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Dominant Debate Performance Gives Clinton Gains Over Trump in Betting Markets

One day after being declared the consensus winner of the first presidential debate, Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton enjoyed big gains in betting markets over her Republican Party opponent Donald Trump.

According to a Reuters report, on the morning of Monday, September 26th the binary options prediction market PredictIt listed the price of a contract for Clinton at 63 cents, with Trump listed at 37 cents.

Twenty-four hours later, following a distracted and disinterested performance by Trump, who was soundly defeated in both policy discussions and rhetorical exchanges, Clinton’s contract on PredictIt rose to 69 cents, while Trump’s fell to 31 cents.

Clinton was rated as having done “a better job” in the debate by 62 percent of respondents in a poll conducted by CNN/ORC International, while Trump was favored by just 27 percent of those polled.

PredictIt’s betting platform utilizes contracts priced between $0.00 and $1.00, with the current market value indicating an expected probability of winning the November 8th presidential election.

The relative post-debate swing of six percentage points represented the largest such movement between the two candidates on PredictIt since August. Furthermore, Clinton’s 38-cent margin over Trump gives her the largest advantage in the contest she has held in the last two weeks.

Trump had been enjoying a resurgence in confidence on the PredictIt market before the debate, which was the first of three scheduled contests between he and Clinton. On the eve of the debate Trump’s contract price had climbed to 38 cents – up 10 cents total from the beginning of September.

Back in February the price of a Trump win contract plummeted as low as 5 cents, while rising as high as 44 cents in May. As for Clinton, her nadir occurred in January at 37 cents, and her peak price was 79 cents in August.

For punters on the Irish-owned Paddy Power online wagering platform, backers of a Clinton win were offered (-175) odds before the debate broadcast. By the time Clinton had finished off a resounding victory over Trump, however, those odds shortened to (-250).

Trump’s chances, meanwhile, sat at (+162.50) on Paddy Power ahead of debate night, but increased to (+230) by the time the night had ended.

In a post-debate statement issued the following day, Paddy Power spokesman Féilim Mac An Iomaire confirmed that Clinton’s odds of winning the presidency had increased following the debate victory:

“Hillary may have failed to land a knockout blow but she was the significant points winner in the eyes of our customers who backed her relentlessly following the debate. There’s a long way to go but following last night’s debate, the odds of the U.S. having their first female president are looking much shorter now.”

Political pundits have long looked to international betting markets as a viable method of assessing American elections, as detailed in a September 26th article published by
The now-defunct Irish betting market Intrade correctly pegged 49 of 50 states in the 2012 presidential election.

The Iowa Electronics Market (IEM), operated by professors at the University of Iowa for research purposes, allows $500 security-style wagers. A 2008 study concluded that IEM predictions were more accurate than 74 percent of 964 total polls conducted in election years between 1988 and 2008.

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