Bettors See Biden as Winner in First High-Drama Presidential Debate, PredictIt Shares Reach Two-Month High

Posted on: September 29, 2020, 11:04h. 

Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 01:01h.

Tuesday night’s first presidential debate was a battle of personalities, with moderator Chris Wallace fighting to maintain control in what proved to be a losing proposition.

Biden Trump Presidential Debate
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged almost no pleasantries and numerous insults during the first presidential debate Tuesday in Cleveland. (Image: Morry Gash/Getty Images)

Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden ended Tuesday night with his shares on PredictIt trading at their highest point in two months. As of 12:15 am ET Wednesday morning, his shares were trading at 61 cents, up 2 cents from where he stood before debating President Donald Trump.

The event was held before a live audience in Cleveland and nationally televised, the first of three scheduled between the two men before the Nov. 3 general election.

As Biden bounces back up, support for Trump is starting to dip. His shares are at 42 cents, their lowest price since Aug. 5.

Tuesday also happened to be the highest volume trading day in the past 90 days in the presidential general election market. PredictIt reported 567,700 shares were traded Tuesday. The previous high in the past three months took place on Aug. 11, the day Biden announced California US Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential pick. That day saw 534,000 shares exchanged.

Biden Gets Electoral College Bounce in PredictIt Markets

Biden didn’t just pick up support in the national market, PredictIt traders also flipped a couple of key battlegrounds after the debate concluded.

Prior to the debate, Biden held 290 Electoral College votes, based on how traders were holding each state. After the debate, Biden saw his tally grow to 306 after traders moved Maine’s second Congressional district and the state of North Carolina in his favor.

It’s a tenuous hold at best for the Democrats in both states, as technically shares for both parties are trading at 51 cents each. However, Democratic shares are gaining momentum in both markets. On Friday, the Republicans had a 53-47 advantage in North Carolina, while the GOP enjoyed a 54-47 edge in Maine’s second district on that same day.

To win the election, a candidate needs to win 270 out of the 538 available Electoral College votes.

PredictIt traders weren’t the only bettors backing Biden. Across the pond, British-based exchange Smarkets saw Biden widen the gap between him and Trump after the debate ended.

Prior to the debate, Biden’s odds on the exchange were at -133 to Trump’s +140. The President got a little bump early as he was highly aggressive in confronting Biden and moderator Chris Wallace. However, as the debate continued, more action went toward the challenger.

By the end of Tuesday night ET, Biden’s odds shrunk to -152 to Trump’s +158.

Round 2 Next Week: Veep Show

The two candidates traded barbs and spoke over each other throughout the 90-minute event. Trump did most of the interrupting, although Biden also had his moments as well.

Trump at one point spoke about Biden’s son Hunter and his “cocaine use.” He also told the conservative Proud Boys organization to “stand back and stand by.” Biden told the President to “shut up” when Trump kept pestering him during a question.

Chris Wallace moderated the event, and the Fox News host eventually grew exasperated.

The next debate takes place a week from Wednesday on Oct. 7 in Salt Lake City and will feature Harris and Vice President Mike Pence. The second of the three Trump-Biden presidential debates will take place Oct. 15 in Miami.