Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category

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My 50-1 shot for the WH2016 Republican nomination has an overwhelming victory in the CPAC straw poll

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Each March in the US there’s the Conservative Political Action Conference attended by many leading GOP figures and at which there is a straw poll on who the delegates favour as party nominee for next time. Last year it was won by Kentucky senator, Rand Paul. This year he did it again by an increased margin.

Paul, of course, is the son of Ron Paul who was a leading contender in the 2012 race for the nomination.

Back in November 2012 shortly after Barack Obama’s re-election I tipped and bet on Rand Paul AT 50/1 for the nomination.

Those backing Paul believe that his strong his libertarian message particularly on things like civil liberties could resonate with young people and minorities – key voter segments where the party has had problems in the past.

Back in November 2012 I wrote:

“A big thing that Rand Paul’s likely to have going for him is his father’s extraordinarily enthusiastic and well organised supporter base that at one stage during the summer threatened to make life very difficult for the Romney camp.

In many states ostensibly won by Romney Paul supporters managed to get themselves elected as convention delegates and could have been in a powerful position. It was only when Ron himself intervened to call his troops off that Romney looked secure.

Rand Paul will be very strong in the states that have party caucuses rather than primaries and he’s likely to have a well-honed fund-raising machine.

Does he stand a chance? I don’t know but as we get closer the betting price is likely to get a lot tighter and it’s nice to be sitting on a 50/1 bet.”

Long-standing PBers will recall that I got on Barack Obama at 50/1 in May 2005. It would be very satisfying to do that again.

The latest best bookie price on Rand Paul is 9/1.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter




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Why at 40-1 John Kerry is worth a punt for the 2016 Democratic party nomination

Friday, February 21st, 2014

He could be ideally placed if his Middle East peace plan succeeds

The first thing I did on my return last night from an intensive tour of Israel and Palestine was to place a bet at 50/1 with Ladbrokes on the defeated 2004 presidential candidate, John Kerry, for the Democratic party nomination in the 2016 White House race. Alas the bookie has now cut the price to 25/1 though you can still get him at 40/1 with other firms.

Before getting on my flight home a senior official in the Netanyahu adminstration told me that he rated the chances of Kerry’s peace initiative succeeding at 50-50. Given the awful history of getting agreement in this conflict that seemed a pretty strong assessment.

This broadly echoed the views of many of those I spoke to on both sides of the divide about where things stand. Kerry is putting a massive effort into finding a solution and trying to bring the parties together.

There are, of course, huge hurdles ahead and Kerry has to persude both the Israelis and Palestinians to bite the bullet on issues that are so central to them including the biggest of all – recognising each side’s right to exist.

    But the evidence from the polling is that both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples are getting increasingly tired of the status quo and might just be ready to countenance a historic compromise.

There would probably have to be referenda amongst the Israelis and Palestinians if a draft deal is reached.

If this did work out it would be a massive boost to the 70 year old Kerry and could provide a great platform for him to try, once more, to become president. What looks like a shoo-in for Kerry’s predecessor as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, could become an interesting contest.

Kerry, of course, is denying that he’s interested in the presidency but my guess is that the accolades he’d get if he pulled this off could change his mind. Whatever I think it is worth a punt at long odds.

  • I plan to write a fuller report over the weekend on what was an extraordinary and stimulating visit
  • Mike Smithson

    Ranked in top 35 most influential over 50s on Twitter




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    Peter the Punter on who the Republicans might choose to stop this happening – Hillary back in the Oval Office

    Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

    MikeBillCOval (1)
    Bill & Hillary in Oval Office 1998. Mike S behind Stephen Hawking

    Peter gives his assessments – Part 2

    Last time around, the Republican [GOP] Nomination was a bean-feast for me, and for quite a few other gamblers here, I’m sure.

    The procedure was blissfully easy. You simply layed whoever was the latest clown to inspire the GOP base, safe in the knowledge that when push came to shove common -sense would prevail and the Party would revert to the sensible choice. I don’t think I even bothered to back Mitt Romney, even though it was pretty obvious all along that he was the most likely winner. It was simpler, safer, and more profitable to ‘Lay The Loony’, as the drill became affectionately known. Bachmann, Perry, Santorum, Cain (Cain!), Gingrich, Perry , even Donald Trump were all backed in to short odds, if not favouritism, by punters following the lead of a GOP base that appeared desperate for a candidate true to their beliefs, and a little more charismatic than steady old Mitt. All we had to do was lay the buggers to create beautifully green books, and a bonus if and when good sense and the fear of a thrashing at the polls ensured the Party ran with a plausible candidate.

