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Biden sees 56% chance of winning presidency: Betting Giant

President Donald Trump is narrowing the advantage of his Democratic challenger in the race for the White House, with Joe Biden’s chances steadily declining since July, according to Smarkets. Yahoo Finance's Javier E. David and Akiko Fujita discuss.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Eric Trump among the featured speakers at the Republican National Convention tonight, as the party looks to night two. The betting odds are still in Vice President Joe Biden's favor. But trading activity on this market's exchange shows President Trump is slowly chipping away at that lead.

Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Javier David, who's been breaking down the numbers for us. Javier, how significant are these moves? When you think back to where things were back in 2016, Hillary Clinton had a huge lead with a few months left. How do you read these latest numbers?

JAVIER DAVID: So a couple of really important things-- it's sort of like when we're looking at asset prices, it's important to note the trend. So for Biden in this case, the trend is clearly higher. He is clearly the prohibitive favorite at this time.

What these current numbers show, the ones that were released this morning, is he's sort of losing steam. So it's just how the Dow is basically in a bull market or most of the Wall Street indexes are in a bull trend, they could easily lose today a few hundred points or even as much as 1,000 in the Dow and still be in the upward trend. So Biden's trend is clearly upward.

But what the data today showed us is he's come off a little bit. And the reason why that is significant is last week we had the Democratic National Convention. Most candidates in the wake of their convention get a little bit of a boost in the polls. Biden was sort of flat. Now he's flat from a position of strength, because, as one of our experts told us in June, he's managed to consolidate a lot of the support in a way that Hillary Clinton did not in 2016.

She, too, was well ahead in the polls. But what happened there was, we all know, is there were cracks of support, particularly in the battleground states, that ended up costing her. So just as we can't be-- we couldn't-- back then in hindsight, we couldn't be-- we probably shouldn't have been as confident in her ability to win, we can't necessarily do the same thing here.

So it would be remiss for people to make the mistake that somehow Biden's losing. But you also have to look at the poll numbers as they are and say he is definitely the prohibitive favorite. And President Trump is fighting from an underdog status.

AKIKO FUJITA: Javier, when you look at the roles the conventions are playing this year, I mean, we heard over and over last week, it's unconventional because everything is so virtual. I mean, we weren't expecting sort of that big bounce for Joe Biden. But when you look at this-- the latest numbers here, not just from Smarkets, but when we look at the poll numbers, does that suggest a weakness for Joe Biden? Or is it that President Trump is coming from a position of strength, whether it's in his policy on the economy or the coronavirus? Is it more about him being able to get his message out and gaining momentum on that, or is it about Joe Biden getting his message out and not necessarily being able to get traction with that?

JAVIER DAVID: Well, what you have here are-- it's a curious state of affairs, because you have two very well-known names. We've known pretty much who President Trump is since the last four years at a very minimum. Joe Biden has been in public service for something upwards of five, four or five decades. He's no newcomer to this. There's not sort of a deficit in terms of your name recognition to overcome.

So on the one hand, President Trump, as the incumbent, has the advantages of incumbency. That is any sort of person who's trying to retain the White House has a certain amount of advantages that they can deploy. They've got the machinery of government that they can work to their advantage.

The development of a coronavirus vaccine and all of these antibody treatments, that is also something that President Trump is moving very aggressively to promote better. And whether you think it's politics or not, he is looking to see how best he can get these things on the market as quickly as possible. So that, again, is an incumbent's advantage. Only he can do that.

On the other hand, he has a tremendous amount of opposition. Biden has been able to consolidate support primarily because people have a deep, deep, deep antipathy toward the president. So in a lot of ways, people have coalesced around Biden because they have this animus toward President Trump.

But again, when you're an incumbent and you can do certain things and you are-- and we are still, more or less, considered to be in an economic recovery from a very deep hole that we were in in the spring. But we are, and there is questions about whether or not we're losing momentum. But there is a very real possibility that September and October, the economy could pick up momentum. And that could be beneficial to the incumbent.

AKIKO FUJITA: We've already heard President Trump sort of hinting at an October surprise, at least on the vaccine front as well. So certainly still plenty of time where the momentum can shift back and forth. Javier David, good to talk to you. Appreciate you bringing that report.