As November draws nearer, I find myself searching out new and creative ways to wager on the action while we still have time. BetOnlineis currently offering a variety of political prop bets that caught my eye.
The betting lines on this page compare Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral map to this year’s outcomes.
The President won 30 states and 304 electoral college votes against Hillary Clinton last election cycle.
Now, we can bet on whether he’ll win or lose all of the same states in 2020.
Looking at the odds, the top political betting sites predict it’s far more probable that the incumbent will lose in the same locations than repeat his winning ways in all thirty places he carried.
The polling data and expert election forecasts tend to agree.
Will Trump Win Every State He Won in 2016?
Trump Wins Every State from 2016?
Donald Trump’s stunning 2016 upset saw the reality TV show host win 30 states, good for 304 electoral college votes. Fortunately, we don’t need to analyze all thirty when determining if the President can win every state he carried four years ago.
Aside from a dozen-or-so pivotal battleground states, most electoral votes are accounted for well in advance of Election Day.
For example, most of the rural territories are locks to vote Republican. This includes most of the South, much of the Great Plains, and a significant portion of the Sun Belt.
Of the thirty states Trump carried against Hillary Clinton, six are seriously at risk of flipping to Biden in November, with another 3-4 leaning conservative, but losable for the incumbent if his worst-case scenario plays out.
Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin
The region that President Trump is finding most difficult to retain in 2020 is the Midwest. Once labeled the “blue wall,” non-college-educated white voters caught Democratic strategists off-guard for years ago, turning out in droves to turn Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin “red” for the first time in ages.
However, according to Real Clear Politics top battleground polling averages, Trump’s popularity in the Midwest may have been an aberration, not a trend. Of course, that’s if you trust the pollsters. The Trump campaign has seen some encouraging signs from the Rust Belt too.
A recent New York Times article titled, “Five Things Biden and His Allies Should Be Worried About” featured a fascinating interview with an anonymous Democratic strategist who “analyzed the implications of the most recent voter registration trends,” for the author, Thomas B. Edsall.
NY Times Excerpt:
“In Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, he said, overall registration is up by 6 points through August compared to the 2016 cycle, but net Democratic registrations are down by 38 percent. That’s about 150,000 fewer additional Democrats than were added in 2016.
“In addition, he continued, registration among whites without college degrees is up by 46 percent while registration by people of color is up by only 4 percent. That gap is made more stark when you realize that over the last four years, the WNC (white non-college) population has increased by only 1 percent in those states, while the number of people of color increased by 13 percent.
“The pattern was more pronounced in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than it was in Michigan.
“On its own, increased registration among non-college whites would have only a negligible effect on total state voting, my source pointed out, but it becomes troubling if it reflects greater interest more generally for these voters in those states. And there are good reasons to believe that if that is the case, those additionally energized voters are very underrepresented in surveys now.
“Even if white non-college turnout reached the highest expectations, he cautioned, it would not ‘erase Biden’s current polling leads. But it does make the races much closer.”
Trump Losing Union Workers?
Why aren’t the polls reflecting this surge of voter registrations happening in Trump’s key demographic?
If registration among white voters without college degrees is up by 46 percent and net Democratic registrations are down by 38%, why is the incumbent still trailing by:
- 5.7 points in Pennsylvania,
- 5.2 points in Michigan, and
- 5.5 points in Wisconsin?
A new report from Josh Kraushaar suggests it may be because working-class white voters aren’t as enamored with Trump as we’ve been led to believe.
“Trump’s marked decline with white working-class voters is the underappreciated story of this election. It’s easy to conflate Trump’s base of hard-core supporters with the much larger pool of his 2016 voters. His base is with him regardless, but Trump won in 2016 by picking off a critical mass of onetime Democrats and independent voters in the Midwest, many of whom have since grown disillusioned with his antics.”
