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The United States is the oldest democracy on earth. In fact, the US is the only country in the world that has had an active democracy for at least 200 years. Having the ability to choose your leaders is a core tenet of democracy, which is why the US has some sort of election every single year.

Nowadays, the best online betting sites in the industry take bets on the US presidential election. Most experts believe the 2020 presidential election will set all sorts of new records for political betting all over the world. The following US presidential election betting sites have you covered when it comes to wagering on the 2020 US election.

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George Washington won a second term in 1792 after being elected as the country’s first president in 1789. A presidential election has taken place every four years, without exception, since Washington’s second victory in 1792.

Betting on politics certainly hasn’t been around for quite as long, but betting interest has exploded over the past handful of years. You can attribute the advent of the internet and the US Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down the federal ban on sports betting to the surge in gambling interest among Americans.

However, US politics betting has grown in popularity since Donald Trump’s unforeseen triumph in the 2016 presidential election over the heavily-favored Hillary Clinton. Political betting markets have existed in the United Kingdom for years, but offshore providers are now giving Americans the chance to get in on the action, too.

US Presidential Election Basics

When Is the United States Presidential Election?

The American presidential election takes place on the first Tuesday in November every four years. The aforementioned 2016 election, in which Trump toppled Clinton, went down on November 6th of that year. The 2020 edition is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3rd.

Events Leading up to the Election

Before the election actually takes place, the political parties have to select their respective candidates. The United States doesn’t explicitly run with a two-party system, but the vast majority of governmental power is currently shared between two parties. Those would be the Republican and Democratic parties.

The vast majority of presidents in the modern era have run for a second term in office. Barring an unforeseen event like an untimely death or a resignation, the sitting president will almost always run for a second term. If a president wishes to run for another term, their political party will almost always unite around them. Each of the last three presidents before Trump—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—were successfully re-elected after their first terms.

The nomination process involves states holding primaries or caucuses in order to determine which candidates will be awarded a certain number of delegates. On the Democratic side, candidates vying for the 2020 nomination had to reach a threshold of at least 1,991 delegates in order to clinch the nomination. Former vice president Joe Biden officially hit that benchmark in June. These nominations processes provide excellent betting opportunities for those looking to bet real money on politics.

Each party will hold its convention in the summer leading up to Election Day. That is the event at which party delegates officially congregate to formally nominate their presidential and vice-presidential nominees. The conventions are essentially huge rallies designed to drum up support for the candidates ahead of the election in the fall.

Electoral College

While some have said that a simple popular vote should determine the outcome of an election, that isn’t the case when it comes to who wins the presidency. While congressional, gubernatorial, and mayoral elections are determined by popular vote, the presidency uses the Electoral College system, which has been in place since the late 1700s.

Each state has a distinct number of electoral votes, based on the size of that state’s population. For example, California, the nation’s most populous state, will have 55 electoral votes in the 2020 election. The least populous states, including Alaska, Montana, both Dakotas, and Vermont, have just three electoral votes. Washington DC has three as well.

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Each state will count its popular vote totals on Election Day. In 48 states, the candidate that receives the majority of the votes will receive all of the state’s electoral votes. Maine and Nebraska are the only exceptions.

There are a total of 538 Electoral College votes, which means one candidate has to accrue at least 270 to clinch the presidential election. In 2016, Trump won 306 electoral votes compared to 227 for Clinton. This is despite the fact that Clinton garnered 65.8 million votes nationwide, while Trump received 62.9 million. Trump managed to eke out a majority in a number of important swing states, including Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which ultimately paved his path to victory via the Electoral College.

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In all, five candidates have won the popular vote and lost the election. Clinton joined Andrew Jackson (1824), Samuel Tilden (1876), Grover Cleveland (1888), and Al Gore (2000) on that list four years ago.

What Is the Democratic Party?

The modern Democratic Party was founded in the late 1820s, which makes it the world’s oldest active political party. The party initially supported things like limited government and slavery, but it has since embraced a much more progressive, liberal platform. The party essentially changed when Franklin D. Roosevelt formed the New Deal coalition in the late 1930 to early 1940s.

The modern Democratic Party advocates for social and economic equality for United States of America citizens. Support for environmental protection, universal healthcare, more affordable college tuition, LGBT rights, stricter gun law enforcement, and the legalization of marijuana have become mainstream tenets of the Democratic party’s ideology in recent years.

As of the summer of 2020, the Democratic Party holds a majority in the US House of Representatives, though the Republican Party holds the White House and the US Senate. Democrats have won seven of the last 15 presidential elections dating back to John F. Kennedy’s victory in 1960. The most recent Democratic president was Barack Obama, who served from 2008 until 2016.

What Is the Republican Party?

The Republican Party, sometimes referred to as the Grand Old Party (GOP), was founded in 1854. The first iteration of the Republican Party staunchly opposed slavery and operated on a classically liberal platform. Needless to say, the two parties have changed their ideologies considerably over the years.

The Republican Party’s shift to the right started around 1913, and the core base moved to the southern parts of the US, following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The party currently embraces conservatism and advocates for lower taxes, expanded gun rights, restrictions on abortion and immigration, and increased military spending.

There have been 19 Republican presidents in all, including Donald Trump. That is the most presidents to ever come from a single United States political party. As mentioned, Republicans currently control the executive branch as well as the US Senate. Republicans also account for a majority of state governorships, as well as five of the nine sitting justices of the United States Supreme Court.

