US Election Bet of the Day: Huge turnout could result in an even bigger Biden advantage

Democrat candidate Joe Biden
Some polls have Biden winning by up to 18%

For today's recommended bet, Paul Krishnamurty says Joe Biden is good value to slightly outperform his current national polls...

"Ever since Trump won, we've seen unprecedented motivation from his opponents... If turnout does reach 150M and beyond, the extra voters will break for Biden."

Back Joe Biden to win the popular vote by 10% or more @ 7/4

This morning, the Fivethirtyeight polling average records Joe Biden 9.9% ahead. That is slightly down from 10.7% earlier this week.

This is of course an imperfect guide, because these numbers include undecideds. Trump and Biden average 94.5% so, while those stating a preference seem fixed, there is roughly another 4% to be allocated. It isn't clear how they will break but there's little reason to think it will be one-sided.

One of Betfair's #OddsOnThat specials involves Biden winning by more than 10%. I think he's decent value to achieve that, given what we are seeing in terms of early voting.

When asked earlier in 2020 for my exact prediction, my numbers were 53.5% to beat 44.5% - a 9% advantage. Based on very consistent trends, whether head-to-head polls or approval ratings, and a belief that opinion is entrenched on either side.

Trump's poor long-term polls have worsened

If the trend has moved since, it has been for Biden. His polls improved after the first debate and Grant Elliot Morris of Yougov/Economist said this about yesterday's numbers.

Note too that we have seen some extreme poll leads, which I tend to dismiss as outliers - 18% with A/B-rated PRRI this week, 12% with A-rated ABC/WAPO last week, 15% with B- rated Data for Progress and B/C rated CNN/SRSS. The daily USC/Dornsife tracker usually record double-digit leads.

More poll outliers on Biden's upside

Therefore, while we should always focus on averages, there are many more outliers on the upside than downside. Plus there is turnout to consider.

Over 40M have voted already. It is extraordinary, yet predictable. Ever since Trump won, we've seen unprecedented motivation from his opponents. For example as discussed yesterday, huge socially distanced lines to vote for a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

The signals from Texas and Pennsylvania clearly favour the Democrats, even if large swathes of these voters prefer to be labelled as 'Independents'.

The three great election shocks of recent years were all driven by one side being more motivated than the other.

Leavers over Remainers. Trump-lovers and Clinton-haters turning out in droves, while core Democrats stayed at home and left-wingers voted Green. Labour's shock comeback in the 2017 election was powered by ultra-enthusiasm on their side, while Tory turnout dropped after Theresa May's 'dementia tax' blunder. In each case, differential turnout blindsided the polls.

This tells me there's a strong chance Biden will in fact outperform the polls. If turnout does reach 150M and beyond, the extra voters will break for him.


Follow Paul on Twitter and check out his website, Political Gambler.

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