“It’s why Iowa, where Trump routed Hillary Clinton in 2016, is now a genuine battleground four years later. It’s why the three “blue wall” states that Trump toppled—Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—now look solidly in Biden’s corner. It’s why Senate Democrats are still hopeful they can flip red-state seats in Montana and South Carolina. It’s why House Republicans are feverishly defending conservative districts in Alaska and Arkansas.”
Joe Biden’s 5-point in a recent Fox News poll of Ohio – a state considered fairly solidly red not long ago – highlights the President’s waning support among labor unions. The Obama-to-Trump voters, desperate for a break from political norms in 2016 after decades of neoliberal trade deals ravaged the Midwest, have “returned to the Democratic fold.”
From “Trump’s mistake by the lake: Taking his own voters for granted”
“Union households in Ohio now favor Biden by 8 points, 52 to 44 percent. In 2016, Trump carried that same constituency by 13 points, 54 to 41 percent, according to exit polling. That’s a whopping 21-point turnaround.”
Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida
Hispanic voters make up a significant portion of the electorate in several key battleground states:
- Texas, 38.7 percent;
- Nevada, 29.2 percent;
- Arizona, 31.7 percent;
- North Carolina, 9.8 percent; and
- Georgia, 9.9 percent.
These are all states where their Latino voters could play a crucial role the deciding the outcome. However, this burgeoning electorate is not developing into the liberal voting bloc Democratic party officials anticipated.
The New York Times published a report by Ian Haney López, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Tory Gavito, President of Way to Win and founder of the Texas Future Project, arguing for the Biden campaign to reassess their approach to courting Latino voters.
NY Times Excerpt:
“While a mere 3 percent of American voters overall have yet to decide on a presidential candidate, according to recent polls from Quinnipiac and Monmouth, 38 percent of registered Hispanic voters in 10 battleground states may be ambivalent about even voting.”
“At least so far, this large group of Latinos seemingly perceives little reason to choose Mr. Biden over President Trump. That makes this group — part of the largest racial-ethnic voting bloc in the country after whites — a key component of the swing voters in this election.”
López and Gavito found that Latino’s political leanings are strongly related to “how respondents thought about Hispanic racial identity.”
NY Times Excerpt:
“More than whether the individual was Mexican-American or from Cuba, young or old, male or female, from Texas, Florida or California, how the person perceived the racial identity of Latinos as a group shaped his or her receptivity to a message stoking racial division.”
“Progressives commonly categorize Latinos as people of color, no doubt partly because progressive Latinos see the group that way and encourage others to do so as well. Certainly, we both once took that perspective for granted. Yet in our survey, only one in four Hispanics saw the group as people of color.”
Furthermore, most Hispanic voters “rejected this designation. They preferred to see Hispanics as a group integrating into the American mainstream, one not overly bound by racial constraints but instead able to get ahead through hard work.”
So, there’s a significant number of Latino voters spread throughout ten tightly-contested battleground states that are undecided, if they choose to cast a ballot at all. And this group is not exceptionally liberal or offended by President Trump.
Supposing only one in four Hispanics see themselves as a person of color, which is the factor most associated with whether members of this voting bloc take offense to the President. Then, there’s still a significant number of ballots up for grabs where the Trump campaign needs them most.
FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast gives Joe Biden a 65% chance of turning Arizona blue this year. Except for Bill Clinton in 1996, Arizona has been carried by the Republican candidate in every presidential election since 1952.
Arizona’s enormous Hispanic population is primarily of Mexican descent – a group that 538 claims have historically “leaned more Democratic than, say, Cuban Americans.”
“According to data from Equis Research, compared to more Republican-leaning Texas, there’s a higher rate of foreign-born Latinos in Arizona, and they tend to be more anti-Trump. A higher share of Arizona’s Latinos live in more urban areas compared to Texas’s Latinos, another factor that skews their vote more Democratic.”
In addition to their growing Mexican-American constituency, Arizona’s electorate includes large percentages of older and suburban white voters – two groups whose support for Trump has been on a steep decline in 2020.
