Does Donald Trump Really Win Every Democratic Debate?

Is the WSJ's assertion backed up by the numbers?
Pete Watt
Fri, December 13, 6:12 AM EST

The Wall Street Journal published an article ahead of tonight’s re-engagement of blue hostilities, entitled ‘Trump wins every Democratic Debate’. In it, they argue that the candidates have consistently come across so poorly on stage that undecided voters are likelier to opt for Donald and the GOP in next year’s election than any of the Democrats.

The ‘winner’ of a debate is very subjective, as there a number of variables to take into account and two individuals could even look at identical data and come to different conclusions. Therefore, we’re we’re not saying we disagree with WSJ – just that oddsmakers do.

By tracking the odds of the 2020 Presidential Election winner and how they have changed every day this year, we have the benefit of being able to see exactly how the President’s chances changed in the aftermath of each debate.

Interested in the chances of Trump being impeached? Pete Watt analyzes the chances here.

26-27th June 2019 – First Debates

The ‘winner’ for this debate appears to be Kamala Harris with a memorable performance that saw her implied probability of securing the ticket more than double. Her rise from 5.56% to 12.50% was Joe Biden’s loss, with the barbs that Sen. Harris aimed at the former VP slashing his chances from 18.20% to 11.10% in the days following the exchange.

Trump’s odds? They didn’t change in the slightest.

30th-31st July 2019 – Second Debates

This round went to Joe Biden, who shook off the body blows sustained in Miami to bounce off the ropes in Detroit. A more assured performance produced an inverse result on the market, with Biden climbing back above Harris to return as the likeliest Democrat to take the White House.

Trump’s odds? They oscillated ever so slightly in the days leading up to the debates, but showed no reaction afterwards – certainly not a win.

12th September – Third Debates

The debate may have been interesting, but its impact on the market was not. As evidenced below, the events on stage in Houston did little to affect the opinions of oddsmakers and bettors alike; only Harris saw her price change, and this was minimal.

Trump’s odds? Much like the first debates, there was no deviation whatsoever.

We’ve got you covered for the election: check out our regularly updated 2020 odds here

Last thing to think about…

Trump’s chance of re-election reached an all-time high of 52.40% on 29th July – the day before the second round of debates. Since that day, his chance has slowly but surely decreased - without exception.

With the fallout from Ohio's fourth debate now trackable, the data once again indicates no movement on Trump's chances of a second term...

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