Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


Hillary Clinton is winning this election because it has become a referendum on Donald Trump

Thursday, October 20th, 2016


Trump is too thin-skinned for his own good

I’ve just got back from Brussels where Matthew Shaddick (the famous Shadsy of Ladbrokes) and I gave presentations about betting on politics which is almost certainly more advanced in the UK than anywhere else in the world.

Of course BREXIT is still a big focus but we sought to look forward to November 8th when America decides.

I’m just catching up with events in WH2016 and there’s lots of interesting insight and analysis in the US media today following the overnight third and final Clinton-Trump debate. I like this analysis from James Hohmann of the Washington Post picked up by PoliticalWire:-

“..“Clinton has spent the past few months trying to frame the election as a referendum on him. She’s succeeded, in part, because Trump’s favorite thing to talk about is, well, Trump. And he takes everything personally. Trump started his answer on the Supreme Court vacancy, for example, by noting that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said nasty things about him and claiming that she was ‘forced to apologize.’”

On the same theme Margaret Down New York Times observed:-

“. “In Trump’s warped fun-house mirror of a psyche, every rejection is a small death. That is why he harps on humiliation, that America is being humiliated on the world stage, that we are losing potency — a theme that resonates with angry voters who feel humiliated by their dwindling economic fortunes and angry about illegal immigrants and refugees swarming in who might be competition.

She (Clinton) once more proved adept at getting her rival’s goat: She again contended that he’s not a self-made man but a spoiled rich kid who was underwritten by his father and she accused him of choking on bringing up the issue of who would pay for the wall when he met with the president of Mexico.

Trump tried to stay calm, but he can never let go of a slight.”

Mike Smithson


White House race turnout betting

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Paddy Power and Betfair have markets up on the turnout on the White House race, I’m not sure what the level of turnout will be, I can see given the polarising nature of the candidates, and especially with the fervour of Trumpers, with 40% of Trump supporters in Florida telling PPP that they thought Hillary Clinton was a demon turnout will be up from the 2012. Another boost for turnout on both sides should be Trump saying in last night’s debate that Roe v. Wade will be overturned ‘automatically’ if he’s elected.

On the flip side, with the apparent GOP establishment going on strike against Trump, and both major party candidates having dire personal ratings, I can foresee turnout going below 50%, I’m not sure there’s any value left in this market, but if I was forced to have a bet, I’d go for 49.99% or below, which is available at around 6/1 ish because as you can see in the chart above, US Presidential turnout levels are significantly lower than we’re used to in the U.K for general elections.



Another debate, another victory for Hillary

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

But was this the zinger of debate season?




Ahead of the final debate Betfair gives Trump just a 16% chance of being next President

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016


The debate starts 2am UK time.



Trumpgate could gift the Democrats the jackpot

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

The down-ballot races could result in both Houses going Blue

Donald Trump is not a happy man. That’s not of itself news: Donald Trump is hardly ever a happy man – when did you last see him crack a relaxed smile? But all the same, he’s a particularly unhappy man at the moment. We know this because he’s lashing out at individuals, which is what he does when someone scores a hit on him.

Those hits – the string of allegations of sexual impropriety – and his inability to effectively counter them or move the news cycle on have taken their toll. A month ago, the RCP poll average had Hillary’s lead down to under 2%; it’s now 6.7% and rising. Trump has lost 3½ points since the start of the month. That might not sound much but unless addressed quickly, his deficit will become unrecoverable.

The state polling tells much the same story. The battleground states are nearly all tilting the same ways that they did four years ago, with the exception of Iowa which Trump might win against trend, and North Carolina, which he’s on to lose. Unfortunately for him, North Carolina carries 15 Electoral College votes while Iowa holds just six. And that’s without potential curveballs from places like Alaska, Utah or even Texas (where Clinton closed to just 4% in the most recent poll, which may or may not be an outlier).

I don’t really see how he can win from here. It’s not so much the numbers, bad though they are; it’s that his campaign looks incapable of bridging the gap between where he is and where he needs to be.

More importantly, both Trump and senior GOP figures seem to be readying themselves for a Clinton win too. That’s what the blame game is about on his part and the disassociation game on theirs.

And well might senators, governors and congressmen try to disassociate themselves from their nominal leader. The swing to the Democrats at White House level is being replicated down the ballot too.

