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Are Biden's odds of beating Trump better than Clinton's were?

The world is braced for perhaps the most contentious presidential election in recent history, as Donald Trump battles to hold on to power for another four years amid perhaps the most intense competition he’s ever faced.

Trump edged out Hillary Clinton four years ago, winning 304 to 227 in the Electoral Vote, despite losing out by just under three million in the Popular Vote. Trump's victory that night is regarded as a major upset, but can he do it again?

In this article, we will weigh up the threat to his Presidency posed by Joe Biden. We will analyse the differences between Biden and Clinton, and consider what impact this could have on this year's result.

Clinton's downfall, despite odds in her favour

Democratic candidate Clinton appeared odds on to replicate the feat of her husband Bill, who'd served as President between 1993 and 2001. Her campaign appeared to be ticking all the right boxes and she was positioned to offer a more compassionate choice, compared to the more ruthless, divisive campaigning of her opponent.

But the former Secretary of State was dealt telling blow after telling blow in the months leading up to polling day, becoming embroiled in scandal and speculation. And whether the accusations were fair and justified or not, it was enough to turn supporters away from her.

Allegations that she hosted sensitive emails on a private server dogged her campaign throughout 2016, while Trump regularly called into question her integrity, regularly labelling her 'Crooked Hillary'. It was a name that quickly caught on with his supporters.

Clinton's defeat of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders also appeared to cost her votes. Sanders had attracted a lot of support from floating voters eager to back an 'anti-establishment' candidate, but when Sanders dropped out of the race, a surprisingly high number switched allegiances to Trump.

Can Biden prove the bookies right?

In the box seat to challenge Trump as the Democratic candidate is veteran politician Joe Biden. The odds on the US elections price him as favourite ahead of the vote this year, although 'The Donald's' victory four years ago was also against the form book.

Biden is similarly placed to Clinton on the political spectrum in the sense that he is closer to the centre than more radical candidates like Sanders. Biden has defeated Sanders already and will undoubtedly be eager to learn from the mistakes of his predecessor by courting his vanquished opponents' supporters.

The media chatter suggests that Biden is leading further to the left, perhaps in an effort to keep this section of prospective voters on board. Although interestingly, commentators on the right suggest Biden's supposed move to the left could in fact make him unelectable. It will certainly be interesting to see how these changes in policy and philosophy affect voting patterns in marginal states.

Having first served as a Senator in 1973, Biden has nearly 50 years of experience in Politics, but this too could be a double-edged sword. As we saw with Trump, the anti-establishment ticket is a popular one for the more apathetic voter, and it can count for more than even the most choreographed set of policies.

As we edge closer and closer to polling day, it's truly tough to pick a winner. The odds suggest that Biden is the favourite to unseat Trump, but we have all witnessed how well Trump can captivate an audience – either in support of himself, or against an opponent. That's why keeping the floating vote on his side could be key for Biden.

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