Trump retains lead over Biden in betting odds, polls after guilty verdict, enjoys massive surge of campaign donations

 May 31, 2024

Former President Donald Trump was convicted on all 34 counts of felony falsification of business records by a New York jury on Thursday -- an outcome that some political pundits predicted would significantly harm, if not end altogether, his chances at winning re-election to a second term in November.

The betting odds for a Trump victory have indeed worsened following the news of his conviction, but he retained his status as the strong favorite of bettors over incumbent President Joe Biden to win a second term in the White House, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Other outlets that closely track political betting odds reportedly similarly that while Trump's chances of victory were somewhat diminished in the eyes of presidential bettors, the smart money remained on him ultimately emerging victorious in November despite the criminal conviction.

Updated betting odds

The U.K.'s OddsChecker site reported Friday that former President Trump "retained popularity" among bettors even though he was found guilty of multiple felonies by a jury in New York on Thursday.

Since that verdict was announced, approximately 66% of all presidential election bets have gone Trump's way and he remained the odds-on favorite to win. In comparison, just 25% of bets placed since the verdict picked President Biden as the eventual winner.

RealClearPolling's presidential betting odds tracker tells a similar story with Trump in the lead with a 47.7% chance of victory, according to bettors, compared to a 39.2% chance for Biden.

Notably, however, that 8.5-point margin in favor of Trump is nearly half of what it was just one day before the verdict was announced when, per the average betting odds, Trump held a 16-point lead over Biden, 51.7%-35.7%.

Post-verdict polling will take some time

To be sure, while the constantly updated presidential betting odds provided a glimpse at the instant reaction to the news of former President Trump's criminal conviction, the full extent of the impact of the jury's guilty verdict won't be known until sufficient polls are conducted and published in the coming days and weeks.

Currently, 538's 2024 general election polls average shows Trump with a 1.6-point lead over President Biden, 41.1%-39.5%, down just a tick from the 1.7-point margin the previous day. That aggregate only included one poll that was conducted on the same day as the verdict, from Ipsos and Reuters, which showed Biden ahead by two points, 41%-39%.

RCP's presidential poll average doesn't include any polls conducted since earlier in the week, and it shows Trump with around a one-point lead over Biden, 47.6%-46.7%.

Notably, however, RCP had Biden up over Trump by nearly six points at the same point in the 2020 election, and currently shows the former president with a marginal to moderate lead over the incumbent in all seven of the crucial battleground states -- six of which were won by Biden in the last election.

Huge surge of donor support

Delays in polling data and the speculative nature of presidential betting odds aside, one other way to quickly measure the immediate impact of the guilty verdict on former President Trump's quest for a second term is fundraising, and in that regard, Trump is looking pretty good, according to a claim from his campaign that it raised nearly $35 million in a matter of hours on Thursday, mostly from small-dollar donors and almost a third from new donors.

"From just minutes after the sham trial verdict was announced, our digital fundraising system was overwhelmed with support, and despite temporary delays online because of the amount of traffic, President Trump raised $34.8 million dollars from small-dollar donors," Trump campaign senior advisers Chris LaCivita and Susie Wiles said in a joint statement.

"Not only was the amount historic, but 29.7% of yesterday's donors were brand new donors to the WinRed platform," they added. "President Trump and our campaign are immensely grateful for this outpouring of support from patriots across our country. President Trump is fighting to save our nation and November 5th is the day Americans will deliver the real verdict."

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