State Primary And Caucus Betting

One of the most exciting political betting markets opens up when primary season gets underway in the leadup to a Presidential election. This is always true for the opposition party facing down an incumbent, but action is even more lively when the sitting POTUS is term limited and both parties have full fields of candidates.

If you’re interested in placing political wagers, you’ll find that you can’t actually put money on Vegas election odds. While Nevada bookmakers do advertise hypothetical betting lines on political races and outcomes, they do so as a way to capitalize on the news cycle and promote the other sports they can actually take money on. For political betting, offshore sportsbooks are the only game in town.

That said, the odds you’ll find offshore online sportsbooks are always presented in the standard Vegas style, with most politics bets being formatted like familiar straights, futures, and props that you’d find on football and basketball matchups. Politics is often likened to sport, after all, and betting on it is fundamentally similar.

Coronavirus Update: The Coronavirus pandemic has delayed several state primaries as the US struggles to contain the spread of the virus. Our guide to how the Coronavirus has affected Vegas election odds explains how the virus has adjusted odds for candidates, delayed several state primaries, and more.

Where To Bet On State Primary Elections And Caucuses 2020

 SiteBonusRating/5USAVisit
1Bovada50% Max $2504.5Visit Review
2Betonline50% Max $1,0004.4Visit Review
3Mybookie.ag50% Max $1,0004.4VisitReview
3Sportsbetting.ag75% Max $1,0004.1Visit Review

Is It Legal To Vote On Vegas Odds For Primaries and Caucuses?

If you want to bet on state primary elections and caucuses, you can legally do so at any offshore sportsbook that offers state election odds. Just remember that you cannot actually bet on Vegas election odds, as Nevada – and all other US states – currently bar domestic political wagering.

Note that it is not actually illegal to wager on politics domestically. In Nevada, for example, there is no law barring the practice, but tradition – and the mandates of the Nevada Gaming Control Board – prevents bettors from wagering on political elections, political props, and all manner of entertainment odds.

Most states that have legalized sports betting follow NV’s model, and that’s why we’ve yet to find any state-based book that actually takes election bets. Fortunately, that’s a moot point because it is safe and legal to bet on politics at offshore betting sites like those listed here.

Current Caucus And Primary Election Odds – Democratic Party

Previous Primary Results 2020 - Democratic Party

  • Bernie Sanders -150
  • Joe Biden +225
  • Pete Buttigieg +600
  • Elizabeth Warren +1100
  • Amy Klobuchar +2500
  • Andrew Yang +2800
  • Tom Steyer +10000

Current Caucus And Primary Odds – Republican Party

You won’t find any state-by-state GOP primary or caucus odds for the Republican party in the 2020 election cycle so far, as Donald Trump has the support of the party and no credible challenger has been announced. Though you can find Donald Trump odds for the general election, the primaries are all but wrapped up for the incumbent.

Several states have even gone so far as to cancel their primaries, as Trump’s ouster before November is so unlikely that bettors simply aren’t biting. (If that changes, this page will be updated accordingly.)

To date, the states to cancel their GOP caucuses and primaries are the following:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Kansas
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina

What Are State Primaries?

Primary elections are state-by-state events where a party’s Presidential candidates are voted on. These are handled like typical elections, and there is a vote threshold candidates must reach to earn their party’s formal nomination. For each state, candidates are awarded delegates, and once all 50 states and eligible territories cast their votes, the candidate with the most delegates wins the nomination.

However, if no candidate reaches a majority threshold, a plurality of votes is not typically enough to win. In other words, if no candidate gets over 50% of the total delegates, parties usually won’t just award the candidate with the most delegates the nomination. Instead, this results in a “contested convention,” which is something else you can bet on (and which may result in “no action” on certain primary wagers, depending on your sportsbook’s rules).

Some states have open primaries, where voters affiliated with either party (or a third party) may vote in the primary of their choice. Other states have closed primaries, where voters can only cast their ballots for candidates aligned with their own party affiliation. Fortunately, betting is totally decoupled from this model, allowing bettors of all parties to wager on whomever they wish, whenever they want.

What Are State Caucuses?

Caucuses are akin to primaries, but these are not run by state election commissions. Instead, state party organizations run these events. Caucuses are like town hall roll calls, where each precinct holds a “vote” and totals are compiled by sorting out which candidate won the most districts within a given state.

As of 2020, several historical caucus states (Kansas, Hawaii, Maine) have adopted the primary election model due to its greater accuracy and less complex nature, but a few holdouts remain. Currently, the following states and territories still employ caucuses for one or both parties:

  • Iowa
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • US Virgin Islands

2016 Primary & Caucus Results By State

We all know that Hillary Clinton won the DNC nomination and Donald Trump won the GOP nomination. However, these races were closer on the state level than many people realize.

For example, the Republican field was fairly deep, and Donald Trump lost several states to the likes of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich. However, he ultimately won the majority of delegates and was able to coast to the nomination after his chief opponents dropped out later in the cycle.

On the Democratic side, the Democrat “superdelegate” model made the news, as many voters believed that the process was rigged against Bernie Sanders. Below, you can see that Sanders actually won primaries and caucuses in 22 states, making the race much closer on paper than it was when Clinton was officially announced as the winner. Sanders earned 1846 delegates to Clinton’s 2205, but because superdelegates are unbound to the normal delegate count, Clinton won in a landslide, 602-48. This model has allegedly been abandoned for 2020 after the DNC voted to strip superdelegates of their power in 2018.

Resources For 2020 Primary/Caucus Events