The following data was collected from the latest JHF Forecast updates on September 16th, as well as PredictIt’s market prices on the same day. Numbers, screenshots and analysis are subject to change over time.
PredictIt, the most notable political betting exchange in the US, can give us a clear idea of the latest political market sentiment in the country. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are currently trading at 59¢ to win the presidency next November. A Donald Trump re-election is at 45¢.
These numbers differ from most of the data models released over the past few weeks. Democrats are given more than 80% chances to win in most cases, leaving Republicans with a likelihood of 15-20% to win. This extends to practically all of the races up for grabs on Election day: popular vote by state, Senate and House control. Democrats dominate in the models.
The following analysis will use the numbers provided by the JHK 2020 Election Forecast as a pundit model, and compare them with the prices on PredictIt’s betting exchange. Remember you can follow all the action on these markets and those from other international exchanges through guesser.com. You will find a summary comparison table at the very end of the post!
According to JHK Forecasts, its probabilistic model results from a continuous simulation of the election based on a projected vote share for each state. To calculate this projection, JHK combines four different indexes (Fundamentals, Polling, Expert’s Rating and State Similarity Regression), each being given a number of points which determine the weight in the combination.
This PredictIt market, which accumulates the highest trading volume within the platform, has seen odds tighten more than 5 points since late July, giving the Democratic candidate, at the time of writing, a price of 59¢ to get elected president.
Bettors are uneasy about a comfortable victory for the former Vice President, contrary to the JHK Presidential Forecast, that currently predicts a 78.6% chance of Biden winning, almost 20 points above the traders consensus on the exchange! The National Overview in the model also sets a 327.8 average vote at the Electoral College for Democrats, with Republicans only reaching 210.1. This results from a 52% Biden support in the popular vote.
For his part, President Trump comes out highly favored by PredictIt prices, which boost him to a 45¢ likelihood of being re-elected. This, compared to the 21.4% that JHK sets on its forecast may be hopeful for the Republican Party expectations, which is being highly handicapped by all the recent pundit models. Donald Trump is currently given a 45.1% popular vote share in the JHK National Overview.
PRESIDENTIAL POPULAR VOTE BY STATE
When it comes to analyzing the 2020 Election popular vote, most of the swing states that boosted Donald Trump to victory in 2016 get all the attention within forecasting models, as well as the largest betting volumes on PredictIt.
In this case we are going to compare the states that JHK Forecasts sets at the top of its Tipping Point list (those who are more likely to determine the presidency at the Electoral College) against their respective PredictIt markets. We will also look into those that seem more uncertain regarding the projected vote share, that is, with the probabilities of both parties more evenly matched.
According to JHK Forecasts, Florida is the most decisive state in the 2020 Presidential election. The model is forecasting a 64.6% chance to win for Democrats, President Trump’s options falling to 35.4% in a key state he’s been targeting throughout his 2020 campaign.
The scenario in the Sunshine State is much more optimistic for Republicans in the betting market, where their victory is currently priced at 50¢. The Democratic Party remains at 53¢, as traders set a spread of more than 10 points in relation to the JHK forecast. Democrats have seen their odds drop up to 4¢ in PredictIt during the last month, trading these even below Republicans during this week:
Reminder: Donald Trump won Florida in 2016 with a 1.20% margin of victory.
The second most determinant state in the JHK Forecasts model is Pennsylvania. Biden is given one of the widest advantages within the key battlegrounds with 83.6% chances of victory, leaving Trump’s options of winning back Pennsylvania below a 20% likelihood.
This state is considerably more disputed in PredictIt, where political bettors currently give price a Democrat victory at 30 points less than the model does, with odds at 64¢ against Republicans, priced at 39¢. Bets on Trump taking Pennsylvania again seems to have increased a lot this summer since the GOP chances in the market have risen 5¢ this last month and up to 10¢ if we go back to late June.
Reminder: Donald Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 with a 3.66% margin of victory.
Wisconsin is the state that completes the top 3 decisive territories along the US map. JHK Forecasts sets Joe Biden as the clear favorite again with a 81.1% chance of winning. Republican numbers are less than 20% here.
Once again, the differences if we move to betting markets become noticeable, traders pricing a Democratic win in Wisconsin at 68¢, 13% less confident than the model’s forecast. A Republican victory doesn’t reach a 20% likelihood here.
