Trump Remains Hospitalized, PredictIt Traders Move on Biden Victory, Barrett Confirmation

Posted on: October 4, 2020, 12:41h. 

Last updated on: October 4, 2020, 01:24h.

A surreal Saturday – the first full day President Trump spent at Walter Reed Medical Center dealing with COVID-19 – saw additional people from the President’s inner circle announce they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump COVID-19
President Trump shown working at a table Saturday evening from his observation room at Walter Reed Medical Center, where he has been since Friday after he tested positive for COVID-19. (Image: The White House)

There had been mixed reports about the president’s condition, according to various media outlets. However on Saturday night, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, released a report stating POTUS was fever-free and “off supplemental oxygen.” The staff at the military medical facility just outside DC plan to continue observing his condition and treating him.

He spent most of the afternoon conducting business, and has been up and moving about the medical suite without difficulty,” Conley said in a statement. “While not yet out of the woods, the team remains cautiously optimistic.”

Saturday, with Trump in the hospital with COVID-19, provided a stark contrast to where the administration was just a week ago, when it announced the President’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. In the week since, the President, First Lady Melania Trump, two sitting US Senators, several aides, and even Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins have since been identified as contracting the coronavirus.

Not only has Trump’s diagnosis affected his re-election campaign, where he trails former Vice President Joe Biden with a month remaining before Election Day, it now may imperil when the Senate takes up the confirmation process for Barrett.

PredictIt Traders Jumping on Electoral Blowout

The price for Trump shares on PredictIt Saturday actually went up 3 cents to 40 cents, although trading down significantly. On Friday, an astonishing 1.4 million shares were traded, as the President’s shares reached a watermark low Friday. The highest volumes of trading occurring when Trump first announced his COVID diagnosis early Friday morning and when he was seen walking to Marine One, which airlifted him to Walter Reed on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, more than 400,000 shares were traded. But that still ranked as the fifth-highest volume day over the past three months.

Biden’s shares, meanwhile, dropped from Friday’s high of 66 cents to 63 cents. However, Saturday’s price was still higher than any other day for Biden’s stock in the last three months.

Traders have also been active in PredictIt’s other presidential markets, namely the margin of victory. Since Tuesday’s presidential debate, there’s been sharp action on both the Electoral College and popular vote totals.

On Monday, the Democrats winning the popular vote by more than 10.5 percent traded at 14 cents. By Friday, they were trading at 21 and held steady on Saturday. Dems by 7.5-to-9 percent have been steady at 16 cents since Tuesday.

On the Electoral College market, the price for shares of a Democratic landslide have risen sharply. Shares for a 280-plus margin (out of a total of 538 votes) were trading at 8 cents last Sunday before steadily climbing to 15 cents by Thursday, where they’ve held firm since.

There’s a fair amount of energy in longshot markets,” PredictIt trader and StarSpangledGamblers blogger Keendawg told “If you bet on an unimaginably large Biden blowout, then you’re in the money right now.”

Even a 150-to-209 vote margin for Biden went from 14 cents to 18 cents from Wednesday to Friday, and held firm there Saturday. That price, the highest per share of any of the possibilities, would represent a more than 4-to-1 return if it cashes out.

Based on PredictIt’s trading markets for individual states, Biden, the Democratic nominee, holds a 335-203 edge over Trump, the Republican incumbent. However, three states – Georgia, Iowa, and Ohio – could be considered toss-ups leaning toward Trump. Biden, whose favored by traders in the toss-up states of Florida and North Carolina, could gain up to another 40 votes – possibly a 375-163 margin – if he can flip the other three toss-ups.

Barrett Confirmation Takes Hit, But Big Picture Remains Clear

On the Supreme Court side, traders still believe Barret will get nominated. But there’s less certainty now about when that might happen.

Trading on shares that the federal appeals judge will receive 51 votes, a simple majority in the Senate and enough to confirm her, are trading at 49 cents, up from 42 cents on Monday. That current price essentially equates to even-money odds.

However, shares that she’ll be confirmed before Election Day dropped by more than 30 cents, from 87 cents last Sunday to 56 cents on Friday. They did bounce back to 61 cents Saturday.

Keendawg notes that while traders who got in early on a quick confirmation for Barrett have taken a hit, the conventional wisdom still remains the same.

“Big picture, this probably hasn’t changed much, and the market reflects that,” he said. “Bettors still think Trump will lose, that Barrett will eventually be confirmed, and that both houses of Congress will be controlled by Democrats.”