It’s hard to recall a time where the political landscape was more volatile than it is now, and for oddsmakers, adjusting lines to reflect the latest momentum shifts has become a full time job.
President Donald Trump had long been viewed as the frontrunner to win the 2020 Presidential election, and while his tenure has been marred by controversial agendas and even an impeachment, Trump has been the odds favorite since the betting markets first opened.
A large part of Trump’s success has centered around the nation’s surging economy and growing job market, something that the President regularly points to in times of adversity.
“Trump boasts constantly about the strength of the economy, ‘the best in the history of our country’ as he often states,” shared Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt.
“In fact, he places so much emphasis on the performance of the US stock market that it has almost become synonymous with his re-election campaign.”
The relationship between the two now appears more evident than ever as the coronavirus pandemic has sent both Trump’s reelection odds and the U.S. economy into a downward spiral.
“It seems that oddsmakers’ are also monitoring the markets closely,” explained Watt. “The similar ebb and flow of the Dow Jones and Trump’s odds indicative of the inextricable link between the two.”
Watt and his team developed two graphs to better illustrate this connection between the U.S. economy and Trump’s Presidential election odds.
As seen above, the Dow Jones started its decline on the 22nd of February, which just so happened to coincide with the day that Trump saw his shortest reelection odds ever.
It goes without saying that the blow delivered to Trump had the opposite effect on the likely Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
Biden has seen a shift in his Presidential odds that can only be described as miraculous. Ahead of the February 19th Democratic debate, Biden found himself at +700 odds to clinch the party’s nomination. Bernie Sanders held a commanding lead, and at -140 odds, the nomination appeared to be his to lose.
Biden was always expected to perform well in the South Carolina Primary, but the surge he saw on Super Tuesday was unprecedented. In a matter of days, Biden became the party’s frontrunner, with Sanders falling to +1400 which just so happens to be where some odds boards list Hillary Clinton.
Trump Prioritizing Economy Over Health?
The President tweeted out that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” highlighting his stance that the economic blowback could in fact cause more collateral damage than the virus itself.
He went on to express his desire to have the country up and running again at some capacity by Easter, something that many doctors have openly advised against.
This economic fallout could indeed spell disaster for the Trump campaign, as his opposition will clearly focus on his handling of the situation and the economic fallout.
With all media attention diverted to the epidemic, it has also helped to keep Biden off the campaign trail and largely out of the public eye. Oddly enough, this is a massive win for the Democratic frontrunner, as his public appearances only seem to do him more harm than good.
Over the past week, Biden has given limited interviews, with two going viral due to his apparent confusion and inability to put together coherent thoughts. This would normally serve as ammunition for Trump, but given the current situation, turning his sights on his political opponent would likely deliver him just as much damage.
Trump remains the -120 favorite to come out victorious in November, but with Biden now priced at +110 and Trump’s ability to showcase the economic successes enjoyed earlier in his presidency, the fate of the 2020 Presidential election could ultimately be decided by a virus.