In the old days, getting the endorsement of your party’s leaders was very important when you were running for president of the United States Of America. You wanted former presidents to endorse you. You looked for people who had already run for president to endorse you. So you would think that Joe Biden getting an endorsement from former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton would be big news in his race against President Donald J. Trump.
According to oddsmakers though you would be wrong. While it is against the law in America to bet on political races it’s perfectly legal in the UK and we looked at what happened to the odds after she made her endorsement.
And the answer is – nothing at all.
UK betting giant William Hill has Trump the 2020 favorite at 10/11 (implied odds 52.38 percent, a $100 winning wager netting $90.91). Biden is next at 11/10 – a $100 bet winning $110. Both of those lines did not alter on Clinton’s support.
That would have been a stunning result just a few years ago – when endorsements really did drive votes. But they don’t seem so powerful anymore. Instead with the advent of social media people tend to tailor their voting patterns to those of their friends. Therefor an endorsement seems to have virtually no effect.
There is also the fact that Clinton remains mired in controversy. Although she has been cleared of all allegations against her much of the American people still seem to look at her as an example of a corrupt political figure. Right or wrong that could be one of the reasons that bookmakers are loath to incorporate her opinions into their posted odds in a presidential race.
That said the odds also did not change when former President Barack Obama endorsed Joe Biden. Obama is the most popular figure in the democratic party so in past years that would have been expected to move the meter. But it didn’t. This means that oddsmakers trust Facebook and Twitter much more than they trust other politicians.