Upcoming Match-ups

How to Bet the 2020 Election – Popular Vote And Turnout Numbers Among Prop Bet Offerings

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Politics

Oct 29, 2020 · 8:55 AM PDT

Biden watching Trump
In 2017, Joe Biden looked on as Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama as US President. The 2020 US Presidential election odds list Biden as the -207 favorite to replace Trump in the White House. Photo by Lance Cpl. Cristian Ricardo (Public Domain).
  • There are dozens of prop bets available on the 2020 US Presidential election
  • What will the turnout numbers be? Who will win the popular vote? When will the losing candidate concede the election?
  • Analysis of some of the more intriguing wagers follow in the story below

There are many ways in which you can bet on the 2020 US Presidential election.

Already, it’s become the most wagered on election in history. In 2016, some $256 million was bet on the Presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Reports are stating that $260 has already been wagered on the 2020 showdown between Republican incumbent Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Beyond playing a straight bet on which candidate will emerge the victor in the 2020 election odds, sportsbooks are offering a wide array of prop wagers involving elements of the election outcome.

Bettors can wager on how the race will play out in each of the 50 US states. There are also separate yes/no prop bets on whether Trump will win all of the states he captured in 2016 and if he’ll lose all of the states he lost four years ago.

Let’s take a look at some of the more intriguing prop wagers in play for election day.

Odds on the Day the Loser Will Concede the Election

Date Odds
Nov. 3rd, 2020 +400
Nov. 4th, 2020 +225
Nov. 5th, 2020 +500
Nov. 6th, 2020 +650
Nov. 7th, 2020 +800
Nov. 8th, 2020 +900
Nov. 9th, 2020 +900
Nov. 10th, 2020 +800
Nov. 11th, 2020 +800
Nov. 12th, 2020 +1200
Nov. 13th, 2020 (or later) -145

Odds as of Oct. 28th.

The big day when the next President is expected to be announced is Nov. 3rd. But even that’s up for debate according to oddsmakers.

Trump has frequently refused to state that he will accept the results of the election as official. He’s spent much of the lead-up to election day mounting a misinformation campaign over mail-in ballots and spinning fables about the dangers of voter fraud. Republicans at all levels of government in certain states are doing their utmost to make voting more difficult in areas that generally vote for Democrats.

When the election will be conceded comes down to two questions: Will the race be close? And will Trump accept the result if it doesn’t go in his favor?

If you think Trump is going to win reelection, then Nov. 3rd or Nov. 4th would be the best plays here. That’s because Democrats tend to follow the rules of procedure. If Biden recognizes that he’s lost, he will acknowledge his defeat.

Trump plays by Trump’s rules. He admits he’s wrong even less than Fonzie used to on Happy Days.

Should the polls and the odds prove correct and Biden soundly defeats Trump on election day, don’t hold your breath waiting for Trump to acknowledge this fact of life.

He’s never taken the noble path in life before. Why would he start now, when he’s poised to suffer his most embarrassing setback?

Pick: Nov. 13th, 2020 (or later) -145

Odds on Total Voter Turnout

Prop Over (Odds) Under (Odds)
Turnout Number Over 149.5 million voters (-225) Under 149.5 million voters (+160)
Turnout Percentage Over 60.5% (-150) Under 60.5% (+110)

The early turnout numbers are huge. Historically, that doesn’t bode well for Trump.

Generally, when there’s a significant uptick in voter turnout, it’s an indication that the electorate is seeking change. Large voter turnout traditionally is bad news for an incumbent.

Already, over 71 million early ballots have been cast in the 2020 US Presidential election. According to the US Elections Project, that amounts to 51.6% of the total people who cast a ballot during the 2016 election.

Those numbers include 47.8 million votes cast by mail-in ballots and 23.3 million in-person votes. There were only 47.2 million total early votes cast in the 2016 election.

Several states are well on their way to topping their 2016 voting numbers, including Texas (86.9%), Washington (76.1%), Montana (75.4%), and North Carolina (71.5%). Some of these totals may have more to do with the COVID-19 pandemic and people being reluctant to risk voting in person.

Still, the overall numbers are on pace to easily shatter the record 138,847,000 voters who turned out in 2016. But even at that record rate, it was still only 55.5% of the entire eligible voting public.

As well, even though the 2018 midterm elections produced a record turnout, it was still only 49.3% of eligible voters who took advantage of their suffrage.

Based on the data being compiled by the US Elections Project, they’re predicting a record 150 million ballots will be cast in 2020. That total would be representing 65% of eligible voters.

Picks: Over 149.5 million voters (-225); Over 60.5% (-150).

Odds on Electoral College Margin of Victory

Outcome Odds
GOP by 280+ +863
GOP by 210-279 +2332
GOP By 150-209 +2332
GOP By 100-149 +800
GOP By 60-99 +775
GOP By 30-59 +1959
GOP By 10-29 +2225
GOP By 0-9 +3474
Dems By 1-9 +3474
Dems By 10-29 +1642
Dems By 30-59 +1537
Dems By 60-99 +1300
Dems By 100-149 +620
Dems By 150-209 +420
Dems By 210-279 +800

Popular vote doesn’t mean election success under the US system. Two of the last three times that Republicans have won the White House, they’ve lost the popular vote.

It’s the state-by-state Electoral College count that determines the outcome. Fortunately, there are several analytic sites studying the data and assessing how they expect those numbers to fall.

The consensus of the website 270towin.com is that Biden will score a 290-163 Electoral College victory over Trump. That’s a margin of 127.

The Economist sees Biden attaining a 357-181 Electoral College margin over Trump. The Democrat gains an edge of 176 in this model.

At the centerforpolitics.org, the forecast is Biden downing Trump 350-188, an advantage of 162. Meanwhile, the analytics site fivethirtyeight.com breaks it down to 342-196 in Biden’s favor. Biden wins by 146 in this scenario.

On average, Biden’s margin of victory in all of these analytical models is 152.75 Electoral College votes.

Pick: Democrats By 150-209 (+420).

Author Image