While it can be argued that any political election is important, few would disagree that the forthcoming US presidential election is particularly note-worthy. After nearly four years of capturing headlines and dominating the news cycle, Republican incumbent Donald Trump faces Democratic former Veep Joe Biden in a contest that has been hotly anticipated across the globe for many months. Simply put, it’s a US election, but thanks to coronavirus and a host of other variables, it’s not the kind of presidential election you’d usually expect.
As a result of these variables, those interested in US election betting find themselves facing a situation they will never have encountered before. We therefore thought it would be helpful if we dig deep into the minutiae, looking at everything relating to the Trump/Biden election, ranging from full background facts about the race to a look at the bookmakers who are offering betting for the US election. We’ll also keep a firm “Australia’s eye view” throughout, highlighting bookmakers that are offering US election odds and markets that Aussie bettors are able to access.
Full Facts: The US Presidential Election
Before we delve into the world of bookmakers for US election betting, US election odds, and the relative strangeness US elections can pose, let’s first establish a few basic facts about the forthcoming contest.
- The US election for the next president of the United States takes place on November 3rd.
- Donald Trump, the 45th president, is the candidate for the Republican party (or the GOP, as they are colloquially known).
- Joe Biden, a political heavyweight who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, is the Democratic contender.
- Joining each candidate on the ticket is their running mate; Indiana’s Mike Pence for Trump, and California’s Kamala Harris for Biden.
- The eventual winner will be the candidate who secures the highest number of votes in the Electoral College – a topic we will discuss in more detail in the next section.
American Election Betting Challenges: The Oddity Of the Electoral College
If there’s one thing anyone interested in US election betting needs to be aware of, it’s the potential spanner in the works known as the Electoral College.
Throughout the world, elections are a fairly standard affair, which can generally be summed up as “the candidate with the most votes wins”. There are a few exceptions to this rule, of course, but overwhelmingly, that is how people expect elections to proceed.
The USA, however, is one of those exceptions to the rule. While congressional elections do proceed on a most-votes-wins basis (which is worth bearing in mind if you’re intending to bet on those contests), the presidential race is different. To become POTUS, a candidate doesn’t have to convince a majority of voters. Instead, each state is assigned a number of Electoral College votes, and a candidate has to win a majority of these votes – not the popular vote – to be named the winner, with 270 being the golden number that will turn a candidate into a president-elect.
The imbalance of vote numbers
However, it’s not just knowing that the Electoral College exists that carries weight in a US election betting experience – you also need to know that not all states are created equal in the eyes of the Electoral College. Some states have a high number of these votes, such as California (55), Texas (38) and Florida (29). Other states have far fewer Electoral College votes; contrast the high numbers of the aforementioned states with those found in Alaska (3), Montana (3), and both Dakotas (3 each). For each candidate, then, winning an Electoral-College-vote-rich state such as California is many times more important than winning an Electoral-College-vote-poor state such as Montana.
There have been debates about the relative pros and cons, as well as the democratic merit, of the Electoral College for decades, but for the 2020 election, the system is in place and must be considered when formulating your betting for the US election. Five presidents in total – including Donald Trump – have been elected despite losing the popular vote, so the Electoral College really does require significant attention, especially as most betting providers – like the US itself – will use this metric to decide the outcome of wagers.
Top Tips For US Election Betting In 2020
Now we’ve outlined the factors that will come into play on November 3rd, here’s a look at our top tips for formulating your bets in 2020.
#1 – Maintain your usual routine
While betting on politics is quite different to standard sportsbook betting, some truths remain eternal regardless of what you are betting on. For example, when betting on the US election, you’ll want to make sure you conduct an odds comparison for Australia bookmakers, find an operator you trust, and even go through the sports betting sign-up offers in Australia given politics markets are usually found in the sportsbook. Just because what you’re betting on is different to the norm doesn’t mean you have to abandon your usual betting routine and good practices.
#2 – Check the polls, but reserve full judgement
Polling is incredibly important when deciding to bet on politics, but it’s also helpful to be somewhat reserved in just how much trust you give the polls. The past few years haven’t been a great reflection on polling, not least in the 2016 election when Hillary Clinton’s constant poll lead ultimately led to a win in the popular vote, but a loss in the Electoral College – and thus a loss overall. Polling should be seen as one strand to your bow when deciding how to bet, not the only strand you rely on. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that many US election odds are directly influenced by the latest polling data, so try not to let the odds influence the way you vote either – instead, always seek to defer to your own instincts, research, and understanding.
#3 – Focus on facts rather than discourse
This election and its candidates are subject to a huge amount of interest, generating thousands of words in analysis, articles, and social media comment. It’s therefore very easy to get swept up in the discourse and predictions from the commentariat, but these predictions are not to be relied upon no matter how confidently they are stated. Research, look at the facts, analyse the polls, and try to ignore presumptions or statements – particularly if those presumptions and statements come from a partisan source.
