The State of the Union is an address which provides the current administration’s plans for legislation and view of the current state of the nation. The most recent SOTU address was on February 5, 2019. Betting on the State of the Union has become an active category to political betting markets as the event is typically an annual event. In fact, State of the Union betting odds and betting lines have become evermore popular with the advancement of technology.
Historically, Presidents were never required to deliver the address in person. In fact, many simply wrote their address and did not make the trek to the Capitol, including:
However, including Trump’s SOTU address on February 5, 2019, there have been 96 in-person delivered State of the Union addresses by a serving President. The basis for addressing the nation is written within and mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The typical procedure for the State of the Union (SOTU) address consists of the speaker of the House of Representatives to invite the President to appear before the two Congressional Houses.
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There are typically multiple betting lines available for the SOTU address. Around every New Year, SOTU odds are posted by sportsbooks looking to provide political betting lines. Once those odds are posted we will share them here.
Political betting is legal in the US if done through either licensed and regulated domestic or offshore sportsbooks. Depending on the policy of your local regulated sportsbook, they may not provide betting lines for the State of the Union address. However, licensed and regulated offshore online sportsbooks almost always provide political betting odds for SOTU prop bets, futures, and more – keep in mind, sportsbooks may only put these odds up a few days before a scheduled SOTU address, possibly updated with new odds and lines every few hours.
During the start of our nation’s development, our first President George Washington became the first fulfill this constitutional tradition in 1790 with an in-person address to Congress in the Senate Chamber of Federal Hall in the old U.S. Capital, New York City. The SOTU address was known only as the Annual Message in 1790 and remained being called that until 1946. Thomas Jefferson, our nation’s third President, broke the mold and was the first to deliver his Annual Message to Congress in writing.
Written Annual Messages became commonplace then after, however, John Adams was the first to rebel this tradition and deliver his message in-person. Woodrow Wilson did the same after reigniting the in-person delivery tradition in 1913. The Annual Message would later be called the State of the Union under the Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Administration. The way State of the Union addresses were delivered soon changed with the invention and use of modern technology.
In 1922, at the height of radio’s popularity, Warren Harding gave his SOTU address to a limited US domestic radio audience.
In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was able to radio broadcast his State of the Union address across the nation.
Harry Truman turned to television broadcast for his SOTU address in 1947.
In 1965, Lyndon Johnson gave his televised State of the Union address in the later evening.
In 1997, Bill Clinton’s SOTU address was carried live on the internet.
In 2004, George W. Bush gave his State of the Union message through a high-definition television broadcast.
The most recent State of the Union address by Donald Trump in 2019 received 46.79 million viewers through the four major cable networks airing it. Trump’s State of the Union address in 2019 received more views than Obama’s SOTU address in 2011 which got 42.79 million viewers, and Clinton’s SOTU address in 1995 which got 42.2 million viewers, but not George W. Bush’s SOTU address in 2003 which got 62 million viewers during his invasion of Iraq speech making Bush’s the most watched SOTU address of the century.
Typical State of the Union bets made available through licensed sportsbooks include prop bets like “What will the President wear during the SOTU?”, “How long will the State of the Union be?”, “What will the President say during the SOTU?”, “How will those in Congress react to the SOTU?”, and more like “What/how will the Rebuttal to the SOTU be?”. More betting lines and options are available through the sportsbook themselves and can range in offers.