2020 Electoral College Betting: Can Biden Beat Trump in Crucial Swing States?

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Biden vs. Trump Speeches

As of now, the 2020 presidential election is still scheduled to take place on November 3. That day, millions of Americans will cast votes that will affect how the United States looks over the next 4 years, at least.

Donald Trump has already clinched the nomination on the Republican side, while Joe Biden looks like a near shoo-in to do the same for the Democrats. The Democratic primary is still ongoing, but Bernie Sanders has a very slim mathematical chance of catching up to Biden’s nearly-insurmountable delegate advantage at this point. It’s only a matter of time until the Senator drops out, leaving the former vice president to square off against the incumbent POTUS in the general election.

The best political betting sites on the web have been handicapping the races every step of the way. Biden’s odds have fluctuated wildly as his campaign has taken all sorts of unforeseen twists and turns, but MyBookie now has the ex-VP with +100 odds of beating Trump in November. Trump, meanwhile, sits at -140 to win a second term.

MyBookie also has prop bets on how the candidates will fare against one another in a number of crucial states. Trump pulled off a number of upsets against Hillary Clinton in several swing states back in 2016, so it will be interesting to see whether Biden will be able to turn the tide back in favor of the Democrats this time around.

Let’s roll through the variety of political betting options and try to pick the outcomes.

Arizona

  • Joe Biden (-105)
  • Donald Trump (-125)

Arizona was one of the many swing states that went to Trump nearly 4 years ago. The former reality TV star earned 48.1 percent of the vote in the Grand Canyon State in 2016, compared to 44.6 percent for Clinton. That victory gave Trump all of Arizona’s 11 electoral college votes.

The latest polling out of Arizona via RealClear Politics has Biden turning the tables on Trump later this year. The polling average at RCP has Biden polling at 48 percent among Arizonans compared to 44.2 percent for the current president. Those polls were averaged over a period from March 2 through March 15.

Republicans have taken Arizona in every presidential election since 2000. The last Democrat to win the state was Bill Clinton during his reelection campaign back in 1996. Trump won in 2016 by a smaller margin than the likes of Mitt Romney and John McCain in previous elections, which is worth noting.

I would guess that Trump will be able to hold onto Arizona in 2020, but it’s far from a certainty. I’ll side with Trump here, but taking the better value on Biden at -105 is perfectly reasonable.

Arizona Pick:Trump (-125)

Colorado

  • Joe Biden (-455)
  • Donald Trump (+305)

Clinton topped Trump by about 5 percent (48.2 percent to 43.3 percent) back in 2016, which means Colorado has been blue in each of the last 3 presidential elections. The last Republican to win Colorado was George H. Bush back in ’04.

Polling numbers for Colorado are harder to find than they were for Arizona, but Colorado seems to be trending leftward. The state was the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana, and sports betting was recently legalized.  Cory Gardner is one of the Republican Senators considered to be on the hot seat this fall, so there is a decent chance that the Centennial State will enter 2021 with 2 sitting Democratic Senators in addition to a Democratic Governor.

Colorado will go to Biden, too. The value on the -455 odds is quite limited, though.

Colorado Pick:Biden (-455)

Florida

  • Joe Biden (+125)
  • Donald Trump (-165)

Winning Florida was one of Trump’s most important victories back in 2016. It seems as though the state is always among the most hotly-contested during election season, and 2020 should be no different. Trump took Florida’s 29 electoral college votes in ’16 thanks to a slim margin of victory of just 1.2 percent.

Republicans have taken Florida in 3 of the last 5 presidential elections, with Barack Obama having been the only Democrat to win the state in that span. Winning Florida is typically an indicator of success in the general election. The winner of Florida has won
every election since 1964
.

Trump recently made Florida his permanent residence, and he has the support of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The latest polling average from RealClear Politics gives Trump a 1.3 percent edge on Biden. Trump has 49 percent support, while Biden is at 47.3 percent. Florida is home to a sizable elderly population, and older Americans generally vote Republican.

