2020 Presidential Election Props Updates – Debates and Winner Announcement Odds

Custom Politics Background

Key Points:
  • This week, two quotes made headlines with the potential to cause significant impacts on political betting markets that we recently covered in blog posts.
  • We published a piece titled, “2020 Presidential Debates – Politics Prop Bets,” which examined Bovada’s presidential debates betting lines, mostly focusing on the number of events that will take place. Now, Nancy Pelosi has advised Biden not to participate.
  • Another recent blog dealt with when the 2020 presidential election would finally be made official. Last week, Hillary Clinton said in an interview that she thinks the former Vice President “should not concede under any circumstances,” which suggests determining a winner will be a slow process.

I recently posted two separate political betting blogs examing a series of prop bets being offered at Bovada. The first was about the scheduled presidential debates, and whether any would be canceled or changed to be held over teleconferencing technology.

The other is about an over-under line regarding the date at which we’ll have an official winner of the 2020 general election. The betting odds discussed in both articles were impacted by quotes that made headlines this week.

I wanted to give a quick update here about what these quotes could mean for our bets and how the recent news has shifted the odds.

Nancy Pelosi Thinks Biden Should Skip Debates

Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed what seems to be the Democrats’ strategy for Joe Biden, avoiding the full slate of debates last week by telling reporters, “I don’t think that there should be any debates.”
“I do not think that the president of the United States has comported himself in a way that anybody has any association with truth, evidence, data and facts,” she continued, giving away the excuse they’ll likely use. “I wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with him nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States.”

(Then) How Many Presidential Debates Will Be Held for the 2020 Election?

  • O/U 2.5 DebatesOdds
  • Over 2.5-300
  • Under 2.5+220

In my previous article about Bovada’s presidential debate props, I predicted the following:


Based on how carefully Joe Biden’s interactions with the public are managed and how little there is to gain from repeatedly appearing on television across from the President, I can’t imagine the Democratic candidate’s handlers will allow more than one or two debates.

They’ll find a reason to blame the change of plans on Trump – either due to his behavior in the first meeting or a new controversy in October – and will probably offer to exchange one of the presidential debates with another debate between the Vice-Presidential candidates. Democrats are much more confident in Kamala Harris’s on-stage abilities.

Nancy Pelosi’s comments seem to support that strategy. The Democrats are already looking for a way to cancel or alter the debates while blaming the changes on Donald Trump and his behavior.

“I think that he’ll probably act in a way that is beneath the dignity of the presidency,” she said, pointing to the President’s “disgraceful” actions during the 2016 debates versus Hillary Clinton.

“He does that every day,” the Speaker of the House added. “But I think he will also belittle what the debates are supposed to be about.” “Now I know that the Biden campaign thinks in a different way about this.”

(Now) How Many Presidential Debates Will Be Held for the 2020 Election?

  • O/U 2.5 DebatesOdds
  • Over 2.5-230
  • Under 2.5+170

See? She makes sure to leave that little out for the Biden campaign. It’s just Nancy suggesting these things, not Joe or his team. In politics, none of this is by accident.

It’s a crucial part of the strategy because they need to protect the Democratic challenger from rumors about his mental health. Any potential changes to the debate schedule are the result of Trump’s actions, not because they’re protecting their candidate.

As such, Biden reacted to Pelosi’s comments by insisting he still wants to meet Trump face-to-face on the debate stage.

(Then) Will Any 2020 Pres. Debates Be Held by Teleconference?

  • WinnerOdds
  • Yes+220
  • No-300

(Now) Will Any 2020 Pres. Debates Be Held by Teleconference?

  • WinnerOdds
  • Yes+215
  • No-295
Transcript of Biden’s Response:

MITCHELL: What do you think about that? Would you consider not debating the President?

BIDEN: No. I am going to — as long as the commission continues down the straight and narrow as they have, I’m going to debate him. Now I know for certain that they’re going to — I’m going to try — I’m going to be a fact-checker on the floor while I am debating him, in fact.

But look, the one thing that has gone on so far is the vast majority, with notable exceptions of the news media, have been fact-checking the things they’ve been saying during the convention. And it’s just one lie after another. Lie, lie, lie, one after another.

But the debates are going to take place that have been recommended to me by a number of very competent people and know their way around, including leading Republicans, that I should not debate Trump unless there’s a fact-checker on the ground, in there in the debate, saying that’s true, that’s not true.

But I think everybody knows this man is — has a somewhat pathological tendency not to tell the truth.

There you have it; if Biden does ultimately decide to debate, every criticism will be cast as a lie. After that first meeting, that’ll be his reasoning for not participating further.

I believe this also improves the odds of any follow-up debates being held by teleconference. The Democrats will likely suggest a live fact-checker participate in the event by hanging out on the line and correcting any of Trump’s untrue comments.

This also allows Biden campaign staffers to feed their candidate answers and assist him with staying on track. Trust me; there’s no way Joe Biden meets Donald Trump on stage for three traditional presidential debates – it’s just not a possibility for the Democratic nominee anymore.

Hillary Clinton Does Not Want Joe to Concede…Ever

If you needed any more proof that this Fall’s election would be an absolute mess, look no further than Hillary Clinton encouraging Joe Biden never to concede defeat. “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually, I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton told former aide Jennifer Palmieri on Showtime.

(Then) Will the Winner of the 2020 Election Be Announced by Nov. 4 EOD?

  • Markets Odds
  • Yes EVEN
  • No -130

(Now) Will the Winner of the 2020 Election Be Announced by Nov. 4 EOD?

  • Markets Odds
  • Yes +110
  • No -145

Between the mail-in ballots, the ongoing violence in the streets between left and right-wing groups, and both candidates insisting the other will try and cheat, the odds of this presidential election having a tidy end withing 24 hours of Election Day is a pipedream.

“I think that [Republicans] have a couple of scenarios that they are looking toward. One is messing up absentee balloting. They believe that helps them so that they then get maybe a narrow advantage in the Electoral College on Election Day,” said the former Secretary of State, who lost to Trump in 2016. “So, we’ve got to have a massive legal operation, and I know the Biden campaign is working on that.”

The Democrats are preparing for “a massive legal operation.” This November’s contest is shaping up to be closer to the 2000 election than 2016. Both sides are fully prepared to challenge the results. This will happen in multiple states and likely reach the Supreme Court again.

I’m not sure there’s an outcome in which we have an official winner by the end of November 4.

States are already altering their laws to allow for late-arriving mail-in ballots. They can’t possibly have them all counted by Election Day. And with all the US Postal Service shenanigans, Democratic leaders have all the rationale they need to extend deadlines while blaming Trump for the changes.

If you’re planning to take “No” on a winner being announced by EOD November 4, you better do it in a hurry! That -145 price is only going to get steeper from here.
Will Cormier / Author

Will Cormier is a sports and political betting writer living in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. When he’s not wandering around the streets of the Arts District aimlessly, a lifetime of pessimism and paranoia has made Will perfectly suited for handicapping politics. Cormier tries to analyze current events as objectively as possible – a strategy that often enrages loyalists on both the right and the left. When he’s not covering major upcoming elections, Will enjoys writing about basketball, football, and MMA from a betting perspective. He also loves dogs, ice cream sundaes, the movie “Stomp the Yard,” and long walks on the beach.

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