    Could we be as lucky again? I asked my mole in California, and it seems there is hope. But let’s start with the likelier suspects.

    Marco Rubio 6/1 – He’s been a bit quiet until very recently, when untilwhen he spoke up on two sticky issues, the Merkel bugging and immigration. He ticks most of the boxes, and double on is a magnet for the all-important Latino vote but he’s not one to enthuse the base. The odds are a bit cramped for me, but I wouldn’t be laying at that price either.

    Jeb Bush 8/1 – A lot of commentators are saying will say the surname is toxic, but Jeb’s PR has always been that he is the smartest Bush. He has a good record in office and would doubtless carry the swing state of Florida. Does he want to run though? If he does, I’d be a buyer rather than a seller at this price.

    Chris Christie 8/1 - Personally, I have no doubt that he would give Hillary a closer run than any other GOP nominee, and start as favourite if she opts out. He did not however endear himself to the Party – base though with his closeness to President Obama in the aftermath of at the time of hurricane Sandy, nor with his views on gun control or gay marriage. It doesn’t help either that he represents the relatively liberal New Jersey. For many GOP supporters, only New York could be worse. The Party’s right wing has held its nose twice now and run with a moderate Republican, first McCain and then Romney. I think it is fair to say Christie is well to the left of both. Would the Party it hold its nose a third time? 8/1 looks about right to me.

    Rand Paul 8/1 – He’s no Loony, but I’ll be laying him anyway. Like his Dad, he has a will not lack for wealthy, enthusiastic and well- organised support. The trouble is that his politics just doesn’tdon’t fit the mould and interesting though he may be, he seems destined to be a lively also-ran, just like Dad. It was generally the case that the old man’s price overstated his real chances. There were even indications that his supporters ramped the price. Good on them if they did. Punters who bet with their head rather than their heart cleaned up. I think the same is likely to happen with junior.

    Paul Ryan 8/1 – He’s a scandal-free , Cconservative who , does little wrong and performed well as Romney’s VP pick. He isn’t very the most charismatic of performers and the Party – base is likely to find him acceptable rather than inspiring. If the Party , but if it balks at Christie, however, Ryan is an obvious next-best. He’s a buy at this price.

    If these are the most plausible candidates, what of the Loonies?

    It seems unlikely that any of those who that stood last time would try again in even more challenging conditions, so we are on the look-out for really looking for a new crop. We may have to wait a bit, since it is normal for such candidates to emerge late and ride a surge before imploding. We do nevertheless already have Ted Cruz (16/1), who has risen to national prominence on the back of popular demand for complete and utter intransigence. I have been backing him down from much higher odds and even at the current price, I would be happy to go in again. There is plenty of scope for his price to shorten further and I confidently expect to be able to lay off at a profit when it does.

    It’s difficult to name any others just yet, but I am sure there will be plenty along in due course. Remember that Hermann Cain was virtually unknown before shooting to prominence during the last nomination round. The trick is to spot them early. What should you be looking for? Well, ideally you want a conservative, preferably with Tea Party and/or evangelical leanings. Governors are good, especially if they are strong on opposing abortion and gun control. The more “outside-the-Beltway” and, the less they have had to do with hate Washington and the East Coast establishment, the better their chances. Back them at double- digit prices and lay off when the price halves, or at the first sniff of scandal. You can’t go wrong.

    The names to look out for may not yet be on any bookie’s list yet, but of those that are, and have some at least of these the right credentials, I would be moderately interested in the following:.

    Rob Portman 20/1 – Ohio Senator who was widely tipped to be running-mate to Romney last time around. He has a reputation for being solidly conservative and capable.

    Scott Walker 16/1 – Wisconsin Governor.

    Susana Martinez 33/1 – New Mexico Governor with strong conservative credentials. A Hispanic on the ticket would undoubtedly be an asset, but that perhaps makes her a good running-mate rather than the candidate.

    Nikki Haley 33/1 – Governor S. Carolina. Strong conservative credentials too but has been taintedouched by scandal stories.

    Eric Cantor 33/1 – Virginia Representative. Would not get many votes in Gaza but as staunchly solidly conservative as any.,

    Good luck, whoever you put your money on

    Note: This piece was written a week ago, and since then we have had some interesting elections, notably Christie’s huge success in the New Jersey Govenor contest. Ladbrokes have cut his price to 9/2. That looks about right to me. If you see bigger, take it.