Going in to the 2016 Senate elections, the Republicans hold 54 seats to the Democrats’ 44, plus two Democrat-leaning independents. Four gains would see Clinton’s party regain control; six or more would put them in a very strong position. That matters, not just for passing legislation but also because of the powers to approve or reject many of the president’s senior nominees, of which more later.

The seats being contested this time were last fought in 2010, when the Republicans gained six seats, which gives a good indication of what’s possible. Can the Democrats win them back? It’s likely. They currently lead in the Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois races and are within 2% in North Carolina and New Hampshire (though on the other side of the ledger, they may lose Nevada). If the Trump campaign implodes in the final weeks, Missouri and Florida could come into play. At best, the GOP is likely to come out of the elections with a wafer-thin majority; at worst, the Democrats could hold one outright themselves.

The position in the House is, as always, more complex given that all 435 seats are up for election but the generic national polling puts the Democrats about six points clear. Even with the inbuilt advantage the Republicans have from the way the districts are drawn, that should be enough to secure a majority.

Put that all together and if you’re a Republican, you’re potentially looking at a disaster. The threat wouldn’t lie in the scale of the defeats (which wouldn’t be all that big historically) but in the monopoly on power the Democrats would then hold. There’s a lot that a Congress and President can do when they work together.

But above all, there’s the battle for control of the US’s fourth and most important institution: the Supreme Court. Clinton was clear in the second debate about her intention to nominate judges who would take a liberal, socially activist interpretation of the law. A Democrat-controlled Senate would give her the means to do so, until the mid-term elections anyway.

And two years might be all she’d need. The Court’s currently split 4-4 between liberals and conservatives following the death of Justice Scalia back in February, so just the nomination for the vacant seat would tip the balance – which is the main reason the Republican-controlled Senate hasn’t considered Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. But with three justices in their 80s or late 70s, she and her congressional allies might have the chance to leave a much larger mark on the Court; one which would far outlive her presidency.

Those are the stakes being played for next month. Trump as president would no doubt leave a significant impact on America and the world. But the impact he might already have had as a losing candidate might be as profound, if not quite as direct.

David Herdson


White House Race round-up

Thursday, October 13th, 2016


Punters continue to desert Trump as do more leading Republicans

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016


The embattled GOP nominee is continuing his fight even though leading Republican figures are in effect disowning him. He’s now as likely to focus his anger on his own party as Hillary Clinton. He’ been particularly venomous about the leading Republican in Congress, Paul Ryan.

Inevitably the betting has continued to move away from him. Just 16 days ago he was a 35% chance on the Betfair exchange – that’s now down to just over 15%.

    But his following remain enthusiastic and fired up and you can see a post-November 8th scenario when the party leadership is seen as having betrayed the legitimately elected nominee.

For the Republicans the worry is the impact Trump will have on the other elections particularly the fiercely contested battle for it to retain control of the Senate.

At the moment I’m trying to identify new betting opportunities.

Mike Smithson


Initial WH2016 early voting analysis suggests that fewer Registered Republicans are voting compared with 2012

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Early voting in North Carolina


The excellent US blog,InsightUS, is providing regular reports and analysis on early voting for the election which takes place four weeks today.

In the swing state of North Carolina data is being released by the election board showing how many have early voters have participated so far and this is being compared with what was happening at exactly the same stage in 2012.

The post notes:-

“..North Carolina’s registered Republicans simply aren’t voting (so far, anyway) in anything like the numbers they typically post. This is surely the most bizarre result we’ve ever seen in decades of poll-watching…but then, by any reasonable criterion this is also the most bizarre election year in modern history.

ABM voting is typically the almost exclusive domain of Republicans (as the red bars in the figure above – for 2012 – illustrate). Democrats typically prefer in-person Early Voting (which begins on October 20th this year). But this election, while both Dems and independents have posted modest upticks relative to 2012 (107% and 106%, respectively), Republicans are voting at just 55% of their 2012 numbers. And this ‘Trump slump’ fully accounts for the overall decline in ABM voting so far.

It’s hard to imagine a reasonable scenario in which the mere mechanics of vote tabulation by the Board of Elections could yield numbers like these, short of bizarre conspiracy theories..”

Clearly this is just one state and the overall numbers are very small but this doesn’t look good for Mr. Trump or other Republicans standing for office.

Mike Smithson