UNITED STATES—With the US election now just a few days away, Americans will soon find out whether Donald Trump will remain the president or if Joe Biden will take over next year.

Many have already cast their vote but there is still time for things to change with Biden the favorite to win despite an aggressive campaign from the incumbent. NoDepositHero has his odds of winning shortening as we head towards November 3.

However, the major twist of the election campaign may have already happened when Trump tested positive for the coronavirus, one of countless people in the White House to do so.

The president only spent a couple of days in hospital before claiming to have made a full recovery, but it remains to be seen whether the virus has a long-term impact on his health.

Here is how Trump’s positive test could have reshaped the November vote.

Election result still in the balance

While most of the polls have Biden on track for a comfortable win, this is not necessarily going to be the case.

After all, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would win the election four years ago only for all the predictions from the experts to be proved wrong.

Clinton won the popular vote but it was not enough to earn her the right to follow her husband Bill into the White House. Pollsters will presumably have tweaked their methodology having been so wrong at the last election, which should make the chances of another shock result very slim.

Trump has to put his campaigning on hold as a result of his positive test. Planned visits to key states had to be cancelled, which might yet prove to have a key impact on the result.

It is also worth noting that Trump’s attitude to the coronavirus had to change due to his positive test. Previously Trump had held a rather cavalier attitude to the pandemic, as he said: “I don’t wear a mask like [Biden]. Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

With more than 200,000 Americans having died as a result of contracting COVID-19, it is clear this is going to be one of the biggest factors in deciding which man wins the election.

“Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Biden tweeted when the news emerged of the president and his wife’s tests. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”

Biden’s odds cut in wake of Trump’s test

In the immediate aftermath of Trump testing positive, most bookmakers offering odds on the US election cut Biden’s chances of winning when the country goes to the polls.

The implied odds of Biden winning the election were at 61.9 per cent before the news emerged that the president had tested positive. This figure rose to 63.64 per cent shortly afterwards when betting sites cut their odds on a Biden victory.

 

Since Trump’s recovery, the polls continue to move in one direction – towards Biden. Trump still has a narrow lead in Ohio, with less than a week to go, but Biden is seemingly on track to claim other important swing states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan.

Significantly, Biden is thought to be well clear in Florida, which has 29 electoral votes to offer, despite the state’s older population having expected to go red rather than blue. Biden is also set to comfortably win the 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania if the latest polls are to be believed.

The FiveThirtyEight forecast also suggests Biden is “favored” to win, but it is possible Trump’s positive coronavirus test results in him earning some level of a sympathy vote.

A simulation produced by FiveThirtyEight suggests that Trump would win the election only one in 10 times from now, with Biden favored to win 89 per cent of the time.

It is not out of the question that Trump shocks Biden when the results come out, but the polls will surely not be completely wrong for the second straight US election. Or will they?