Contrary to the previous states, where we can say that PredictIt trends continually favored Trump during the past weeks, the market’s historical stats here show how the racial protests boosted the President price in late August, but this fell again on September as Democrats strengthened their lead.
Reminder: Donald Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 with a 0.77% margin of victory.
CLOSEST PROJECTED VOTE:
North Carolina is currently listed as the most contested state in the presidential popular vote within the entire JHK Forecasts model. Here the Democratic Party gets only a +0.6 projected vote advantage, while their chances of victory are set at 54.9%.
This time the betting market prediction not only differs in percentage but also in favorite party. PredictIt has Donald Trump’s price to win at 52¢, 3 points above Democrats, trading at 49¢. Price trends have incredibly boosted Republicans since late July, culminating in a market favorite flip during August. The GOP maintains the lead since then, but odds seem to be tightening again now.
Reminder: Donald Trump won North Carolina in 2016 with a 3.55% margin of victory.
With a +2.0 projected vote advantage for President Trump, Iowa is another highly contested battleground on the JHK Forecasts. The chances of winning distribution is only a little wider than in North Carolina, Republicans coming out favored this time with a 60.5% likelihood.
Moving to PredictIt we don’t find disagreement regarding the state favourite, but bettors are much more confident about a Donald Trump victory here, setting his odds at 69¢ having boosted their price up to 10¢ during the summer. On the other hand, Joe Biden prices in Iowa have sunk to 30¢.
Reminder: Donald Trump won Iowa in 2016 with a 9.41% margin of victory.
The third most disputed state listed on the JHK Forecasts’s Projected Vote chart is Georgia, where Republicans keep a +2.2 advantage. Their chances to win reach 62.4% in the model.
President Trump's advantage in PredictIt barely differs from the model this time. The GOP trades at 65¢ and Democrats are more than 30 points apart. As in previous cases, the trend has been favoring Republicans in Georgia too during the past months, with their price boosted more than 10¢ in the market since early July, when both party odds were almost evens.
Reminder: Donald Trump won Georgia in 2016 with a 5.13% margin of victory.
The 2020 Senate race is undoubtedly being the most difficult one to predict for pundit models. The current Senate is controlled by Republicans, with 53 seats and that 23 of the 35 seats up for grabs in this year’s election held by them. Forecasts tend to anticipate a low margin majority for the Democratic Party. In any case, Democrats are not given more than 50 seats within any of the main public models.
The JHK Senate Forecast is currently predicting a 50-50 tie in seats after the 2020 Election. This would suppose a +3 net change for the Democrats, which at the same time is the second highest priced outcome (19¢) within the ‘What will be the net change in Senate seats, by party?’ market in PredictIt. ‘Democrats +3’ and ‘Democrats +5’ have been the other 2 outcomes with best prices during the past month.
But the best prediction we can confront to the betting markets within the JHK Senate Forecast is the chance of a Senate majority, which at the time of writing is predicted at 61.4% in favor of the Democratic Party in the model.
This forecast is not far from Predictit prices, but these are tighter. Within the ‘Which party will control the Senate after 2020 election?’ market available on the exchange, Democrats are currently priced at 55¢, a 5% change compared to the JHK model. The Democratic Party price has dropped more than 10¢ in August, as traders have priced their odds below Republicans’ at certain points during the past weeks. This gives us an idea of how disputed this market will be in the coming weeks.
Despite the fact that this is probably, and in general terms, the least contested race of the 2020 Election, the expected Democratic victory also presents differences between the pundit models and the betting markets.
Forecasters predict Democrat control of the lower house in more than 220 seats of the 435 up for grabs in all cases, with some models eyeing more than 240 seats. The JHK House Forecast particularly predicts 233.2 average seats won by the Democratic Party on Election night, giving them a 98.1% chance of a House majority.
The result of this race seems to be clearly in favor of the DNC according to PredictIt too, but the Democrats’ price here is reduced by 13%, with odds at 85¢. Therefore Republicans are trading slightly higher, at 18¢ at the time of writing, which also confronts the 1.9% chances set by JHK Forecasts.
This summary comparison table is the end of the analysis! Let us know what you think on Twitter and feel free to share with your friends. Subscribe below for weekly updates like this one!