Yes, you can bet on presidential elections. And gamblers betting on the election have a pretty good history of predicting the next US president. Better than the bulk of polls and surveys, in fact.
Experts say part of the accuracy differential lies in the phrasing. While polls ask you “who you are going to vote for”, a question that is one part emotional response and another part assumptive that a person is actually going to vote, placing a bet is something else entirely.
Despite the popular media depictions of gamblers relying on such tropes as lucky numbers and rabbit’s foot, gamblers aren’t just hot heads willing to put their money where their political party mouths are; instead, gamblers do the research. In the political world, that means those betting on elections will study far more than polling data, but the debates, platforms, issues, crises, scandals, world events, and more. Something any serious voter ought to do, right?
If you’re going to trust those who are betting dollars on the 2016 US presidential election — and I mean the gamblers, not those who donate to candidates, Super PACs, etc. or the politicos who draw salaries from, or otherwise become financially enriched by, political campaigns — there are some potential insights into current American politics to be found.
You are currently able to bet on the following political outcomes at Bovada:
* Who will be the next President of the United States of America
* Which party will win the 2016 presidential election
* The gender of the winner of the 2016 presidential election
The information at this time is fuzzy, of course.
For one, it’s early, and many of the supposed contenders have not even officially announced their intentions. Some on the list, like Elizabeth Warren, have vehemently denied running for the presidential office — and George Clooney seems to be just another dream entry.
But the info is also a bit unclear because we aren’t getting a polling survey here with easy to read respondent answers as percentages.
With a survey or poll, the percentage is based on the number of participants who responded to all the questions. However, when we are looking at the bets placed data, the pool of gamblers may only bet in one area. For example, they may only answer the question “Which political party will win the presidential seat?” and not bet on (participate in) any of the other questions. The result is some contradictory answers.
According to those placing bets at Bovada, Hillary Clinton is going to be the next United States President. But she is not, as the gamblers predict, a member of the Republican party.
[If you are not familiar with that sort of plus or minus odds system shown here, it’s called “moneyline odds” or “American odds.” If that sounds confusing, simply note that positive or plus odds are better than negative or minus ones. Using an odds calculator, you can see how this works:
It may be heartening, as a woman, to see that gamblers are currently predicting Hillary Clinton will be our next (and first female) president — and others betting that if not Hillary, a woman will become president in 2016. But there are others predicting contradictory outcomes. Who can say what’s in the cards yet?
Image Credits: Vintage mechanical die-cut Valentine’s Day card via Fair Oaks Antiques. (It totally looks like the Democratic Party’s donkey playing cards!)