Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


Marco Rubio is getting very close to Jeb Bush in the Republican nominee betting

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

While all the focus in the fight for the Republican nomination has been on the three non politician contenders – Trump, Fiorina and Carson – the big recent betting moves have been at the top of the card

The former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush has yet to sparkle in the campaign and had seen his betting price gradually move out while a lot of the recent money has been going on Marco Rubio. He’s the junior senator from Florida and has come to even greater prominence following the turbulence amongst his party leadership in Congress.

Rubio is 44, a Cuban American who is increasingly being seen by the party establishment as the one best able to take on Hillary next year. He’s been helped by Bush’s lacklustre campaign so far and very poor poll ratings.

It is also being said that he’s starting to eat into Bush’s fundraising attracting key players from the Bush team.

Donald Trump continues to lead in the polls but is nothing like as dominant as he previously appeared to be.

Coming up later this month is the next major TV debate of potential nominees. It is expected that this will further sort out some of the less likely contenders – a list that had already started to whittle down.

I’m on Rubio.

Mike Smithson


Don’t read too much into primary polls at this point in the electoral cycle

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Out of the fifteen polls completed in September 2007, John McCain the eventual nominee didn’t lead in any of them polling as low as 10% and generally being in a distant third/fourth place behind the frontrunners Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson who were polling in the 30s. In October 2007 McCain polled as low as 8%.

In early September 2011 the polling had eventual nominee Mitt Romney trailing Rick Perry consistently and even occasionally Herman Cain leading. While later on that year Romney started trailing Newt Gingrich and in early 2012 was trailing Rick Santorum.

The American Presidential race is going to be the major betting event on PB for the next year so when looking at any poll on who the nominees will be, the past performance of these polls needs to be remembered. We shouldn’t read too much into the current polls as the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Herman Cain will attest. Just because Trump is leading now it isn’t guaranteed that he will be the nominee.



Hillary looks set to struggle in New Hampshire but Sanders unlikely to be much of a threat elsewhere

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Where does the Democratic race stand now?

Hillary Clinton continues to dominate the betting for the Democratic nomination for next year’s White House Race. She has slipped a bit but she is still a very tight odds on favourite.

Her main opponent who has declared himself is the 74 year old Bernie Sanders an independent senator from the neighbouring state of Vermont.

Apart from the fact that he would be nearly 80 at the end of his term if he competed for the presidency and won historical experience suggests that politicians from neighbouring states to New Hampshire tend to do very well in primaries there. Their performances elsewhere has been mixed.

Hillary appears to have a strong position so far in the polls in Iowa, which with its caucuses is the first State to make a decision. Iowa is not a full primary where elections are held under the supervision of the state. In caucus states interested party supporters attend meetings on the designated day where they vote. These are all overseen and administered by the state party organisation.

    The big question with the Democratic nomination remains: will vice president Joe Biden throw his hat into the ring? The speculation over his intentions have gone on for a very long time and the longer he waits the harder it will be for him to mount a successful primary campaign nationally.

It will also be very costly and most of the major donors to the Democratic party have already been signed up by the Clinton Clan.

All this doesn’t mean that Hillary is home and dry. The fact that Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are polling so well in some States suggests that there is a fair degree of unease about her candidacy.

Mike Smithson


Suddenly the polls and the betting move away from Donald Trump

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Check out the above Fox News report


Ahead of tonight’s GOP debate Ben Carson moves to within 4 points of Trump in New Hampshire

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Ahead of tonight’s debate CNN report

Ben Carson is closing in on Donald Trump in New Hampshire, according to a new poll out Wednesday, just hours before the candidates will face off against each other in the second Republican primary debate.

Trump is still leading GOP candidates and has 22% of likely voters in the New Hampshire Republican primary, according to the WBUR survey. But Carson has garnered 18% of support, bringing him within 4 points of Trump. Fiorina has 11%, pushing Bush out of the top 3. The former Florida governor and Ohio Gov. John Kasich both polled at 9%.

