Strange overnight switch in 2020 election betting markets

I share this tweet because it provides a good visual of a strange event last night. As results were coming in at night in the US, there was a sudden huge reversal. For months the markets had predicted a Biden win. Throughout the night there was some wild speculation in which some buyers were willing to bet Trump would win. Around the time respectable people start waking up in the US, the market flipped again. I hear some people saying on Twitter that they regret no buying during the night. Near 5am Eastern Time that Trumps chance of winning went back down under 50%. That is also when new information came in showing that Biden would likely win Wisconsin.

At the time I write this, votes are still being counted. It is expected that the ballots still to be counted will mostly give votes to Biden. The “blue wave” did not materialize in 2020. If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, it will not be with the overwhelming mandate that some expected.

Economists often promote using betting markets to get predictions of the future. There are lots of applications beyond politics. These high profile elections bring attention to betting markets. Maybe people will begin relying more on them in other fields. I think betting on temperature increases and rising sea levels would be interesting and useful.

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