The US Presidential election has come and gone with nothing less than a flurry of activity. In the lead-up to the election there were millions of people who, quite frankly, did not think Donald Trump had any chance of emerging victorious. These people had good reason to hold such beliefs, because Mr. Trump was and had been losing in every major poll as far back as a year ago and beyond. Never before had someone so far behind been able to claw their way back.
That is exactly what happened, however. Hillary Clinton, with odds that seemed to be in her favor despite FBI investigations, health scandals, and plenty of other questionable incidents, failed to win the presidency. In the early morning hours of Wednesday, it was officially announced by every major news agency that Trump had, in fact, won.
From a political bettors perspective, this was a particularly wild night just because of the way the odds swung. As was mentioned above, Clinton, for the longest time, was ahead in every major poll and did not look like she was ever going to fall behind. As far as bookmakers are concerned, Clinton was sitting at -550 on the moneyline exactly 2 weeks prior to election night. Trump was a heavy underdog, sitting at +350. As the next 13 days rolled by, the odds were tweaked a bit, but Clinton was still the clear favorite.
A reason for the dip in Clinton’s odds has everything to do with the FBI reopening its investigation into Hillary’s use of private, unprotected servers to handle information that was determined to be classified. Even though the FBI, once again, decided against pressing charges, the probe alone was enough to have some people rethink who they were going to vote for or, in this case, bet on.
Flash forward to a flat 7 days prior to the election and Clinton was still a heavy favorite, at -275. Trump, on the other hand, was sitting on the moneyline at +190. As the final week before the election played out and the FBI’s probe was concluded, Clinton once again began stretching her lead on the moneyline. In fact, by the time Election Tuesday dawned, there were plenty of ardent Trump supporters who were beginning to come to the sobering realization that their guy might not win. On election day, Hillary Clinton was sitting at an astonishing -550 while Trump seemed all but done and dusted at +375.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Shortly after the first state election results began trickling in, it quickly seemed as though Clinton was about to get off to a lead that would never be relinquished. Then, shortly after 9PM EST the tide began shifting as Trump, who had been leading in the electoral votes for about an hour or so, began stretching his lead even further, and further, and further. Before anyone knew what hit them, polls were closed and betting markets were closed with Trump, now a favorite, sitting at a clean -2000 while Clinton looked on in horror at her +1000 odds. Even though it wasn’t officially announced, it was clear to see that one of the best comebacks ever had just played out in front of our eyes.
The US Presidential election is a crazy, exciting event and the 2016 installment did well to drive that point home. Never have we seen such unprecedented swings in expectations, and never have we seen a president quite like this one. Though it is unclear what the future holds for the United States, Election Tuesday helped create some really happy and really angry bettors. There are horror stories of people losing $100,000+ bets on Clinton right beside stories of $100 bets on Trump that netted thousands in winnings. We are not political experts, but it really feels as though it is going to be a long time until we see something even close to this pan out again.