For the 18th of Paul Krishnamurty's daily tips series, he explains how to bet on Trump outperforming the polls without necessarily winning...
"46.1% would probably result in a 6% defeat. As a guide...Obama won an electoral college landslide on the back of a 3.9% popular vote lead."
It is hard to escape the conclusion that the minds of most US election bettors are made up. For ten days, the odds about Trump and Biden have moved within a very small range - around 1.47-1.53 for the latter, whose current 1.51/2 price is bang in the middle.
Trump backers still distrust the polls
We Biden backers are using poll data and feeling more bullish by the minute. Trump backers say the polls are fake, or wrong because they fail to pick up his supporters.
Psephologists are generally dismissive of the 'Shy Trump voters' theory. I'm sceptical too, although there is another way of saying something similar.
Reluctant Republicans may be a thing
Rather than 'Shy Trumpers', there are 'Reluctant Republicans'. Lifelong conservatives who've never warmed to him. Not in their 2016 primary or after the worst of his excesses. Who wish he wouldn't tweet or spread conspiracy nonsense, and would take Covid seriously, but still like the tax cuts and judicial appointments.
Trump's share has tended to dip to its lowest levels at his most extreme moments - the 'Access Hollywood' tape, Charlottesville riots or this year's first TV debate.
This is why some polls show 15% plus leads. Come election day, they will probably come home because they can't abide voting Democrat. This happened in 2016.
Trump numbers must rise to avoid thrashing
Trump's current average poll rating is 43.3%. If that is his share on Tuesday, the result will be a massacre. A 12% Biden win and electoral college landslide.
However there are still around 3% of undecideds or convertable third party supporters within those figures, and I suspect Trump wins most of them. For the record, my exact national prediction is 53.5 v 44.5 to Biden.
Obviously therefore, I could pick value Biden targets constantly and that has been the general theme of this daily betting series over the past 18 days. You can find them all in this Twitter thread.
US ELECTION BET OF THE DAY THREAD? Betfair Exchange (@BetfairExchange) October 26, 2020
We tasked @paulmotty with selecting a bet every day up until Nov 3rd. This thread lists them all, along with link to the relevant market, to be updated daily.
In the interests of both balance and hedging, though, I have dug out a few pro-Trump bets that reflect value by comparison to the Next President odds. This is another one.
46% for Trump equals Biden landslide
Trump won the presidency with 46.1% last time, but that was only possible because strong third parties lowered the winning target both nationally and in pivotal states. Clinton scored 48.2%.
With third parties making little headway this year, he'll need a higher share. 46.1% would probably result in a 6% defeat. As a guide, in the last genuine two-horse race presidential election, Barack Obama won an electoral college landslide on the back of a 3.9% popular vote lead.
Back this rather than Trump for presidency
I reckon Trump needs at least 47.5% to win. I don't believe he will achieve it but hitting the 46.0-48.99% band is realistic.
If you're backing Trump for the presidency, I strongly advise this route instead. Odds of 4.77/2 are much bigger than 3.02/1 and could very well pay out even if he loses the presidency. And in the very unlikely event that Trump goes beyond 49%, you'll be able to cash this bet out at much shorter on the night.