Reversal of Fortunes: 2016 Polls and Betting Odds Favored Clinton at 80%

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readMay 18, 2020

Betting firms lost millions after Trump’s upset victory in 2016. In 2020, polls show Joe Biden winning; the money is on Donald Trump.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Intramural Fields at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. November 2, 2016. (photo: Gage Skidmore)

What a Difference a Day Makes

In the annals of U.S. history, there are few moments which live up to Election Day, November 8 2016 for the sheer number of experts it left dumbfounded.

And in the new internet tradition of “photos taken right before something bad happened”, the photos of Hillary Clinton and her supporters smiling and exultant, mingling at her ill-fated victory party on election night, and at campaign events in the days leading up to her defeat, rank fairly high as well.

In 2016, everyone who was anyone thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in. Not least of which were Republicans and Donald Trump himself.

All the polls predicted Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide; the betting odds heavily favored Clinton. Everyone in the media was convinced Hillary Clinton was going to be the first female President of the United States.

When did it become clear to members of the press that Hillary Clinton was losing the election to Donald Trump?

Between 8:00–8:30 p.m. on election night, the truth started sinking in for some. For other journalists it was after 10:00 p.m. that night, long after any hope of Clinton pulling-off an electoral victory were long since dashed by the votes pouring in for Donald Trump.

The level of certainty in Trump’s defeat wasn’t confined to the U.S. Far from it; people all over the world like to bet as much as anyone else. Hillary Clinton was the odds-on favorite everywhere.

One British Trump fan won $124,000 in 2016 betting against the betting house oddsmakers. Using his own system of analytics and data observation, John Mappin predicted Donald Trump’s series of surprising wins only three days after Trump announced his candidacy.

When John Mappin bet on Trump to win the Republican primary, he’d never placed a bet before in his life. Mappin bet again on Trump to win the general.

Betfair, the betting house with which Mappin placed his long-shot bets, put Hillary Clinton’s…