PredictIt Bettors Still Clinging to Hope for Payoff If Trump Refuses To Exit White House

Posted on: November 19, 2020, 11:19h. 

Last updated on: November 19, 2020, 12:20h.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he has a “clear and viable path to victory” to stay in the White House for another four years. Now political novelty bettors are holding on to any shred of hope that they may get a payoff if that happens.

Trump Biden election odds
What if President Donald Trump refuses to leave the White House? Political scholars don’t have a clear answer. (Image: CNN)

Though it currently seems to be a long shot at best for the president to win a second term, political bettors on PredictIt are grabbing some shares of the potential scenario.

The morning after the November 3 election, Trump’s shares of winning the 2020 election were trading at 19 cents. The value further decreased as states continued to count votes, and the majority were cast for Biden.

Trump Share Price

  • Nov. 4 — 19 cents
  • Nov. 5 — 13 cents
  • Nov. 6 — 8 cents

The shares bottomed out at eight cents each. But as the president refuses to acknowledge state results — and the presumed Electoral College outcome of putting Biden in the Oval Office — bettors have snagged Trump victory shares.

After trading at 13 cents less than a day ago, Trump’s shares of winning the presidential election are now at 17 cents. That’s still a severe underdog, but there’s been considerable movement.

Conversely, Biden’s shares have gone from a high of 92 cents to standing today at 86 cents. More than 100,000 shares of PredictIt’s 2020 presidential election market have been traded over the past 48 hours.

Trump: Biden Stole Votes

Despite media outlets unofficially declaring Joe Biden the 2020 victor, Trump has shown no signs of conceding. The president believes widespread voter fraud tipped the election in his opponent’s favor, though such claims have not been publicly proven.

Trump’s legal team is attacking Dominion Voting Systems on grounds that the company conspired to help Biden steal the election. Dominion is the second-largest voting machine supplier in the US.

“An open and shut case of voter fraud. Massive numbers!” Trump added.

What if Trump Refuses to Leave?

The Biden camp has scolded Trump for not cooperating with a peaceful transition of power, which they claim is even more critical during a pandemic. Now more than two weeks out from Election Day, the speculative question is: “What happens if the president refuses to vacate the White House?”

“We talk about it, some worry about it, and we imagine what it would be,” Princeton History Professor Julian Zelizer told The Atlantic. “But few people have actual answers to what happens if the machinery of democracy is used to prevent a legitimate resolution to the election.”

The 20th Amendment states that the president’s term “shall end” at noon on January 20. But Trump, if he believes he won, could show up to be sworn in for a second term, while President-elect Biden arrives to do the same.

Political scholars believe those odds are long. Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle would first pressure Trump to exit. If he doesn’t, law enforcement would be tasked with physically removing him from the White House. But Paul Quirk, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia, says it wouldn’t be an easy directive.

At some point, the question would become: whose orders do law enforcement obey? Because it would ultimately become a matter of the use of force in one direction or another,” Quirk explained.

As for the odds on the year Trump ceases to be president, 2021 is the heavy favorite at 1/12 (implied odds 92.31 percent).