Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


The PB/Polling Matters TV Show: Looking at The White House Race

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

On this week’s show the Polling Matters team take a break from Brexit to discuss events across the pond. Keiran and Rob are joined by White House Correspondent and US political analyst Jon-Christopher Bua to discuss Clinton vs Trump, the states Trump must win to get to 270 electoral college votes and who each candidate might pick as their running mate.

You can follow Jon-Christopher at @jcbua

Audio only version is here

Keiran Pedley


Hillary Clinton wins a majority of pledged delegates but Sanders fights on after having his California dreams ruined

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016



Betting on the Democratic Party California primary

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

California Dem

Perhaps I’m reading too much into the tweet by the political correspondent of The Washington Post, but Hillary Clinton’s actions don’t appear to be the actions of someone confident of winning California, There is of course huge symbolism if she fails to win California, America’s most populous state, people will inevitability say she’s the wrong candidate to win in November.

I looked at the polling in California, the most recent poll has Clinton defeating Sanders by just 2%. Whilst leads of this size appear to be outliers, Paddy Power have a market up on the California Primary, and I’m wondering whether to back Sanders to win it at 4/1 . The punting heart says back him, the punting head says back Hillary. Perhaps punters will be more bolder than me.

The fact we’re discussing Hillary Clinton not winning California is a reflection on her campaign so far. If she wasn’t facing Trump in November, I’d struggle to come up with plausible reasons on why you should be backing her to win The White House race in November.



Gov. John Hickenlooper – my 80/1 longshot for the Democratic VP nomination

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

This afternoon I got a tip from someone in Colorado that the state governor, John Hickenlooper, was in with a good chance of becoming Hillary’s VP choice.

I quickly went into Betfair and got £11 at an average price of 81.59 without knowing a thing about him. I then Tweeted what I’d done and since then the price has moved in sharply.

A little bit of time on Google later indeed confirmed that he was widely being talked about for this role and other factors seemed right.

Clinton’s big problem is that she cannot possibly risk choosing a senator from a state which currently has a Republican governor. The battle for the Senate in November is going to be critical and the her party needs four gains to win control. She simply cannot add to the pressure by choosing one of a number of likely Senator VP picks.

The way it works is that if a Senator was elected VP then a vacancy would occur which would be filled by the choice of the Governor in the relevant state. That rules out some front runners in the Veepstakes.

Hickenlooper, and I just love that name, comes over very well and his being on the ticket could help the Democrats to take the state in the presidential election.

Mike Smithson


Trump remains the value bet for the Presidency

Friday, May 20th, 2016


It’s time to take the prospect of him winning outright seriously

No-one has got rich betting against Donald Trump this election campaign and now is unlikely to be the time to start. He’s currently best-priced at 5/2 with Ladbrokes, which in a two-horse race implies a serious weakness on his part.

In many ways, he is a seriously weak candidate. He’s never held any public office before, never mind elected public office. He has very little active support from within his own party’s hierarchy. His favourability ratings remain deep in the red. He has a tendency to speak and act in a way that many find offensive. Certainly, he has a vocal and enthused base but presidential elections are won and lost in the middle two deciles whereas a nomination can be – and in his case was – sealed in the first.

So why do his prospects suddenly look quite rosy? In two words: Hillary Clinton.

Hillary is also a weak candidate. By far her biggest achievement so far was going into the primary campaign with her only serious opposition being an angry septuagenarian self-declared socialist. By far her biggest failure is that at the end of May, she’s still failed to shake him off. True, the nomination is now all but secure but rather than a procession to the convention, Sanders is still winning states. Quite simply, she is not popular.

Not that she necessarily needs to be popular; a sufficiently competent and anodyne opponent would be sufficient to channel Never-Trump anxiety to the Democrat. Unfortunately for her, her ratings are too poor even for that. Hillary’s net favourability rating currently stands at about -14 and has only got worse during 2016.

A little while ago, even that would have been enough. At the beginning of April, Trump’s favourability rating was down at -31.5, with exactly a 2:1 ratio against him. Since then though there’s been a marked improvement and his current net score is -17. That’s still historically very poor but it’s now well within range of Hillary.

Those figures find their parallel in the head-to-heads, where Hillary’s lead has been trimmed to just 2.2%; it was (just) in double figures seven weeks ago. Two of the last four polls released have put Trump ahead. That might just be the coincidence that at least one of the two pollsters, Rasmussen, seems to have a structural bias to Trump but all the same, it’s notable.

Of course, US elections are won in the Electoral College, and hence the states, rather than the nationwide vote shares but the two are closely linked. For the moment, we simply don’t have enough state-level data to form a judgement about whether either candidate is piling up votes in the wrong places. Of the six most marginal states in 2012, two (Colorado and Virginia) haven’t had any Trump v Clinton polling conducted this year, and the other four (Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania), polling is sporadic and erratic: the range of results in the last three polls in each state varies by at least 9%, and we have to go back to February for some of those.

