The Midwest Connection: Presidential Election Odds For PA, MI, WI

  • Joe Biden has -260 odds to win Wisconsin, an important swing state.
  • Donald Trump has +240 odds to win Michigan, a state he won in 2016.
  • Pennsylvania looks close, with Biden barely edging Trump with -160 odds.

LAS VEGAS - Millions of people across the country have already voted, and the rest are gearing up to cast their ballots on November 3rd.

With so much at stake, turnout is looking like it will be much higher than in 2016, but which direction does that cut?

We’ll take a look at the three states that decided the 2016 election, and what they’re projected to do in the 2020 version, as well as their political betting odds.

Those three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin Election Odds

Wisconsin was an important state in the 2016 election, and when it flipped from blue to red, it marked the beginning of a series of flips in the midwest.

Wisconsin was a state that was thought to be so safe that Hillary Clinton didn’t even campaign in it, and she ended up losing it.

In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by 0.77%, and Clinton later wrote that: “If there's one place where we were caught by surprise, it was Wisconsin.”

That said, Joe Biden is up in the polls, and favored to win the election on the online sportsbooks.

How much that means to any individual political bettor is up to them, but the numbers do appear to be there for Biden to a degree that they were not for Clinton.

FiveThirtyEight’s polling average has Biden up by 8.2 points in the state, and they forecast Biden to get around 53% of the vote.

The online sportsbooks don’t particularly disagree.

Wisconsin (WI) Election Odds

  • Joe Biden (D) -260
  • Donald Trump (R) +190

Joe Biden is a significant favorite in Wisconsin and given the polling as well as the slim margin Trump won by last time, it’s not hard to see why.

Michigan Election Odds

Michigan was a similarly close state in the 2016 election cycle, and was a part of the same polling error that swung the election to President Trump.

Trump won Michigan by an incredibly narrow margin of 0.23%, which was the narrowest margin of any state in the 2016 election.

In other words, if any state was going to flip from Republican to Democrat over the course of Trump’s four years, Michigan was the best bet.

FiveThirtyEight projects Biden to have a 95% chance to win Michigan, and their polling average for the state has him up by 8.1%.

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Both Michigan and Wisconsin present interesting cases - states that tended to go Democrat, but swung Republican in 2016 through a combination of Clinton campaign errors and Trump campaign capitalization.

The sportsbooks seem to think that Michigan is much more likely to go for Biden than Wisconsin is, despite both having similar projections on FiveThirtyEight and both having similar polling numbers.

Michigan (MI) Election Odds

  • Joe Biden (D) -340
  • Donald Trump (R) +240

Pennsylvania Election Odds

Pennsylvania is perhaps the single most important state on the map for both Presidential candidates.

FiveThirtyEight gives it the biggest chance to be the tipping point state, and Biden’s lead in the state is much less than it is in Michigan and Wisconsin.

Biden has a 4.7 point polling lead as of right now, and that is a significant but not unassailable number.

The major sportsbooks have him as a mild favorite to win the state.

Pennsylvania (PA) Election odds

  • Joe Biden (D) -160
  • Donald Trump (R) +120

Here’s where understanding what happened in 2016 becomes important.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton was up around 3.3 points nationally a few days before election day. Normally, in an election year, the polls are off in one direction or the other by about 2-3%.

This error more or less accounted for her electoral loss. What’s important here is that Biden is up by more than that error in Pennsylvania, the most important state for him to win, as well as Michigan and Wisconsin.

So what does that mean?

It means that in order for Trump to win those states, the polls would have to be notably more wrong than they were in 2016.

Is this possible? Sure, that’s why he has +120 odds.

All of that said, Biden is still favored to win the state, and it almost seems like the sportsbooks are assuming that there will be a polling error in Trump’s favor.

Make sure to get all of these bets in ASAP, and go vote!