Betting odds for Trump victory decrease after guilty verdict; still favored by oddsmakers to defeat Biden

 June 1, 2024

Democrats made little effort to hide their gleeful celebrations of former President Donald Trump being found guilty of multiple felony charges by a jury in New York on Thursday.

Yet, if they thought that conviction had decisively ended Trump's chances to win re-election in November, they were sorely mistaken as bettors and bookies still have the former president as the odds-on favorite to win the 2024 presidential election, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

It should be noted that U.S. sportsbooks aren't permitted to accept bets on politics, but betting on political elections and other events is a big business for overseas oddsmakers, particularly in the U.K.

Trump's odds slip, but he retains a lead over Biden

The Review-Journal reported that while former President Trump's odds of victory in the 2024 election "worsened" as an immediate reaction of bettors and oddsmakers to his felony conviction in New York, he was still the heavy favorite to prevail over President Joe Biden in November.

"The Trump verdict may have sent shock waves around the world, but in the markets there has only been the tightest of drift in support for him to claim the presidency later this year," a spokesperson for the U.K.-based Online Betting Guide told the outlet. "There is still confidence in the market that Trump is going to get the ticket and beat Joe Biden at the polls."

That slight downward movement for Trump's odds was reflected in RealClearPolling's presidential betting odds tracker, which currently shows the former president with a 48.3% chance of victory over Biden, who has a 38.8% chance of winning.

The current 9.5-point margin in favor of Trump is down nearly half from the 16-point gap he enjoyed over his rival Biden on the day of the verdict, when Trump had a 51.8% chance of victory compared to Biden's 35.8% chance.

Trump still holding steady in the polls for now

Marketwatch reported on the near-instant change in the 2024 presidential betting odds but also noted that bettors and oddsmakers are not always the most reliable predictors of results, and that polling, while suffering some of its own shortcomings, was more accurate in signaling the likely outcome of an election.

However, it is still too soon for enough polls to have been conducted after news of Thursday's verdict to get a full sense of the impact on voters, as evidenced by RCP's 2024 general election polling average, which appears to be largely unchanged for the most part and still shows Trump with a slight lead of less than one point over Biden.

To be sure, that average does include two polls that were both conducted on the day of and after the verdict but they reached opposite conclusions, as one poll showed Biden up by two points while the other placed Trump ahead by the same margin.

Yet, even more accurate than the national polls are the state-level surveys, and RCP continues to show Trump with marginal to moderate leads in all seven of the key battleground states -- though those averaged results are certainly subject to change as new post-verdict polls are added into the mix in the coming days and weeks.

Trump flooded with additional donor support and campaign contributions

Marketwatch's report highlighted another significant indicator that Democrats may have celebrated the supposed demise of Trump's presidential chances too soon, as it noted that the presumptive Republican nominee now appears to be receiving "fresh support from people with deep pockets" -- namely several billionaires who until now have withheld their money from either candidate.

The outlet named five different billionaires who've all indicated within the past week that, mostly because of the overtly partisan prosecution of Trump, they are now at least considering, if not already donating funds to the former president's re-election effort.

Nor is it just deep-pocketed billionaires flocking to support Trump following the jury's verdict, as the Trump campaign announced on Friday that within just 24 hours since that verdict, more than $52 million was raised, predominately from small-dollar donors and roughly a third of that total coming from brand new donors who've never contributed before.

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