This will likely be a close race once again, but it’s hard to go against Trump here. Florida voted Republicans into office in 14 of the 23 congressional districts that were up for grabs in the 2018 midterms, and both recent Senate races and the Governorship have gone red, as well.

Florida Pick:Trump (-165)

Georgia

  • Joe Biden (+190)
  • Donald Trump (-260)

Trump took Georgia by a relatively comfortable 5.1-point margin in 2016 by accruing 50.4 percent of the total vote compared to 45.3 percent for Clinton. Georgia has been something of a safe haven for Republicans over the years, and the only Democrats to have succeeded there in presidential elections have been from southern states. Jimmy Carter, a native Georgian, won the state in 1976 and 1980, while Arkansan Bill Clinton won it in 1992. He was beaten by Bob Dole in 1996, however.

Republicans have won Georgia in every election since Clinton’s last victory. The latest polling gives Trump a sizable 51-43.5 percent lead over Biden at RCP, as well.

Georgia Pick:Trump (-260)

Iowa

  • Joe Biden (+245)
  • Donald Trump (-350)

Iowa is yet another state Trump won in 2016, but Democrats have fared surprisingly well there in recent years. Prior to Trump’s win last time around, Democrats had won Iowa in every election but one (2004) from 1988 until 2012.

Trump claimed Iowa by a comfortable margin of 51.1 percent to 41.7 percent last time around. That marked a 15-point swing after Obama beat Romney by 5.8 percent in 2012. Iowa’s polling seems to be leaning toward Trump once again, but Biden appears to fare better among voters in the Hawkeye State than Clinton did.

I don’t think betting on Biden at +245 here is a bad play. I really think the message of former VP can resonate with enough voters to make this a close race, so I don’t mind placing a small wager on Biden at +245 to pull the upset here.

Iowa Pick:Biden (+245)

Michigan

  • Joe Biden (-190)
  • Donald Trump (+145)

Michigan swung for the Republican candidate in 2016, which played a massive role in springing Trump into the White House. Trump accrued 2,279,543 votes to Clinton’s 2,268,839 votes in 2016, which is a tiny margin of just 0.2 percent. That was the smallest margin of victory for either candidate in the entire election.

Clinton was confident in her chances of winning the election because Michigan was one of many states that had reliably voted Democrat over the years. The Dems prevailed in Michigan in every election from 1992 until 2012.

I wouldn’t bet on Trump going back-to-back. Biden has an edge in RCP polling of 46.2 percent to just 41.8 percent for the incumbent. Biden also hammered Sanders in the Michigan primary in March, winning nearly 53 percent of the vote to just 36.4 percent for Bernie.

Michigan Pick:Biden (-190)

Minnesota

  • Joe Biden (-360)
  • Donald Trump (+250)

Minnesota has voted in favor of Democrats in every presidential election since 1976. Clinton beat Trump by a surprisingly slim margin of just 1.5 percent back in 2016, but pollsters generally overrated Hillary’s population among the electorate heading into that election. She underperformed in just about every swing state.

However, Minnesota is yet another state that voted heavily in favor of Biden in the primary, which bodes well for his chances of enjoying similar success in the general. Biden holds a 12-point lead over Trump in the latest RCP polling average, as well.

Minnesota Pick:Biden (-360)

Nevada

  • Joe Biden (-525)
  • Donald Trump (+340)

Nevada is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. That surge in population growth has helped the Democrats in recent elections. The Dems have won Nevada 3 times in a row, with Clinton topping Trump 48 percent to 46 percent last time around.

Nevada swung in Sanders’ favor in the Democratic contest, but Biden shouldn’t have much problem converting most of those Bernie supporters in the general election. Biden holds a 4-point lead over the Donald in RCP’s most recent polling. Once again, Biden looks like the clear choice.

Nevada Pick:Biden (-525)

New Hampshire

  • Joe Biden (-210)
  • Donald Trump (+155)

Clinton garnered all of New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes with her 0.3 percent margin of victory in ’16. Democrats have won the state in 6 of the last 7 elections, so I wouldn’t think yet another lackluster performance from Clinton should necessarily serve as a harbinger of things to come for the Dems here in 2020.