Types of US Presidential Election Bets

Futures Bets

The most common type of political bet is a futures bet on the eventual outcome. Trump’s win over Clinton in 2016 showed that there is still a potential edge to be found in the US presidential election betting odds, which is a big reason why popularity in political betting has surged in the years since. On Election Day of 2016, some UK oddsmakers had Trump as a +400 underdog to win the presidency.

Presidential betting odds are constantly shifting. The political news cycle has never been more unpredictable than it is today, and certain events can cause the odds to change considerably in a short period of time.

For Example

Some sites that offer US presidential election odds had Trump as high as around a -180 favorite to win re-election as recently as March.

Now, the betting sites with odds on the US presidential election updated their odds quite a bit. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has since emerged as a minus-money favorite at betting sites all over the UK. Those that placed a futures bet at Trump when he was at -180 will likely be jumping all over each other to place bets on the new +110 odds.

While the election will almost surely come down to Trump or Biden, US political betting sites don’t want to take any chances. Anything can happen in politics, so some candidates that have already ended their campaigns may still be listed with betting odds, just in case something unforeseen arises between now and November. Here is an example of how presidential election futures odds look at US election betting sites.

Odds to Win the 2020 US Presidential Election
US Election Futures Bet
Donald Trump
+110
Mike Pence
+6000

Moneyline US Presidential Election Bets

Political bets are essentially moneyline bets. If you’re familiar with sports betting, you’re familiar with the moneyline. A moneyline bet is essentially a wager on one outcome vs. another. An example of how a political moneyline wager at United States presidential election betting sites will look is as follows.

Moneyline

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-125
+105

United States Election Prop Bets

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When most Americans think of prop bets, they probably think of the Super Bowl. A prop bet is a wager placed on a random occurrence during a game or an event that isn’t necessarily directly tied to the outcome. Most football betting sites offer odds on a variety of things that have nothing to do with the actual football game for the Super Bowl every year.

Prop bets have since made their way into the world of political betting. The increased popularity of US presidential election prop betting is yet another thing we can attribute to Trump’s shocking win in 2016. The 45th president has had quite the eventful first term. US election betting sites have been happy to keep tabs on the latest happenings and offer bettors the chance to cash in on his antics.

Trump likes to voice his various opinions on Twitter, regardless of how controversial they may be. While a normal person may get booted from the platform for saying some of the things POTUS has said over the years, Twitter has resisted the urge to kick the sitting president out. Some sites have even put odds on Trump’s chances of getting banned from his favorite social media platform.

Other Trump-specific props include whether he’ll be removed from office before the end of his first term, whether he will appoint a new vice president before the 2020 election, or whether he will tweet about NFL players kneeling during the pregame national anthem.

Mistakes to Avoid When Betting on the US Presidential Election

Eliminate Personal Bias Before Political Betting

Fandom is something that can limit a sports bettor’s chances of turning a profit. The same can be said for political betting. Almost everyone has their own political opinions, and many choose to let other people know about them. While that’s all fine and dandy, you’re not likely to become a successful political bettor if you’re going to let your personal feelings stand in the way of making the right bet.

You shouldn’t bail on your personal political beliefs just to bet, of course. Just know that whatever cause you support isn’t necessarily going to be the right bet to place. Betting on your favorite sports team to win every game likely won’t pan out the way you’d like it to.

Don’t Overlook Population Trends

Each of the three most recent presidents winning a second term doesn’t mean that Trump will do the same in 2020. While that’s a trend that doesn’t mean much, this isn’t to say that some trends can’t help you make educated guesses with regard to your presidential election bets. The way state populations are shifting can give you a glimpse into how things may play out in the future.

Big cities with large populations tend to vote Democrat these days, while voters in more rural areas tend to lean Republican. Republicans also tend to attract a majority of white voters, while non-white voters have inched toward the Democratic side.

With the way populations are changing, some believe states like Georgia and Texas that have long track records of voting Republican in presidential elections may swing toward the Democrats. Keeping an eye on trends like these can help you evaluate political betting odds.

US Presidential Election Betting FAQ

Is It Legal to Bet on US Politics Online?

While more and more states are always voting to legalize online betting, it is still illegal for American betting operators to take bets on US politics. However, there is no restriction in place that applies to betting sites that operate overseas or offshore. American political betting has been a big industry in the UK for years, and offshore operators have expanded their political coverage considerably, as well.

While Americans can’t place political bets at land-based sportsbooks in the US, it is not difficult for them to find where to bet on the US presidential election online.

Is It Safe to Bet on the USA Presidential Election Online?

Some US politics betting sites are safer than others. There are some seedy operators out there that don’t have your best interests in mind. Considering you’re risking your own money to bet on the US presidential election online, it’s of the utmost importance that you have the confidence that you’re doing so at a safe site.

All of the political betting sites we recommend check all necessary boxes when it comes to safety and security. Read our rankings of the safest sites on the web for more info about how you can bet online safely.

When Can I Bet on the Presidential Election?

While the presidential election takes place every four years, you don’t have to wait four years between placing bets. As mentioned, the best US political betting sites in the industry are always keeping tabs on the latest developments in the world of politics and updating their betting odds accordingly. While you may have to wait a while for your futures bets to pay out, you can pass the time by taking a shot on certain politics-related prop bets.

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