One thing we should bear in mind, however, is that ten of the eleven most marginal states were won by Obama last time. Given Trump’s unusual political background, UNS may not be as relevant as usual but the fact remains that there’s quite a lot of low-hanging Democrat fruit with only North Carolina’s fifteen votes particularly vulnerable the other way.

There are still over five months between now and election day and a lot can and will happen in that time. The end of the Democrat race, the vice-presidential picks, the conventions, the debates, the campaigns, the interviews, the off-the-cuff comments, attack ads, media investigations; all could have an effect. Hillary remains the professional in the race and has the patience and experience to handle all that; that should favour her. Yet Trump has had a knack of exploiting his opponents’ weak spots and with Clinton he has a long record to work with, while Hillary has noticeably twice failed to do likewise: first losing to Obama and then taking far longer than should have been the case to see off Sanders.

Clinton is rightly favourite. The numbers still just about favour her and the momentum running the other way may be as much about Trump fading from TV screens now the Republic race is run; she’s also less likely to make serious mistakes. But for all that, she’s a dull Washington insider and a poor campaigner; Trump is not. The best odds suggest he has a 29% chance. I reckon it should be topside of forty.

David Herdson


The Clinton-Trump battle could be a lot closer than anybody thought

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The polling average in the chart from PoliticalWire tells its own story. This is beginning to look as though next November’s election is set to be very tight.

What’s happening with the Republicans is that the party has an election to fight in six months time and it is coming together to get behind the presumptive nominee. If Trump is going to be the flag carrier then Trump is the one who will be supported even with all the reservations about him. He’s going to be a tough opponent for the Clinton machine.

The latest NBC/Survey Monkey poll has Clinton leading Trump by 75% among black voters and a 37% one amongst Hispanics. She is ahead with women but Trump is leading overall amongst men and white voters.

Both the likely nominees are polarising in their own ways and both have very poor favourability ratings.

There’s been a lot of talk about the VP choices that the two will make with Mrs. Palin being suggested for Trump.

On the Democratic side there’s been a lot of talk about Clinton teaming up with Senator Elizabeth Warren who would have an appeal to those who have supported 74 year old Bernie Sanders. The only trouble with this scenario is that the battle for the Senate is going to be very tight which would make it more difficult choosing a sitting Senator. A vacancy for a few months could have big implications.

In the betting Hillary has remained relatively stable but that could change.

Mike Smithson


Cruz drops out after big defeat in Indiana. Trump is declared the presemumptive nominee

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016



A big win for Trump in Indiana overnight has caused Ted Cruz to step aside and the Republican National Committee to declare the property billionaire as the presemumptive nominee.

In the Democratic race Hillary got beaten by Sanders but because of the way the party allocates delegates it is now almost impossible for him to secure enough for the nomination.

Hillary though had been damaged by her failure to win in the state.

Regularly updated odds: Winner 2016 White House Race

Mike Smithson


Why Indiana next Tuesday is so crucial for both Trump and Cruz

Friday, April 29th, 2016

James Burt (TheWhiteRabbit) looks at the battle

Following Trump’s crushing victory in five north-eastern states on Tuesday, attention has now turned to next week’s GOP primary in Indiana.

Indiana could prove a critical state on the route to Trump securing the nomination.

There are ten states left to go to the polls, but four are ‘winner take all’ states where the result is foregone. Another three allocate their delegates proportionally, which means the difference between good and bad performances is no more than twenty delegates between them. And in West Virginia Trump will be battling some arcane delegate allocation rules, rather than Kasich or Cruz.

That leaves just Indiana and California as critical states – and the latter will be among the last to elect, with plenty of hostile terrain for Trump between the two.

Hence Indiana will be Trump’s last chance to land a significant victory for some time, with a fairly hefty 57 delegates up for grabs.

Indiana will allocate 27 to the state winner and a further three to the winner of the state’s ten congressional districts. That means a relatively small lead for Trump over Cruz could mean 45 delegates or more; a small lead for Cruz could easily see Trump reduced to twelve or fewer.

Pre-Tuesday polls show Trump between 5 and 8 points ahead of Cruz. Trump has, if anything, created more momentum this week and is now regularly exceeding the polls. Trump should now be (and indeed is) firm favourite to secure Indiana and take a major step to the nomination. To put it another way: Cruz needs a big upset.

If Trump does win in Indiana, then all he will need to do to get to 1,237 delegates is convert his current polling leads in California. Even if Trump fails to make it across the line prior to the convention, he can now rely on 20 to 30 Pennsylvania delegates who are officially uncommitted but have expressed a preference to vote for him.

This gives Trump a big target to aim at – he deserves skinny odds of 1.28 with PaddyPower to win on the first ballot.

James Burt (TheWhiteRabbit)