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Biden's lead in prediction markets cut by Trump

21 Oct 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads Donald Trump going into the final two weeks of the US presidential election race, but Trump has closed the gap, according to data from the Smarkets betting exchange.

In a betting market with £9.9 million ($12.8 million) traded already, Biden's price reflects a 63% chance of victory, with Trump at 37%. On Smarkets, customers trade against each other on the outcome of political events and the odds move accordingly.

While these odds clearly suggest that Trump is up against it, he is closer in the betting than on other forecasting models, such as Nate Silver's poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight which puts Biden at 88% likely to win.

Biden's lead on Smarkets reached 42 percentage points (71% vs. 29%) last week but Trump has narrowed the gap recently behind a huge increase in betting volume. October is already Smarkets' most-traded month ever for political betting with £3.8m of volume (192% increase on previous record).

Smarkets CEO/Founder Jason Trost said: "My fascination with political prediction markets is the reason I started this company, so to see millions being traded on the election is a huge achievement for us.

"It seems that the race is Biden's to lose, but Trump is by no means out of it and the odds have moved a lot recently. Our real-time markets will be one of the key indicators all the way up to and through election night."

Smarkets has more betting markets on the election than any other platform, and an Electoral College forecast - based on state-by-state market data - that currently predicts a final result of 316-222 in the Democrats' favour.

Analysing the individual states in more detail, the key battlegrounds could be in the south, with Florida, Georgia and North Carolina - which carry 60 electoral votes between them - all rated as toss-ups. See the attached graphic for more information.
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