Why Trump to Win is a “Good” Bet — from a Gambling Perspective
Right now, PredictIt.org is offering everybody a unique opportunity to win big in November.
Because the odds appear to favor Biden by a wide margin, you will get a large return on your money if Trump actually wins.
Whether you’re going to vote for Trump or Biden, you can make money betting on Trump’s reelection.
This situation is what’s technically known as a “good” bet.
There’re Three Kinds of Bets: Bad, Neutral and Good
Bad bets are when the payoff if you win is too low. Say you’re flipping a coin, where the odds are even, 50–50. When you lose, you pay $1, but when you win you receive only 50 cents. Obviously, a good way to go broke. Almost every casino game bet is a bad bet.
With neutral bets, the payoff is equal to the odds. When you’re flipping a coin, you pay $1 when you lose and receive $1 when you win.
Neutral bets are financially pointless because in the long run you go nowhere. Only children bet on coin flips more than a few times without becoming bored.
A good bet is one where you are paid more than the odds you are beating.
The trick to making money is to find and leverage good bets.
Unfortunately, evaluating the odds of life outside the walls of casinos is neither simple nor easy.
Life is Full of Undefined Risks
Much of life consists of thousands — millions — of variables. We can’t control them — and don’t even perceive most of them. And they interact in countless unpredictable ways.
Therefore, in many situations, it’s impossible to understand the “true odds” we face.
We are forced to “place bets” on our careers, businesses and relationships without knowing whether they’re good or bad bets.
We don’t like this uncertainty, so many people carry out “due diligence” research.
In the field of investing, Warren Buffett is a master of finding “good bets.” Those are companies with stock prices that are cheap compared to the chances of those companies becoming or remaining profitable.
In the realm of elections, there’s a large industry of pollsters seeking to predict the results by asking people who they plan to vote on.
The Perils of Polling
As we know from 2016, these poll results are fallible — for many reasons.
The United States is so large and diverse geographically, racially, culturally and so on, it’s extremely difficult — and expensive — to obtain statistically valid samples from every distinct subcategory.
The subcategories have to be meaningfully defined. Plumbers probably vote differently than college professors. But do black plumbers vote differently than white plumbers? Do gender studies professors vote differently than physics professors?
It’s difficult for pollsters to phrase their questions in neutral, unbiased ways.
Some polls try to figure out how people will vote in this year’s election based on four years ago. But people misremember.
Many people love to spout off their opinions, but won’t actually vote. Voter turnout in the United States is just around 55%, but varies. Some people who voted in 2016 will not vote in 2020 — and vice versa.
Some Americans don’t trust strangers asking them their political beliefs, especially in the hateful, angry climate of modern-day America, when wearing the wrong hat can get you attacked.
The switch from landlines to cellphones and Do Not Call lists has made reaching people much more difficult.
And the response rate is only 2%.
Some people — I know this shocks you — just plain lie.
Pollsters want to be paid — and the primary markets for their numbers are the liberal media outlets. And the liberal media outlets, being human, are more likely to pay for what they want to hear.
Last, but not least: pollsters have their own political biases. As human beings, we’re wired to look for evidence supporting our own opinions — and we ignore the rest.
Does this explain why Biden is reportedly so far ahead in all the polls? Maybe yes, but maybe no, not completely. Maybe he really is ahead.
I’m not professional pollster, but I believe the election is still up for grabs.
Why Trump is a Great Good Bet
Back in August, pollsters said Biden had a 71% chance of winning — about the same chance they gave Hillary Clinton during the same period in 2016.
As I write, one famous pollster, Nate Silver, says the odds for Biden are 86%. Real Clear Politics says they’re 65%. Online bookies have Biden at 69%.
On PredictIt.org, Biden is leading with 67%.
Therefore, all the “official” odds makers say Biden is far ahead.
What if he’s not really leading at all?
What if he’s really leading, but only by a small margin?
That means the odds against Trump are not nearly so high as commonly believed.
According to the author of the book Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, when an outcome is binary (either Trump or Biden will win) and it’s highly volatile (the most unusual election year since 1968), you must treat the odds as 50–50.
That’s your opportunity to make a good bet.
Let’s flip coins again. This time, your opponent says: “This coin has been weighted so I’ll win 65% of the time. Therefore, to make it a fair game, when you lose, you only have to pay me 35 cents. But I’ll still pay you $1 when you win.”
But — unknown to your opponent (a pollster) yet suspected by you — the coin is NOT weighed. Heads and tails will come up 50–50. In that situation, getting paid $1 to win while losing only 35 cents when you lose is a gambler’s paradise.
In November, Biden and Trump are the coin’s head and tail. (Decide for yourself which one is the head and which the tail.)
If the “true odds” are 50–50, but the platforms believe Biden’s odds are 65%, that’s a terrific great bet.
You could win a lot of money.
Robert Barnes Won Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in 2016
NOTE: He had to go to Ireland to legally bet on the election.
Barnes is a lawyer and political consultant who has participated in electoral campaigns and studied them for decades.
He believed the 2016 polls did not accurately reflect what would happen on Election Day, and got paid a huge profit for betting on Trump.
Oh, and now in 2020 Barnes believes the race is again much closer than the pollsters and pundits claim.
Is he right? I don’t know, but you could make a large profit following his example — even if you don’t want Trump to win.
This is about making money, not campaigning for one candidate or the other.
WARNING: Not all “good bets” win. “Good” doesn’t mean “guaranteed.”
That’s especially true because an election is a one-time event, not a long string of coin flips.
LEGAL WARNING: Political betting is illegal in the United States, even in Nevada. But PredictIt.org has a special dispensation from the government because it’s run by a university and is studying the wisdom of crowds.
VOTING ADVICE: If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t stay home because the media tells you he’s already lost.
If you’re a Biden supporter, don’t stay home because the media tells you he’s already won.
It won’t be over until it’s over.