For those not in the know, Washington in County Durham is the ancestral home of the USA’s founding father and first President, George Washington. This sleepy North East town attracts hundreds of American tourists every year to discover their nation’s history, where they can visit Old Washington Hall or the village green with a tree planted by former US President, Jimmy Carter.
As the 2020 US election race heats up, Betfair toured the village to speak to locals and get their views on the upcoming election, plus interviewed political and gambling experts as they launch their US election Swingometer, a minute-by-minute odds tracker, on the village green and at (a) White House.
Currently the two candidates are neck and neck – just yesterday Donald Trump became the favourite for the first time in three months, but in the past 24 hours the odds have shifted again, and Joe Biden is now leading the race to The White House at evens, whereas Trump is just behind him at 21/20. It hasn’t always been this close, two weeks ago Biden was the big odds-on favourite at 8/13 (60%), while Trump trailed behind at 15/8 (40%). Throughout the campaign, the odds have been constantly swinging, back in February Biden was 99/1 (1%) to become the next US President when Bernie Sanders was the favourite to become the Democratic Candidate.
Paul Krishnamurty, Professional Political Gambler and Analyst said: “More than any politician in history, Trump cuts through, whether positive or negative, to a wider audience. You can see it in the debate figures, you can see it in the turnout. Therefore, this election is about him. Ask any Brit what they know about Trump – they’ll say everything. But ask about Biden? They’ve barely even heard of him.
“We know that 2020 is already shaping up to be different to 2016. Biden is already tracking higher in the polls than Clinton was at the same time, he’s a much more popular candidate and looking at the odds right now it is clear the punters, who make Biden the slight favourite, agree.
“I think Biden will win by a landslide by taking Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – the three states that Clinton didn’t win in 2016. Trump may have defied the odds to win four years ago, but I can’t see that happening again this time around.”
Sam Rosbottom, Betfair Spokesperson said: “Already there is huge interest in who will be the next US President on Betfair Exchange, with over £70 million wagered on the betting market. Joe Biden is the current favourite at evens, however almost 60% of the money has been bet on Donald Trump, who briefly went favourite yesterday for the first time in three months, and in the past 24 hours his odds have gone out to 21/20.
“During the last election, back in 2016, a record £199 million was bet, with over £75 million of that coming once the polls closed. Back then, Hillary Clinton was the 1/10 favourite on election day, and we all know what happened after that. Already this year we have seen some huge swings in the betting market, back in February, Joe Biden was 100/1 (just a 1% chance) to become the next US President, but as the months went on, the odds shifted in his favour, in August he had a 60% chance of winning, and since then his chances have decreased and it’s too tight to call.”