In late January, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign was dead in the water. He had no momentum. No buzz. That all belonged to Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
Biden’s campaign was even more dead in February. Fourth and fifth place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, will do that to you.
Then in March, South Carolina happened.
Today, Joe Biden is the overwhelming 2020 presidential election odds favorite.
Biden is 77 years old. We can’t call him “kid.” So maybe he’s the “Comeback Grandpa?”
This kind of rise is historic. As we’ve written previously, no candidate has ever finished outside the top 2 in Iowa AND New Hampshire and gone on to win his or her party’s nomination.
Not only is Biden winning his nomination, he appears on track to trounce President Donald Trump in the November general election.
Joe Biden 2020 presidential election odds
Biden is now priced as the odds-on favorite on most sites. You can find him listed from -137 to -170.
Trump is now around +150. He has not been an underdog like this throughout the entire election lifecycle.
How did we get here?
This isn’t complicated. Trump’s disapproval marks are at all-time highs. Many believe that he has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis. The economic downturn that resulted because of COVID-19 has obviously not helped matters and more recently there was great racial tension in the US.
If you need a more basic and visual representation of how the tides have turned on Trump, look no further than the Drudge Report front page. Once very pro-Trump, the immensely popular conservative site is now a bulletin board of negative takes on The Donald.
The “elect-ability” argument has really proven to be true for Biden. He’s viewed as a perfectly vanilla candidate. In an election cycle dominated by its partisanship, Biden is just inoffensive enough to appeal to voters who are burned out on acrimony.
Can Trump turn the tide?
From a historical polling perspective, Biden could actually be a heavier favorite among oddsmakers.
We don’t know how COVID-19 will yet impact party conventions — but we should expect the typical bounce to be more muted. For a candidate who elicits strong emotions like Trump, this doesn’t help his dwindling re-election chances.
Ultimately, Trump’s best hope now is if COVID-19 infection numbers reduce and the economy recovers. Otherwise, Biden’s lead is becoming too much to overcome.
2020 US election odds (as of Tuesday, July 7)
|Joe Biden (D)||-225||-225|
|Donald Trump (R)||+188||+150|
|Kamala Harris (D)||N/A||+10000|
|Mike Pence (R)||N/A||+20000|