Excerpt from 538:
“White voters are also leaning towards Biden, marking a change from 2016 when Trump won 54 percent of Arizona’s white voters, according to exit polls. Current polls show a much closer race between Biden and Trump with that group: a recent New York Times/Siena College survey, for example, showed Trump leading Biden by only a percentage point with white voters overall in the state. Among white voters with a college degree, Biden was beating Trump by 15 percentage points — Trump won that group in Arizona in 2016, by a margin of 6 points, according to the exit polls.”
“Trump’s problem with suburban white voters is magnified in Arizona, where many of the state’s votes lie in the dense suburbia that is Maricopa County. What’s more, those white, suburban independents in Arizona are more likely to be over 65 than elsewhere in the country, a group that Trump is struggling with. Arizona has the 12th-highest share of Americans over the age of 65, according to a 2018 analysis by the Population Reference Bureau.”
Between Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Arizona, I don’t see Donald Trump carrying all of the same states he managed to win in 2016. The President has lost much of his “outsider” appeal with working-class voters, especially the labor unions.
He’s showing promising signs with Hispanic voters, but there’s no evidence to suggest they’ll carry him to another 30-state victory. Based on the data we have, Trump may outperform initial expectations with Latinos, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be flooding the ballot box on the President’s behalf.
Unless you are confident that polling is inaccurate to the point of total uselessness, I think “No” at –700 is the correct pick.
The odds aren’t too friendly, so I understand taking a shot at “yes” +450 – but keep in mind it’s just a Hail Mary bet.
Will Trump Lose Every State He Lost in 2016?
Trump Loses Every State from 2016?
If Donald Trump is to repeat any 2016 results, it’s far likelier he will do so by losing all of the same states he lost before.
“Yes” is even the favored outcome at –170 moneyline odds – an implied probability of 62.96%.
Of the 20 states (and Washington DC) Trump lost four years ago, only Minnesota and Nevada have a somewhat realistic probability of voting Republican. Even then, the incumbent would need a near-miracle to steal either from Biden.
The Real Clear Politics average shows Joe Biden leading in Minnesota by a substantial 9.4 point margin. FiveThirtyEight’s election forecast gives Trump only an 11% likelihood of flipping the final piece of the “blue wall” that remained with the Democrats in 2016.
However, the Trump campaign is making the state one of its main focuses. As I wrote on September 18, Minnesota has been gradually sliding to the right for several election cycles now. 2016 was the first time the state leaned Republican, relative to the rest of the United States.
If the President can carry the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota, he’ll have a shot at taking the Land of 1,000 Lakes’ 10 electoral votes.
Hillary Clinton won Nevada in 2016 by 2.4 points. Joe Biden is now averaging a polling margin of +5.3 over the incumbent one month before Election Day. 538 gives Donald Trump a 16% chance of flipping Nevada this November.
Nevada is your prototypical swing state. It elected nothing but Republicans from Nixon in 1968 through George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Then the Silver State picked Bill Clinton in back-to-back elections, before voting for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Democrats won Nevada in the next three consecutive elections.
Attributed in-part to high volumes of Californians moving into the state, a Hispanic electorate steadily growing in size and influence (they put Bernie Sanders over the top in the Democratic primaries), and powerful labor unions, Nevada is expected to trend bluer.
Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory was much smaller than Barack Obama’s in ‘08 and 2012, but I suggest that had more to do with the specific candidates.
I’m willing to bet “No” on Trump losing all the same states as in 2016 at +140 moneyline odds.
Despite the 538 projections, I think the President is much more likely to flip Minnesota this year than Nevada.
Nevada has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and will make President Trump pay for it at the ballot box.
On the other hand, electorally vital areas of Minnesota have benefited tremendously from the President’s trade tariffs on aluminum, steel, and other industrial metals. Between the tariffs and relaxed environmental regulations, miners in rural Minnesota are back to work.
They have a financial incentive to reelect Trump, unlike the majority of states he lost in 2016.