Dem 51
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GOP 49
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A Third Opinion on the 2024 Elections

Last weekend, a Siena College poll shocked Democrats by announcing that Donald Trump was leading Joe Biden in five of the top six swing states. Then on Tuesday, a second opinion showed up in the form of Democrats doing exceptionally well in elections in multiple states. So it is tied, 1-1. As a tiebreaker, we can go to betting markets. These are different from polling. A pollster basically asks: "Who do you want to win?" A betting market asks: "Who do you think will win?" A person may fervently want X to win but believes that isn't going to happen and Y will actually win. Most people who plan to vote for Jill Stein or Cornel West probably fall into this category. This results in betting markets being fundamentally different from polls. Also, since real money is at stake, people are far less likely to lie in a betting market than to a pollster, just to make a point.

There are several betting markets out there. The Iowa Electronic Markets is something of an academic experiment to collect data more than anything else. PredictIt is run by Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand but with an office in D.C. The FTC is trying to shut it down. A third one is the Irish bookie Paddy Power, which is a commercial gambling company in Dublin that takes bets on sports events, politics, and much more. Its core business is taking bets.

Right now, Paddy Power's odds imply that there is a 40% chance of Donald Trump being elected president, a 35% chance of Joe Biden being elected president, a 12% chance of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) winning, a 7% chance of Nikki Haley getting to sit in the big chair, a 5% chance for Ron DeSantis, and even smaller chances for a few others, down to 0.2% for Jeff Bezos. The results never add to 100% due to the vigorish (the bookie's take).

Still, in the minds of the bettors, Trump is the slight favorite right now. Of course, the odds change all the time as new information comes out and new bets are placed (all with the bettors' real money). (V)

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