Political bettors, take heed.
According to the mainstream media, not only did the Republican National Convention provide the Donald Trump reelection campaign with any polling boost whatsoever, but the event itself drew far fewer viewers than Joe Biden’s Democratic National Convention.
According to reality, however, both of those assertions are empirically false.
Not only did Trump gain a substantial boost in polling in purple states following the convention, the event actually drew 25 million – that’s million, with an “M” – more viewers than Basement Joe’s webcam extravaganza.
The hoodwink, of course, is that the news media included both Biden’s television numbers and streaming numbers in their ratings, while they only included Trump’s TV numbers, ignoring those watching via the Internet altogether.
Of course, for those invested in or following the political betting market, these tactics are par for the course. That’s why bettors have historically known not to trust single news sources (or only those sources philosophically or politically aligned with one another) to inform their wagers.
If you’re going to scan the headlines at the Washington Post and CNN for an edge at the betting boards, you should probably temper that with some coverage from the Washington Times and OAN. (Just don’t wear the latter’s t-shirt if you’re, say, the head coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.)
Fortunately, while this Presidential election cycle has seen more first-time bettors making their wagers and moving the lines per mainstream news narratives, that’s starting to change.
Yes, bettors are finally going back to their old habits of consuming disparate narratives and paying attention to the voices on the street.
In fact, it turns out that bettors currently offer the most concrete and data-centric rebuke to articles like ABC’s about the RNC convention doing nothing to move the needle in Trump’s direction.
“President Donald Trump’s efforts to build his appeal and define his opponent at the Republican National Convention, using pageantry and the White House as the backdrop, had little apparent impact on the electorate’s impressions of both him and former Vice President Joe Biden, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.”
But per election bettors at Bovada:
Before the party conventions, Trump was trending at +145 to Biden’s -165. Today, Trump is pulling -105 odds to Biden’s -115. That 100-point swing sure seems like a “boost.”
And per election bettors at BetOnline:
Before the party conventions, Trump was trending at +150 to Biden’s -180. Today, Trump is pulling -120 odds to Biden’s +100. That 150-point swing sure seems like a “boost.”
And per election bettors at MyBookie:
Before the party conventions, Trump was trending at +110 to Biden’s -170. Today, Trump is pulling -140 odds to Biden’s +110. That 130-point swing sure seems like a “boost.”
By any measurable metric, the shift over the last two weeks – that is, the shift in support for the candidates as a direct result of the party conventions and the ongoing and escalating 1619 Riots in swing states and Democratic strongholds – is clear to anyone willing to look at the actual data.
Speaking of which, there are another couple of interesting developments at the top Vegas election betting sites.
At Bovada Sportsbook, the 2020 political prop for Senate party control has closed considerably for the GOP.
One month ago – before the Mostly Peaceful Protests™ and the conventions shook up the cycle – the betting odds for which party would control the US Senate after the November elections looked like this:
US Senate Control
- Democrats -185
- Republicans +140
Today, they look like this:
US Senate Control
- Democrats -130
- Republicans +100 (EVEN)
So, in addition to the Trump boost that many pundits – with very straight faces – insist hasn’t happened, Senate Republicans have also benefited from a 95-point swing on the odds boards.
Meanwhile, at BetOnline, the state electoral odds for Georgia and New Hampshire are currently locked out.
That likely means that lines are moving significantly in both markets, and the book has taken its previous odds down to recalculate their numbers before allowing more action to commence.
Of course, until those lines are re-posted, it’s pure speculation as to the direction they’ve gone.
Georgia may be trending strongly pro-Biden all of a sudden, or it may be even more pro-Trump than before.
Ditto for New Hampshire, which the Trump campaign has not ruled out.
For what it’s worth, here’s how the BetOnline odds shaped up in both states for most of the cycle before being taken down:
- Republican -130
- Democratic +100 (EVEN)
- Democratic -375
- Republican +475
These states’ lines are still up at the other two main political sportsbooks, which could indicate which direction BetOnline’s odds are likely to go once reposted.
At Bovada, Trump is favored to win Georgia with -240 odds compared to +175 for Biden. In New Hampshire, Biden is favored to win with -260 odds, while Trump is trending at +190.
At MyBookie, Trump’s Georgia odds are -250 to win the state, while Biden has +170 odds. In New Hampshire, Biden’s sitting at -300 compared to Trump’s +200.
Make of all this what you will.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: At Vegas Election Odds, we are not cheerleading for or against any side in the upcoming November general.
However, we don’t want gamblers to make the mistake of trusting bad data, and bad data accounts for better than 90% of all the data out there.
Pick your sources carefully, read information from sites you normally wouldn’t, check out the Twitter ratios from talking heads on both sides of the divide, and always, always (always!) read the comments on sites that allow them.
And good luck, because we’re all going to need it.