PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) - Before Tuesday night’s presidential debate between President Donald Trump and democratic nominee Joe Biden, people were literally placing bets on what the candidates would do on stage. Though debates don’t have a scoreboard, it didn’t stop DraftKings, the fantasy sports betting website, from taking bets on what would happen in the debate.
Phoenix political analyst Stan Barnes welcomes the idea. “Wagering on what these two extraordinary candidates will say or won’t say or how they react or who’s going to fall asleep or who’s going to insult whom – those kinds of things, I think, are a truly American thing to do,” he said.
There was a $50,000 pool on the debate. Bettors made predictions like which candidates would mention China first, who would say Dr. Anthony Fauci’s name first and even how the candidates would greet each other to start the night – would they shake hands? Barnes predicted correctly that they would not.
“I don’t really think they want to touch each other, and now they have this perfect excuse of COVID-19.”
While online sports betting through companies like DraftKings is still illegal in Arizona, Barnes says this kind of thing is good for voters as a whole. “It actually serves to engage people that might not otherwise be engaged,” he said. “If you can layer on some enthusiasm through either a wager or a drinking game or something, you can have fun with it. And if you’re having fun with it, you’re learning something.”
It’s not hard to find drinking games on social media to go along with both candidates’ styles, phrases, and patterns. Barnes warns that both candidates will provide a lot of fodder for those types of games. “This one supersedes all other situations. Hands down. On the Richter scale of politics this thing is a solid 10.0,” he said. “You better sip, and not gulp, because there’s gonna be a lot of reasons to tip your glass.”
There are 2 more presidential debates left in October, plus a vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s democratic running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. You can catch that debate on Wednesday, October 7 on CBS 5.