden was 100.099/1 to be the next president, so it's not out of the realms of possibility that an outside could surprise everyone. There's still time for something to send the odds tumbling again, but what or who that is remains to be seen.
I'll be checking in daily on Betting.Betfair to share some of my findings, and make sure to follow @BetfairExchange on X, where I will be posting regular updates on the ground in Washington DC.