This is becoming a very hard race to assess as you feel a candidate like Donald Trump shouldn’t be leading in the polls but he is (though I said the same about Jeremy Corbyn.) Like Corbyn, Trump is a breath of fresh air for the  voters. I think he’s the well funded Herman Cain of this campaign cycle rather than Mitt Romney . The next fourteen months should make for fascinating viewing and betting especially with Hillary Clinton faltering.



We have the first poll with Trump leading Clinton

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

A poll by Survey USA was released this weekend and it found.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton head-to-head, according to a new poll released Friday. The poll by SurveyUSA finds that matched up directly, Trump garners 45 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent.

In other head-to-head matchups, Trump beats out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) by 44 percent to 40 percent; Vice President Joe Biden by 44 percent to 42 percent; and former Vice President Al Gore by 44 percent to 41 percent.

This might well be an outlier, as the above tweet shows. I thought this polling might be a reaction Clinton’s recent problems, but he’s leading the other likely contenders. Trump is proving a breath of fresh air with the voters, will it last? But if this is the start of some consistent polling leads for Trump versus Clinton then those of us laying Trump might wish to reconsider. As ever we need more polling.

Labour electing Jeremy Corbyn as leader and Donald Trump becoming President of the United States of America is a sentence I never expected to type. Three months ago on the 6th of June Corbyn was 100/1 to be next Labour Leader and you could have gotten 150/1 on Trump being the next President. Now the best odds you can get are 2/7 and 9/1 respectively. Politics and betting therein is a funny old world at times.



Is Hillary in trouble and can ‘The Donald’ last?

Friday, September 4th, 2015

ScreenGrab ClintonTrump

Whilst Clinton and Trump set the pace, a host of other candidates are waiting in the wings.  Polling expert Keiran Pedley runs the rule over the 2016 US Presidential hopefuls.

Having spent the past week in the U.S. visiting my wife’s parents I have been able to spend some time looking at the 2016 US Presidential race in detail. Make no mistake, the campaign is in full swing, with Iowa and New Hampshire just a few short months away.

I have been struck by just how much trouble Hillary Clinton is in and also at how Donald Trump genuinely appears to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination as things stand. My instinct is that neither will end up as President but this is a tough race to call. There is no incumbent and it does seem that a real anti-establishment fervour is taking hold – among activists on both sides – which is throwing up some frankly bizarre poll numbers. The question is – will it all last?

Hillary struggles

Watching from this side of the Atlantic, it would be easy to underestimate just how much Hillary Clinton is struggling. The ongoing scandal over her alleged use of private email servers to send classified information does not look like going away. Whether fair or not – several other Secretaries of State have used similar arrangements – this scandal seems to touch on an underlying problem the Clintons face more generally. They are popular but divisive and many Americans do not trust them.

Worryingly for Hillary, this now shows in her poll numbers too. A recent ABC / Post poll showed that 53% of Americans view her unfavourably compared to 45% that view her favourably. To put this in context, at the time of Obama’s re-election in 2012 an ABC / Post poll put her at 66% favourable and just 28% unfavourable. The trend is clear. Some Democrats are now openly wondering whether further scandal (or even an indictment) could kill her campaign stone dead.

No wonder Joe Biden is considering entering the race. The Vice President recently had a very public ‘secret meeting’ with Elizabeth Warren (darling of the Democratic left) and is clearly on manoeuvres in the coming weeks. He visits Florida and Pennsylvania over the weekend and will appear on Stephen Colbert’s late night show next week. If this wasn’t bad enough for Clinton, she also faces a challenge from the left, with socialist Bernie Sanders even leading her in a recent poll in New Hampshire.

How serious is all this for Hillary? As usual, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. On average she is 24 points clear of Bernie Sanders among Democrats nationally and despite a close contest in New Hampshire, she convincingly leads in all the other early primary States. Meanwhile, it isn’t clear if Biden will really run. He has yet to put together the serious organisation and fundraising apparatus he would need to do so and could just as easily use next week’s Colbert appearance to announce he is not running and endorse Clinton as anything else.

