When Will It End? Oddsmakers Trying to Forecast Election Decision

Posted on: November 6, 2020, 08:44h. 

Last updated on: November 6, 2020, 09:29h.

Oddsmakers have assumed a central role in forecasting the eventual result of the 2020 presidential election, and the latest lines suggest we could know today.

Trump Biden odds election outcome
Votes continue to be counted in Joe Biden’s favor, something that has President Donald Trump enraged. (Image: ABC News)

The vast majority of pollsters once again got Election Day wrong. The pre-election polling average on Real Clear Politics predicted an easy win for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and some sort of blue wave. But on the night of November 3, it became evident that would not happen after President Donald Trump took Florida and Ohio.

The presidential election has not yet been called, but by current vote counts, Biden will become the 46th president of the United States. Trump’s camp has filed lawsuits across the nation, including in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada, challenging the vote counting of mail-in ballots.

The Senate, as of now — though counts are consistently changing, largely in Democrats’ favor — appears likely to remain in GOP control. Republicans additionally picked up, not lost, seats in the House.

End Prediction

The presidential legal saga could run for days, weeks, and possibly months. But PredictIt’s market asking when the election will be decided is based on the timing of when CNN and Fox News make their calls.

As of now, the odds favor the presidential election being called either today or tomorrow. Shares on November 6-7 being the date are trading at 86 cents.

November 8-9 is next at 11 cents, and November 10-16 at six cents.

  • Nov. 17-23: 3 cents
  • Nov. 24-30: 2 cents
  • Dec. 1-14: 2 cents
  • After Dec. 14: 4 cents

Share prices as of 12 noon ET Nov. 6

“The contract that resolves to Yes shall be that which corresponds to the first date or date range (ET) when the Fox News and CNN networks will have both officially declared, or otherwise projected, the same person as the winner of the 2020 US presidential election, such that both networks’ qualifying declarations or projections are in effect at the same time,” PredictIt explains.

Australian sportsbook Sportsbet has already deemed the race over. The online bookmaker has paid out nearly $17 million in winning wagers placed on Biden.

If CNN and Fox News do, in fact, both conclude that Biden is the victor, the odds don’t favor Trump conceding. Betting exchange Smarkets has Trump’s odds of conceding to Biden at 13/10 (43.48 percent chance).

Trump’s twitter certainly doesn’t hint at an impending concession.

I easily WIN the Presidency of the United States with LEGAL VOTES CAST,” Trump tweeted today. “The OBSERVERS were not allowed, in any way, shape, or form, to do their job and therefore, votes accepted during this period must be determined to be ILLEGAL VOTES. US Supreme Court should decide!”

“Keep the faith, folks,” Biden countered.

Both sides are ramping up fundraising to fight what could be a lengthy and costly battle in numerous courts.

Congressional Odds

The odds on the balance of power in Congress following the 2020 election has a Democratic House and Republican Senate favored. PredictIt shares on that congressional arrangement are trading at 75 cents.

A Democratic House and Senate — the most feared result among Republicans — is next at a distant 22 cents.