US Election Betting Trends: The 2020 election in numbers

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There are only 13 days left until the election

The US election is easily on course to become the biggest market in Betfair's history. Paul Krishnamurty runs through the latest numbers

"The ten largest single bets on the exchange so far have all been for Biden."

£150M matched on race for the White House

This election is well on course to become the biggest single betting market in the history of Betfair. Last night, the amount traded on the Next President market passed through the £150M barrier, with two weeks remaining.

How does this compare to previous elections? In 2016, £125M had been traded by the time the polls closed on election day. The eventual total was £200M.

Those final few hours of in-running trading are the busiest of the entire cycle, at short odds. The three largest single bets, in excess of £300K, were all on Donald Trump at 1.04 or 1.05 on election night.

Volume on course to surpass 2016 total

At the current rate, the total 2016 tally will be surpassed before polling day. Remember, that was the second biggest market of all-time, only behind the Brexit referendum. Turnover rose sixfold on the 2012 US election.

The obvious explanation is the Trump factor. He engages interest and opinion like no politician in history, especially beyond his own country, where Betfair's customers reside.

Trump attracts majority of bets

Indeed, whilst he is currently outsider in the betting, more has been matched on him than Biden - £78M vs £66M. Firms across the industry report roughly 70% of all bets being placed on Trump. Far better known than Biden, he attracts the casual political bettor.

The biggest stakes have been for Biden

However that is counter-weighed by size. The ten largest single bets on the exchange so far have all been for Biden. Top of the list is a £156K bet placed on September 27th, one of four six-digit wagers. At this stage of 2016, only one six-figure bet had been placed.

The one-sided nature of those bigger bets is also different. Clinton was a much shorter priced favourite but three of the top-ten at this stage were for Trump. Most impressively, £82K at 3.86 along with £79K at 4.47/2 and £50K at 3.711/4.


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

2020 US Presidential Election: USA - Presidential Election 2020 (Next President)

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Tuesday 3 November, 10.00am

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