Primary Guide

Using betting markets to track the 2020 election


A public service from

Research has shown that probabilities derived from betting markets are more accurate than polls at predicting political outcomes. For the purpose of convenience, this site lists estimated probabilities of each candidate winning a major party nomination, the general election, and the general election conditional on winning a major party nomination. It uses data from Betfair to perform the estimation.

Democrats

Name Nomination General Conditional*


Republicans

Name Nomination General Conditional*

Text in each table cell is shaded in proportion to a measure of liquidity in each market. Darker cells imply more confidence in the estimate.

Columns are sortable by clicking on the header cells.

* These cells represent the probability of the candidate winning the general election conditional upon winning the nomination. It is an estimate derived from the other estimates, not a standalone market. The accuracy of conditional probability estimates is highly sensitive to the liquidity in the other markets. Please use caution when interpreting these estimates.

Frequently asked questions

Why did you make this site?

Primarily for my own convenience. I would like to be informed about the state of the presidential election without having to take the distasteful step of closely following political news. This site functions as a simple one-step way for me to quickly get up to speed without any political spin.

Why are political betting markets banned in the United States?

That's a good question. For an overview of the regulatory situation surrounding betting markets and suggestions for reform, I recommend this paper by Adam Ozimek.

Did the legal status of political betting markets in the US hamper your efforts to build this site?

Why, in fact it did. Betfair is a betting exchange located in the United Kingdom. In order to comply with US law, it does not allow users to log in to its site from the United States. In order to access data from Betfair through a programmatic interface, one must be logged in. To meet Betfair's requirements and stay well clear of US law, the server processing data from Betfair is located in the European Union.

How can I help defray the costs of running this site?

You can donate via cryptocurrency below.