American Politics: Odds and Ends on the 2020 Election

Other Nov 03, 2020

Note:  The following analysis was written by Elliott Liu and is re-printed here with his permission.  Read more on Elliott Liu, the former chess champion and analyst here at his WIKIPEDIA PAGE.


On the eve of a historic day in modern U.S. history, here is some market consensus analysis.  

For what it's worth, I trust gaming/betting market pricing much much more versus a source like the over-hyped 538 Golden Goose, for example.  538 predicting a ~ 90%+ projected win percentage for Biden is ridiculously mispriced, in my opinion.

Executive Summary:

-- Joe Biden is favored to win the election with an expected Win% of ~ 58.5% - 66.5%.

-- Donald Trump was most recently favored on May 5 at ~ 51% - 52.5%.

-- Donald Trump reached his highest projected Win% on March 4, pre-COVID 19 national shutdown, with a projected Win% of ~ 60%.

-- Joe Biden, as expected, is a significant favorite to win the Popular Vote (-700 or 87.5%).  This translates into garnering ~ 52.5% - 55% of total votes.

-- In other terms, Joe Biden is projected to garner ~ 10 Million more votes than Donald Trump or +/- 79.5 Million votes (Biden) vs. +/- 69.5 Million votes (Trump) in aggregate.

-- Democrats are a massive favorite to have Over 209.5 Seats in the House (-1500), which is greater than 93.5% implied probability.

-- However, Democrats are only slight favorites to have majority control of the Senate, priced at ~ 54%.

-- "Turnout" for the election is expected to be very strong.  Over 149.5 Million Voters is priced at -550 (84.6%), and, for a lower price, Over 60.5% of the eligible voting population actually voting is also priced as a significant favorite at -350 (77.8%).

-- Donald Trump is a significant favorite to NOT WIN every state he won in 2016 (-550 or 84.6%), but he is a smaller favorite to LOSE every state he lost in 2016 (-210 or 67.7%).

-- Regarding important battleground states, here are the most tightly contested lines right now (favorite in alphabetical order):

Arizona (Democrat ~56.5%),

Florida (Republican ~61.5%),

Georgia (Republican ~63%),

North Carolina (Republican ~56.5%),

Pennsylvania (Democrat ~63%).

-- This next nugget is the one that I am most interested in: the loser of the election is not expected to make a traditional concession.  In fact, the loser of the election is favored to not concede until "November 13 or later," priced at -135 or 57.4%.

-- Furthermore, the odds of a traditional concession are priced roughly equivalent to that of "December 1 or later."  This is because Donald Trump is the Underdog, and therefore the markets are expecting him to cause litigious chaos if he ends up losing the election.  Standard procedure for 2020

-- Unfortunately for some of you, Kanye West is not projected to become the next President of the United States.  He is priced at -1500 or 93.8% to garner less than 0.5% of total votes.

-- Finally, my favorite prop that I've been able to find: Melania Trump is not expected to divorce Donald Trump if he loses the election


"No" is priced at -650 or 86.7%.

Good luck to everyone's mental sanity in the coming days and (likely) weeks.