The results of polls are notoriously inaccurate. While these are meant to collect data and provide an reasonable idea of how the public will vote, they rarely deliver, due to their small sample size and the frequently unreliable methodology that’s applied.
This was the case during the 2016 presidential election race, when polls throughout showed that Hillary Clinton was set to become the first female president of the United States, before she was dramatically pipped at the post by Donald Trump.
Now, polls indicate that it’s Joe Biden who’s on track for White House victory, but can they be trusted this time around? If the bookmakers’ predictions are anything to go by, the answer may well be yes.
The Bookmakers are Betting on Biden
For those who’ve followed the US presidential race in recent months or have an interest in gambling, it will come as no surprise to learn that, if you wanted to bet on politics with Betfair, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked in Joe Biden’s favour.
With Obama’s former vice president enjoying odds of 4/9 compared to Trump’s 15/8, it seems bookmakers are confident of his victory, but can their opinion be trusted? The answer is yes, and that’s because of the way such businesses operate.
While it’s clear that no one can call the outcome of an election with absolute certainty, bookmakers’ odds are based on much more than what an individual says when put on the spot during a poll. Nor do they use only a small sample of the population to formulate their predictions.
Rather, bookmakers rely primarily on probability: working out the likely outcome of an event based on statistics, form, history, and the expert insights of those who really understand the subject. This means that, in many cases, they’re notably more accurate than the opinion polls published before an election.
What Makes Biden a Strong Candidate for Victory
So what exactly is it that convinces political pundits and bookmakers that Biden is the most likely candidate for taking a seat in the White House? The factors involved are myriad, although among the most pertinent is not Biden’s own excellence but Trump’s failings.
Aside from his arguable mismanagement of one of the greatest public health crises in recent history, there have also been some highly damaging policies implemented under his leadership. These have contributed to a variety of issues including growing carbon emissions, leading to outrage from his detractors.
Biden, on the other hand, is a much less controversial candidate: a man who’s spent most of his adult life in elective office, is a proven negotiator, and foreign policy expert. Having held the vice presidency during Obama’s tenure, he has shown himself to be far less divisive than his presidential rival.
Not only this, but Biden was a key figure in designing and implementing the 2009 economic recovery package – a feat that will likely need repeating in the near future. This, along with his overwhelming support from black and minority voters, all suggests that he has the qualities needed to heal a divided country.
Given these factors, it very much seems to us that the bookmakers have it right, and Biden will indeed be assuming office before the end of 2020.