2020 Presidential Debates: Biden vs. Trump Preview
The first presidential debate of 2020 will take place next Tuesday, Sept 29, at 9 p.m. ET from Cleveland, OH. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will square-off to see which septuagenarian can ultimately lead the U.S. for the next four years.
According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the debates will be conducted in a 90-minute format separated into six 15-minute segments.
Fox News anchor, Chris Wallace, moderator of the first 2020 presidential debate, has chosen the six topics: COVID-19, the Supreme Court, the Trump and Biden records, race and violence in American cities, the economy, and the integrity of the election.
In Ohio, President Donald Trump and the Republicans are strong favorites at -240. However, the Democrats might be a worthwhile bet at +175.
Ohio is a mildly important swing state. (Trump has led there, somewhat, in the polls but only just outside the margin of error.)
More important, will Biden even show up for the first presidential debate?
Will Biden Participate in the First Debate?
In the last few weeks, it was questioned in the media whether or not Biden would participate in the presidential debate. (Probably due to some incoherent virtue-signaling from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.) That seems highly implausible.
According to MyBookie, there is a near-certainty at -700 that Biden will participate in the first debate. It’s not worth the money unless you’ve got thousands of dollars to spare.
This is like one of those Wall St. bets made by a computer. With zero human emotion, Biden will be there next week.
|Biden First Debate Attendance|
|He Will Attend The First Debate||-700|
|He Won’t Attend The First Debate||+400|
Will Biden Participate in All Three Debates?
There’s a secondary prop bet on whether or not Biden will participate in all three debates. Again, this is probably just as a result of hyperbole from Democrats who simply want to deflect from talking about important issues.
The Democrats just want to run out the clock until Election Day.
Even at +325 for a ‘No’ wager—that Biden won’t participate in all three debates—I still think that’s a little too high. Let’s climb down from that political ledge.
|Biden All Debate Attendance|
|He Will Attend All Debates||-550|
|He Won’t Attend All Debates||+325|
I’d say that this is a better wager, at -550, that Biden will be there for all three presidential debates. Otherwise, what would he be campaigning for?
Somebody in the Democratic Party might say because, “We lead with our values…” as tens of millions of Americans roll their eyes.
Biden will be there for all three debates.
What About the Second and Third Debates?
Will Joe Biden participate in the second debate? The odds say ‘Yes’ at -350 and ‘No’ at +225. I see no reason to change course, here.
|Biden Second Debate Attendance|
|He Will Attend The Second Debate||-350|
|He Won’t Attend The Second Debate||+225|
The same goes for the wager of whether or not Biden will participate in the third debate. At -300 for ‘Yes’ and +200 for ‘No’, it would be nice to have a shot at a good return.
|Biden Second Debate Attendance|
|He Will Attend The Third Debate||-300|
|He Won’t Attend The Third Debate||+200|
But you won’t find that with these prop bets.
It would be too much of a political catastrophe for the Biden campaign if he missed any of the presidential debates.
So take your pick. If you’ve got the money to spare, throw it all into the pot on seeing Biden at the second and third debates.
He’s going to show up. Unless he croaks!
Stranger things have happened this election year.
Biden vs. Trump Debate Preview
Let’s discuss the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump.
CNN reported that Trump claimed to be preparing “everyday”. And Biden is “looking forward” to debating the President. “I know how to handle bullies,” Biden said.
Also, The LA Times reported that “Trump publicly insists he doesn’t rehearse for debates.” However, they said Trump has been “quietly studying videotapes of Biden’s performances” from “behind the scenes”.
While Biden, who “hasn’t held a full news conference in months”, has been practicing with his advisors back at home in Wilmington, Del.
It sounds like both contenders are more than ready to face each other next week. What do the polls have to say in the lead-up to the Biden vs. Trump debate?
Trump Trails Biden in the Polls
As Trump trails Biden in the polls, he has flip-flopped back and forth about his opinions on Biden in the media. Last month, the president also questioned whether or not Biden may have possibly used performance enhancers back in March.
How did Biden get to be so good during his debate against primary contender Bernie Sanders? He must’ve been using drugs.
Trump demanded that there should be a drug test before the first presidential debate. This wacky claim did nothing to bolster his poll numbers.
Even the Biden campaign, in addition to the polls, have become immune to the president’s outlandish off-the-cuff remarks. However, this could be a major advantage during the first debate which could change the odds somewhat.
Who is now favored to win the 2020 presidential election?
The short answer is that Biden is now favored to win the 2020 presidential election. Biden and Trump have routinely swapped places in the last few months. So, the first presidential debate could potentially alter the public, along with the polls and odds.
Biden is now favored at -130 to win the 2020 presidential election. Trump is the slight underdog at +110.
Those odds match almost perfectly with current poll numbers.
|2020 United States Presidential Election Winner|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-130|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+110|
It’s just too early to tell. These next few weeks will be the most important for the political careers of both Biden and Trump.