Biden hailing from nearby Delaware won’t hurt his chances with local voters, either. This looks like another easy bet in Biden’s favor.

New Hampshire Pick:Biden (-210)

North Carolina

  • Joe Biden (+110)
  • Donald Trump (-145)

Trump won just about every state he needed to win in 2016, North Carolina included. It marked the second time in a row that Republicans had claimed NC. Obama’s triumph in 2008 is still the only Democratic victory in the state since 1976, so it has served as a Republican stronghold over the last few decades.

Obama’s victory over McCain in 2008 was by an incredibly small margin (14,000 votes). Many of those same voters that voted for Obama figure to vote for his former VP, and Biden is actually leading Trump in the latest RCP averages. Biden was up 48.7 percent to 45.3 percent for the incumbent in the recent batch.

If you want some plus-money value, Biden at +110 makes for a compelling case. It’s tough to have too much confidence considering North Carolina’s long history of leaning to the right, but Trump’s struggling popularity numbers could cost him dearly.

North Carolina Pick:Biden (+110)

Ohio

  • Joe Biden (+125)
  • Donald Trump (-165)

Ohio is typically one of the more competitive states in general elections, but Trump earned something of a blowout win in 2016. Trump won 51.3 percent of the vote compared to just 43.2 percent for the former First Lady. That was the biggest margin of victory for any presidential candidate in Ohio since 1988.

Like Florida, the winner of Ohio typically goes on to win the election. The winner of Ohio has gone on to win the election in every election but one (1960) since 1944. Biden currently has a 4-point edge over Trump in the most updated RCP averages.

As is the case with North Carolina, it’s tempting to take the plus-money you can get on Biden considering Ohio is expected to be a toss-up. Trump’s -165 odds are a bit aggressive, in my opinion.

Ohio Pick:Biden (+125)

Pennsylvania

  • Joe Biden (-170)
  • Donald Trump (+130)

Trump halted a streak of 6 straight wins for Democrats in the Keystone State with a narrow win over Clinton 4 years ago. Trump flipped PA by toppling Clinton by just 0.7 percent in what was one of many major upsets that fateful November night.

Biden is a -170 favorite to claim Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes in 2020, with Trump checking in as a +130 underdog. Pennsylvania evenly split its 18 congressional districts in the 2018 midterms, and they have one Senator from each party. Governor Tom Wolf is a Democrat.

I’d lean Biden here if the odds were even, but I like that you can get Trump as a +130 ‘dog. I wouldn’t be overly confident, but you can throw a few bucks on the current POTUS given the plus-money number here.

Pennsylvania Pick:Trump (+130)

Texas

  • Joe Biden (+275)
  • Donald Trump (-400)

Texas may be starting to shift, but this has been a Republican stronghold forever. Trump trounced Clinton in the Lone Star State by 9 points in 2016, and Texas has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1976.

Democrats may be gaining ground here, but Trump losing Texas in 2020 would be one of the biggest shockers of all.

Texas Pick:Trump (-400)

Virginia

  • Joe Biden (-650)
  • Donald Trump (+400)

Republicans enjoyed a long run of dominance in Virginia from 1972 until 2004, but Obama flipped the script in 2008. Democrats have now taken Virginia 3 times in a row, with Clinton beating Trump by about 5.5 percent 4 years ago.

The latest RCP numbers give Biden an edge of 47.3 percent to just 41 percent for Trump.

Virginia Pick:Biden (-650)

Wisconsin

  • Joe Biden (-130)
  • Donald Trump (+100)

Losing Wisconsin in 2016 was one of the fatal blows to Clinton. Trump prevailed 47.2 percent to 46.5 percent, and those 10 electoral votes helped pave the way for Trump’s path to victory.

Trump ended the Democrats’ streak of winning Wisconsin 7 times in a row in ’16. A grand total of zero polls predicted Trump would win Wisconsin last time, which is part of the reason Clinton infamously declined to even campaign there. Needless to say, Biden won’t make the same mistake this year. There’s a reason the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee later this summer.

I expect Biden to get the Dems back on track here in November.

Wisconsin Pick:Biden (-130)
Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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