‘The Donald’ dominates

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, the early front-runner (and GOP establishment favourite) Jeb Bush has seemingly been eclipsed by political newcomers Donald Trump and Ben Carson. In fact, a recent Monmouth poll showed Trump and Carson taking a combined 48% of the vote among Republicans nationally – striking given that neither has held political office. Let that sink in – this is the Presidency of the United States!

Of the two, Donald Trump is the clear front-runner in the race. Among Republicans nationally he leads Carson by 27.2 points to 13.2 on average with Jeb Bush in 3rd place on 9.2 points. This is a commanding lead and we should take it seriously. If you need further evidence, consider that Trump is ahead in key early States too, leading Jeb Bush and John Kasich in New Hampshire and Ben Carson in Iowa.

The success of Trump to-date owes much to his name recognition, anti-Washington rhetoric and swash-buckling ‘style’. However, at times his campaign has been every bit as unconventional as the man. His decision to pick a fight with Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly is the embodiment of this. Any other candidate would have been hurt but Trump possesses a Boris Johnson-esque ability to get away with things others cannot. Meanwhile he dominates the news agenda and makes it very difficult for other candidates to gain any momentum – as the polls show.

If you can sense a ‘but’ coming it’s because there is.

The Republican race is currently a very crowded field and we don’t know how polling will shift once candidates start dropping out and endorsing each other. More importantly there are three little words that I suspect will end up being Trump’s undoing – ‘Commander-in-Chief’. Right now, he embodies the maverick anti-establishment rebel but will the Republican Party trust him on foreign policy in the end? I suspect not but for now he is very much in the race and dominating it.

The verdict: Hillary vs ?

Looking forward to 2016, I still expect Hillary Clinton to be the Democrat nominee. If she ends up indicted all bets are off but otherwise she has the experience, organisation and financial muscle to win the nomination in the end – regardless of what Biden does. If her reputation in the country is mixed, she remains popular among Democrats. She should be fine.

The Republican race is much less clear. When we consider the sheer number of candidates in the race and the fact that political novices Trump and Carson currently lead it really is all to play for. Expect Jeb Bush to stay the course and gain ground as minds concentrate on the inexperience of Carson and unpredictability of Trump. I would also keep an eye on John Kasich and Marco Rubio. Kasich is Governor of the crucial swing State of Ohio and is currently polling well in New Hampshire whilst Rubio is a young Hispanic Senator from Florida. There are compelling reasons to think both could do well if they can get more coverage nationally.

There will no doubt be many twists and turns between now and 2016. I still think that Clinton will make it but the Republican race is anyone’s guess. A potential debt-ceiling row later in 2015 could be all-important. The key question is will the newcomers fade away to be replaced by more conventional candidates or can Carson or Trump actually win the nomination? Time will tell.

Keiran Pedley

Keiran Pedley is a Polling expert at GfK and tweets about politics and polling at @keiranpedley


The way’s clear for Carly Fiorina to take on Trump directly in the next GOP debate on September 16th

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

CNN changes its rules so she can be at the top table

One of the huge problems for US broadcasters is that so many people have declared themselves as contenders for the Republican party nomination. The current count is about 16 or 17 which clearly is far too big a number for a TV debate to be manageable.

In the first debate, staged by Fox News, there were 2 tiers with those at the top featuring in the main event, and getting the greatest coverage. Amongst the so-called “undercard” debate just one contender stood out – Carly Fiorina the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and the only woman in the race. She got good coverage for her attacks on Donald Trump who, of course, was in the other debate.

The effect was dramatic: polling at 0% or 1% before the event she shot up to seven or eight in some surveys and has even topped the betting favourite, Jeb Bush. Recent polls in Iowa have her holding up a strongish position in what is the first State to decide in the nomination battle.

The next debate from CNN takes place on September 16th and the broadcaster had announced beforehand a strict set of Rules determining who should participate in the top tier based on polling averages before and after the Fox debate. Only problem was that there’ve been so few qualifying polls since the Fox debate that Carly good numbers were not enough when averaged out.

That’s now change and she looks set to be there at the top table in Boston. The coverage this is likely to produce could see her move further in the betting and the polls and I’ve had a bit of a punt.

Mike Smithson