With a recession and an ongoing pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans, it’s no wonder that Trump is lagging behind in the polls and odds, alike.
He will have the opportunity to change that, starting next week. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see Biden as the victor for the first presidential debate. Right now, Trump has a lot of weaknesses.
And Biden’s been at this game for nearly half a century, as decrepit and “incompetent” as he might be according to Trump. Maybe this is the perfect match…
What About the Swing States?
Let’s take a look at some of the swing states, and the odds associated with each of the candidates, before next week’s debate.
First up is North Carolina, where Trump has narrowed the margin in the polls to about two points over these last few weeks. However, the Republicans are currently favored with -130 odds against the Democrats at +100.
|North Carolina Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||+130|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||-130|
This doesn’t exactly match up with the polls. It’s a tight race in North Carolina at the moment, so I don’t see this as a worthwhile bet with any decent chance for a payoff.
Let’s forget it and head north…
Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Iowa
Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are the top swing states I’d like to cover next. These states have also released poll numbers this week. Have the odds kept pace?
Well, in Wisconsin the Democrats are now favored at -150 versus the Republicans at +115. Biden has polled there this week as high as plus-9.
|Wisconsin Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-150|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+115|
Democrats are also favored in Michigan at -225 and Pennsylvania at -190. While the Republicans are considered underdogs at +160 and +145, respectively.
|Michigan Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-225|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+160|
Biden has a similar lead in the polls in Michigan, as he does in Wisconsin, but Trump has gained some solid ground in Pennsylvania.
|Pennsylvania Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-190|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+145|
In Iowa, Republicans are favored at -250 while the Democrats trail at +185. One poll released for Iowa this week had Biden tied with Trump.
|Iowa Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||+185|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||-250|
I’m ready for a breakdown.
Odds Breakdown for WI, MI, PA, and IA
As Biden and Trump have locked horns in North Carolina, their showdown is perhaps just as close in America’s Rust Belt. What swing states are worth placing a wager on at this stage in the election?
Since Biden is currently favored, we’ll have to start with Iowa. The candidates are tied here but the odds right now are decent for Democrats (+185). So a small bet for Biden could be worthwhile.
I’d be surprised though to see the odds change too much for Republicans in Iowa (-250). This is a place they should be favored. So a bet on the Dems would be a gamble, but one with a decent payoff.
The race between Biden and Trump is also tight in Pennsylvania. Although a Biden victory here wouldn’t surprise me, a Trump upset is what I’ve predicted. To me, this could be the key to Trump’s reelection campaign.
So, a wager on the Republicans as an underdog (+145) also seems worthwhile to me, even though Biden has some long withstanding political ties to PA as a Democrat (-190).
For me, Michigan is too much of a gamble. Biden has something to prove there, after 2016’s debacle, so I’d stay away from this one. Unless you’re readily willing to lose some small loot on the Republicans (+160).
The same goes for Wisconsin. It’s too close to call and no decent payoff, until at least next week’s debate.
Florida, Arizona, and Georgia
In a clear sign that the country remains heavily divided, there are still more swing states where the race is getting tighter in the polls as Election Day nears. Let’s start with Florida.
Here, Democrats are just barely favored at -120 against Republicans at +110. Recent polling has Biden favored by just three percentage points, while another poll has Trump ahead by four percent.
|Florida Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-120|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+110|
Arizona is where I figured Trump would be favored. But the Democrats are getting -180 odds to win the Copper State to the Republicans at +135. Two polls this week are split with Biden at plus-6 and Trump at plus-1.
|Arizona Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||-180|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||+135|
Surprisingly, something similar is afoot in Georgia where Republicans are favored at -220 against Democrats at +165. Two polls this week from Georgia reported a split: a tie, and Trump at plus-2.
|Georgia Swing State Odds|
|Biden Will Win The Presidency||+165|
|Trump Will Win The Presidency||-220|
Odds Breakdown for WI, MI, PA, and IA
Florida is another major piece for a potential victory in this election. And those odds are just too close for a wager.
In Arizona, it would be a total shock if the Democrats could pull off a win there. So, if Trump does well during the first debate, this might be the first place where he could be boosting his poll numbers.
I like the Republicans in Arizona (+135). To me, this is like two arm-wrestlers in the movies right before the one who is cartoonishly favored gets … wrecked.
Finally, there’s Georgia which is a strange occurrence to be a swing state in a strange election. I’m chalking this up to Biden’s political experience. His staff knows what they’re doing for sure.
If you haven’t seen anything in the aforementioned that you’d want to bet on, maybe try the Democrats to win in Georgia (+165). This would be a political upset with a great payoff.
And who knows? Maybe it’s the strongest bet I’ve mentioned so far.
I see these odds getting topsy-turvy as we head into the first presidential debate. The next few weeks are going to be wild.
Strap in. And get ready for the ride.
(As of this writing, a poll released today has Trump trailing Biden for the general election at just one percentage point…)