2024 Election Odds Ahead Of First Biden Vs. Trump Presidential Debate Thursday Night

Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
2024 Election odds

For the first time in American history, a Presidential debate between the two major party nominees will be held in June. Having candidates this early in the year who are both the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees allows it. CNN is hosting the debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. The impact of the debate on 2024 election odds could be significant. With those odds in mind, let’s look at the current state of play in the Presidential race.

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2024 Presidential Election Odds

ZOOM: MARKET:

NAME ODDS PROBABILITY
Donald Trump -127 56%
Kamala Harris +113 47%
Robert Kennedy Jr. +3233 3%
Gavin Newsom +4900 2%
Joe Biden +9900 1%
Nikki Haley +9900 1%
Pete Buttigieg +9900 1%
Ron DeSantis +9900 1%
Tim Scott +9900 1%
Vivek Ramaswamy +9900 1%

Implied probabilities are calculated using data offered by PredictIt.
Last Updated: 2024-07-24 13:00:02 PDT.

Biden’s odds have gotten better in recent weeks. His implied probability has jumped four points in the month leading up to debate day. That rose and fell in the immediate aftermath of Trump being convicted on felony campaign finance and fraud charges in New York. The release of a FOX poll raised Biden’s odds, as did him taking the (ever so tiny) lead in 538’s national polling average.

Trump has mostly receded from the news in the wake of his conviction. Some early polling showed limited damage to his support. That said, a New York Times poll that re-contacted previous poll respondents showed Trump bleeding support with young voters, racial minorities, and those who are less likely to vote – the three groups Trump is doing best with in the polls, compared to the baseline of 2020 results.

As of right now, the odds are a tossup. It’s more that they’re a cop out, because there’s little evidence the election actually is lineball.

The polls point to Trump having a small but steady lead in states that add up to more than 270 Electoral College votes. Those who think Joe Biden will win either believe the polls are wrong or that they will change by November. The strong and strengthening economy, public concern about abortion, receding headlines about Gaza, and the nature of historically strong 2022 midterms reassure Democrats.

Your opinion of 2024 election odds does not come down to the interpretation of common, agreed-upon data. It’s about what factors you believe even matter.

Biden supporters, many of whom were polling’s biggest supporters in 2020, now regard it suspiciously. Trump supporters now treat pollsters they’ve long attacked as gospel. That’s why the odds always end up back to roughly equivalence – there’s always a way to make a case for the side you want.

Potential Impact of First Debate

The reason the Biden campaign proposed a June debate was simple. Biden, and Democrats generally, now do better amongst voters who are paying the most attention to politics and who are likeliest to vote. The thinking in Biden World is simple; if voters who are paying attention support us more, an early debate to clarify voters’ minds in the summer will raise their numbers. They think the early debate will cause some of the younger minorities who are flocking to Trump (according to the polls) to realize that they have to vote for Biden.

Whether that theory is correct is completely unclear. That said, it’s at least plausible in that attacking Republicans as extremists to mask concerns about Biden literally won them a net gain in the Senate in 2022. Polls solely of voters of color and of young voters also show that Donald Trump’s favorables aren’t much better than they were in 2020.

Voters don’t like either option, especially given both candidates are above the age of 78. It’s perhaps unsurprising Gen Z is less than enthused with their options.

Age Concerns?

One or both of the candidates having a senility issue is a huge concern. With the way clips proliferate on social media, Biden’s campaign is concerned about the possibilities. The decision to push for an early debate, and only two total debates, is a sign they’re fine with reducing the impact of a potential age issue.

That said, Trump’s age and mental cognition is also a concern. Trump’s barely been heard from on network or cable news in extended formats since January 6th, 2021. The cable networks that lean liberal refuse to show his rambling, incoherent talk anymore, scared that their decision to air his rallies in 2016 led to his victory. Prolonged exposure to Trump’s worsening incoherence might not be great for the Trump campaign.

The other big issue on the debate stage will be abortion. This week marks the two-year anniversary of Dobbs, and Biden will surely attack Trump on his position on supporting a National Abortion ban. Given key battleground states like Michigan and Wisconsin have voted in recent years to protect abortion access, either directly or indirectly, Biden will hope to recreate Democrats’ 2022 playbook to get a polling bump.

Prospects

Biden’s polling recovery in March started after a better-than-expected State Of The Union. The last setpiece of the campaign before this, Biden beat expectations partially because Republicans kept lowering them. Trump and Co. have done the same thing by implying he’s a senile old man who won’t be able to make it through a debate. If Biden is just fine, that’s a win against lowered expectations.

Trump has mostly been terrible at these, going 0-5 in the instant post-debate winner snap polls against Hillary Clinton and Biden.

Now, he won in 2016 and nearly won in 2020, so it’s not like debates actually hurt him. But it’s still not great that Trump isn’t good at the rigid format of a debate.

If you’re looking to bet Biden in 2024 election odds, I’d recommend doing it before Thursday. It’s likely Biden will be declared the debate’s winner, and that will move the market.

If you’re looking to bet Trump, wait until the Biden price surge gets you better odds. 

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