Politics Betting Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Political betting has grown in popularity and it’s no wonder why. Political junkies can now put their money where their mouths are and put all their knowledge regarding political events to good use. The political betting market can run the gamut from presidential races to voter turnout to outcomes of elections in congressional and senatorial races.

And while the American elections are often the most popular, there is an election market for election betting all over the world. A presidential election in any nation will spur many of the best online sportsbooks to offer odds on any chief executive being elected or political parties taking control of a particular government. Any future election held in the United States or elsewhere will see a robust political betting market at all of the major digital sportsbooks.

Offshore political betting sites offer wagering on things like who will be the presidential candidate; you can even bet on smaller political races, like mayoral races or congressional races.

The Best Sportsbooks to Bet On Politics in 2023

Online Betting on Politics Lines

If you are betting on sports with a reputable online sportsbook then there is an excellent chance that you will find betting markets and a futures market with just the click of your mouse or a button on your mobile device.

It is best to use political forecasting models to formulate your wagers rather than predicate your future choices on your party affiliation. Oftentimes we let our emotions dictate our electoral choices in a given election market and that is not the best way to make money at a political betting site.

If you are seeking political betting sites that offer a plethora of wagering options on all political parties, Bookmaker, BetOnline, Bovada, or Heritage Sports are often the preferred online sportsbooks whose betting prices are often quoted by media outlets.

For odds on any future election, they can be easily found at the offshore sportsbooks above or at any number of online sportsbooks that offer political betting online. In addition to the popular markets, you can also find a wide range of interesting prop bets like if a candidate will become the Republican nominee or win the popular vote.

Politics Betting Odds and Lines

Reading political betting odds on political betting websites is easier than you might think. Political events, whether it be a presidential election or any number of political prediction markets like gubernatorial, senatorial, congressional, or even mayoral races all have betting odds assigned to the candidates that are based on a $100 bet.

The favorite will be indicated by a minus (-) sign while the underdog will have a plus sign (+) in front of their name. For example, in the most recent Florida senatorial race, incumbent Marco Rubio was a prohibitive favorite to win reelection over Val Demings.

  • Marco Rubio (R) -1500
  • Val Demings (D) +600

This means that to win $100 on Marco Rubio, you would have to risk $1500. However, a wager on long shot Val Demings would mean you could risk $100 to win $600.

Naturally, when it comes to betting on the outcome of elections, or political outcomes of any kind, any denomination is acceptable but the risks and payouts are always predicated on the lines at the time of your wager because the odds are dynamic, meaning they will change based on the influx of money the sportsbook is receiving on any one candidate or event.

The electoral outcome of the presidential race is based on the approval rating of the candidates that are reflected in election polls. A forecast model is always used by political pundits but forecasting mistakes happen and they can have lethal consequences for a candidate’s political future as well as a bettor’s political bankroll.

Political Betting Strategies

Those who blindly bet on political outcomes based solely on their party affiliation are hoping to get a double dose of good news if their party or candidate wins the election. But this is not the tried-and-true strategy of someone whose sole intent is to make money in the political markets.

Any allegiance to a candidate or party should be stricken from the betting process. There are election predictors from various media outlets as well as those political analysts who view the betting markets with an open mind, devoid of party mentality. These are the resources to use before making a bet on a political candidate or event.

Methods of Election Forecasting

Scientific polling is instrumental in obtaining accurate forecasts and bringing about a forecast model that will deliver accurate results. Unbiased questions are those that will not lead the respondents to a predesignated conclusion but rather a true representation of their opinions.

Political prediction markets can also use exit polling to divine which way people are voting. However, election polls are only as accurate as the answers are truthful. Some voters will purposely mislead pollsters or change their minds on election day.

Poll Damping

Research has found that polls conducted closer to an election are far more accurate than polls taken early in the campaigns. It makes complete sense as people often change their minds on candidates and ballot questions as they receive more information.

Polling firms will use poll damping as a method to minimize the early polling numbers and give greater weight to more recent polls. Election odds are often derived from a wide variety of polls but recent polls will be considered more accurate when the oddsmakers deliver their odds to the betting public.

Regression Models

Political forecasting models and election predictors are often derived from regression models which essentially take into consideration previous election cycles and their results. Various polls are often considered for regression models like public opinion polls or presidential approval ratings.

Politics Betting Payouts

Election betting is no different than betting on a sporting event using the moneyline. It works precisely the same way. The betting prices are predicated on $100 betting increments with the favorite designated by the minus (-) sign while the underdog is reflected by the plus (+) sign. Any amount can be wagered but it is always derivative of how much is needed to win $100 on the favorite while how much can be won by betting $100 on the underdog.

An accurate prediction with money at stake works the same as if one were betting on a soccer or baseball game. In the following example, the Democrat candidate is favored over their Republican opponent and it is expressed as follows:

  • Democrat – 135
  • Republican +115

In this case, one must bet $135 to win $100 on the Democrat candidate while one would bet $100 to win $115 on the Republican candidate.

The perception regarding money being wagered on politics varies from country to country. While elections are routinely part of the betting menu in Europe, licensed sportsbooks in America are prohibited from offering them.

Getting paid from a sportsbook is the same whether you win a soccer wager or a political bet. Once the election has been declared official, your account should reflect your winnings immediately. If you decide to withdraw the funds earned through your winning bet then the sportsbook should expeditiously release the money.

Frequently Asked Questions About Political Betting

What is the impact of election forecasting on election outcomes?

As election day approaches the polls are expected to be more accurate as people have generally made up their minds about which candidate or candidates, they are likely to vote for.

Can you place a political Parlay bet?

The answer to this question depends on the rules of your sportsbook. In theory, a political parlay bet is as easy as betting on a sports parlay. Many retail and mobile sportsbooks, outside of the United States, will allow such a wager.

How likely is it to win a political bet?

Winning a political bet is neither easier nor more difficult than winning any other bet. Certainly, accurate forecasts will aid in winning a political wager but there are no guarantees.

Is betting on politics profitable?

The election market is like any other betting market, what may be profitable for some may not be for others. Like betting on sports, it depends on how much research and due diligence you are prepared to do. 

How often do betting odds actually predict an election’s outcome?

The betting odds are simply a reflection of the polling numbers and people’s attitudes toward a particular candidate. An accurate prediction is predicated on processing information and determining the likelihood of a candidate winning the election.