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Next President odds – Get the Best Odds at Next President

Odd unit: EU | UK | US
Joseph Biden1.051.05
Donald Trump19.0019.00

US presidential election

It’s easy to write off the election for Donald Trump. He’s facing a deeply experienced Democratic nominee who has a consistent poll lead. He is mired in controversy. His chances of victory written off by virtually all commentators and many in his own party refusing to back him and even actively supporting his opponent.

That paragraph, though, could just as easily have been written about the 2016 presidential election against Hillary Clinton as it can about this year’s presidential election against Joe Biden.

The 2020 race has some clear differences from 2016. The biggest is that Trump is the incumbent and the controversies not just to his behaiour as a person, but also his actions in government. The biggest of these has been his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The US has one of the world’s highest per capita death rates and many lay the blame for that squarely with the occupant of the Oval Office.

Biden’s poll leads are also more substantial than Clinton’s were in 2016. In 2016 Clinton was widely expected to win but her national polling lead was generally in the 3-5% range. Biden’s leads are double that, and he is entering the last few weeks of the campaign with most polling organisations suggesting his lead over Trump is 10%. And while some Republicans were less than effusive in their support for Trump in 2016 most refrained from actively campaigning against him. In 2020 the picture has changed, and he faces many in his party, both senior figures and grassroots activists, campaigning for his opponent.

Is it all over for Trump? Perhaps not. Despite Biden’s consistent poll lead Trump has a firm support base of at least 40% which, it seems, will never abandon him. As the sitting President he has the incumbency in his favour, especially during the pandemic when he has a platform with which a mere candidate cannot compete. Finally, he also has his hands on executive levers, directly and through state governors, that many have accused him of using to suppress voting among demographics likely to support his opponent.

The US electoral system may also benefit Trump again. Despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes in 2016 the distribution of those votes meant Trump secured a significant win in the electoral college. The distribution of the electoral college votes means it’s technically possible for a candidate to win the presidency from the votes in just 11 states.

It seems unlikely Trump will benefit from the electoral college a second time. Biden’s nationwide lead translates into state leads in most of the biggest states, while other states are competitive, rather than safe for Trump. For Trump to pull off a win he would have to see almost every close fought state break his way, an almost impossibly unlikely outcome.

Were it not for the upset of 2016 a Biden victory in the 2020 election would probably be considered a foregone conclusion. Even given the 2016 result a Trump win in 2020 seems improbable. What is certain is that he, and his supporters, will not give up without a fight.