#4 – Beware the “October surprise”…
US presidential candidates are often subject to what is known as an “October surprise”; a campaign-altering change or news story that can potentially swing the election. Jimmy Carter, for example, suffered an October surprise relating to the release date of American hostages in Iran, a surprise that is widely believed to have influenced the campaign and ultimately led to Ronald Reagan taking the White House. Some have argued Trump has already experienced his “October surprise” (although it actually came right at the end of September) with the release of his tax data, but there’s still plenty of time for another surprise (or two) and change of opinion – something you’ll need to reflect when deciding how to bet.
#5 – … But don’t let an October surprise be too influential
While October surprises have influenced the course of elections over recent years, there is one element that is particularly critical to this election: early voting. Early voting is now an option in a range of different states, which means many votes will already have been cast by November 3rd. The existence of these early votes mean that a sudden surprise is worthy of some thought, but not too much – as many voters will have voted early, and have thus not been exposed to the surprise before casting their ballots. Ultimately, betting for the US election is about finding the right balance; being responsive, but not too responsive, to sudden developments.
#6 – Narrow your research
When it comes to researching a bet, the process is usually fairly straightforward: you cast your net wide, seeking to draw as much information as possible, analyse your discoveries, find the best odds, and then place a bet. However, there is simply so much information available for the US election that seeking to be as inclusive as possible with your research before placing your bet is nigh-on impossible – so consider narrowing your focus to states that are considering to be “swing” states. The vast majority of states tend to vote one way or the other in every election, but some – such as Florida (29 EC votes), Pennsylvania (20 EC votes), and Ohio (18 EC votes) – tend to be more variable, so prioritise these states when conducting your research. That’s not to say you shouldn’t look at the rest of the map too (because you absolutely should), just that it can be helpful to weight your time depending on the likelihood of a certain state influencing the outcome of the vote.
Australian Bookmakers For The 2020 Election
The ability to vote on the US election is not widespread amongst bookmakers, but thankfully, there are a number of operators that are offering betting for the US election options. Here are our top three picks of the exactly as you’d expect from one of the best betting sites in Australia for American election betting:
- PlayUp. The markets available at PlayUp aren’t the best – in fact, it’s “market” singular, but it’s the only one that really counts: who wins. You can bet on either candidate to emerge as POTUS, with wagers paid on the winner of the most Electoral College votes. Furthermore, PlayUp are a very well-regarded operator who are a strong contender to be considered the best bookmaker in Australia with a strong history of offering an excellent experience to their users, and we found their US election odds to be fair – even if the choice was rather limited.
- TAB. The range of markets is far more substantial with this lesser-known, but undoubtedly impressive, operator. As well as the necessary inclusion of the standard “winner” market and relevant US elections odds, you can also bet on a variety of other aspects of the election: options include – but are not limited to – being able to vote on the state margin for the eventual winner, the number of Electoral College votes the winner will have, the winner of the popular vote, and much more besides. This wide spread of markets definitely goes in TAB’s favour and makes this brand a good choice for bettors seeking US election betting opportunities.
- Betfair. Finally, the most expansive range of markets and US election odds comes from the Betfair exchange. As well as all of the markets TAB have offered, Betfair also provides the opportunity to find US elections odds on very niche areas, such as vote percentages, Electoral College vote handicaps, a yes/no on whether the next (unnamed) president will lose the popular vote, the number of states won by each party, and more. Interestingly, the “next president” market is extended beyond the two candidates: you can bet on the prospective Veeps as the next president, or even the likes of Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk, and Dwayne Johnson – people who aren’t actually running in the race at all, but whom Betfair have been fit to include in their betting for the US election options regardless.
The US election 2020 is a fascinating race, making betting for the US election an interesting – though undeniably challenging – task. If you do decide to punt on what could well become known as the election of the century, we hope our advice and tips will prove to be useful. Last but not least, it’s also worth noting that most of the US election betting options are found in the sportsbook section of operator sites; consider reading through sportsbook bonus comparison for Australia so you can boost your overall experience.
US Election Odds FAQ
❓ Where can I bet on the US presidential election?
The US presidential election of 2020 has been dominating headlines for much of the year, with the race set to come to a climax in November. We at Wetten AU can help guide you through the contest and even provide recommendations for the best bookmakers that are offering US presidential betting options.
🆚 What are Trump’s re-election odds?
Having served four years as President of the United States, Donald Trump is running for reelection on November 3rd 2020. To find out more about the election from a betting perspective with a special Australian focus, visit Wetten.com AU.
🌎How do I bet on the US presidential election?
There are a number of factors involved in betting on the US presidential election, ranging from the need to find the best US election odds to choosing an operator who is offering the markets you wish to bet on. We at Wetten.com AU can guide you through the various choices available, so you can enjoy the best possible betting experience.