    I would also add Bobby Jindal to the list of serious candidates, decent enough value at 16/1. But Christie looks a strong front-runner now

    Peter Smith [Peter the Punter]



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    Amazing story coming out of the US about how a single trader sought to manipulate the Intrade Romney price at WH2012

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

    So this was why Betfair and Intrade were so far apart

    The big political betting this afternoon is not EdM’s speech but a report from the US about how a single trader sought to manipulate the Romney price on Intrade in the run-up to last November’s White House election.

    The divergence of the two markets was something that was much discussed on PB at the time and I wondered whether such market manipulation was going on. The only problem I saw was the sheer scale of resources that would be required to do it. According to the report:

    The trader bet solely on Romney and constantly sold on Obama, losing about $4 million in the process.

    Those actions effectively created what the study called a “firewall” that kept prices within a defined range and made the race seem closer than it really was.

    This is always possible with political betting. People can try to use betting prices to give the impression of momentum.

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news




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    My 50-1 shot for the GOP WH2016 nomination moves into the lead in New Hampshire

    Friday, April 26th, 2013

    Back on November 17th 2012 I backed Ron Paul’s son, at 50/1, to be the WH2016 Republican nominee.

    A PPP poll in the first full primary state of New Hampshire had him at just 4%.

    Today a new PPP New Hampshire poll is out putting Rand in the lead on 28% – 3% ahead of the betting favourite, Mario Rubio.

    My thinking six months ago was that a big thing that Rand Paul’s likely to have going for him is his father’s extraordinarily enthusiastic and well organised supporter base that at one stage during last summer threatened to make life very difficult for the Romney camp.

    In many states ostensibly won by Romney Paul supporters managed to get themselves elected as convention delegates and could have been in a powerful position. It was only when Ron himself intervened to call his troops off that Romney looked secure.

    Rand Paul will be very strong in the states that have party caucuses rather than primaries and he’s likely to have a well-honed fund-raising machine.

    Since November Rand has been more in the public eye following a spectacular 13 hour filibuster in the Senate.

    Regular followers of PB will know that I love long-standing at big odds placed years in advance. I backed and tipped Barack Obama at 50/1 in May 2005. Maybe my Rand Paul 50/1 bet will also come good?

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news




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    Two months after the election the #WH2012 votes are finally counted and we can announce the PB-William Hill winners

    Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

    Congratulations to Cityunslicker who takes the top slot

    When the William Hill/Politicalbetting White House race prediction competition was announced in September nobody could have envisaged that we would have to wait for two months after the election before getting a final outcome.

    Entrants were asked simply to predict, down to two decimal points, who the winning candidate would be and the size of the winning margin.

    On the night it looked as though an Obama popular vote lead of about 2% would do it. Since then those who predicted slightly more than that have watched as their numbers started to move into the frame only to move out of contention as the vote gap grew large and larger.

    Now with New York state finally in we can settle the competition. The overall Obama vote margin was 3.849% and the nearest entry to that was Cityunslicker with a prediction of 3.85%. He takes the first prize of £500 worth of free bets.

    Awarding the second and third place prizes has provded a bit more tricky with three entrants on 3.88% – Peter_from_Putney, David_Kendrick and Andrew. Because there’s a three-way tie for the two remaining prizes the timing of the entries has been the decider with Peter from Putney allocated second prize of £350 worth of free bets and David Kendrick the third prize of £150 worth of bets.

    Can the winners please drop me an email so we can sort out details of getting the prizes to them?

      Finally a big word of thanks to Graham Sharpe of William Hill for making this competition possible.

    Can I also thank AndyJs for the brilliant job he has done monitoring the vote share and the hundreds of entries.

    The big question now is where the winners should invest their prize. I quite like the William Hill Italian election 5/1 that Berlesconi will become Italian PM during 2013.

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news




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    The 10 “Wild moments” of the 2012 White House campaign

    Monday, December 31st, 2012

    A great recap of the political betting story of the year

    To think that exactly a year ago we were waiting for the Iowa caucuses and the massive shock of Rik Santorum’s unexpected which for many of us led to big profits.

    I love White House races and this one was superb seeing my longest odds winning bet ever, a lay of Romney at 1/100 in one of the early caucuses.

    My big regret is that I didn’t risk more on an Obama victory.

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news




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    Obama’s winning popular vote margin is edging upwards by the day and now stands at 3.45 percent

    Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

    And there are several million votes still to be counted

    Thanks to PB’s AndyJS for the great work he’s doing tracking the final total in the 2012 White House race. His spreadsheet is being updated several times as day and has become just about the most authoritative source for the outcome. Andy is also doing the Wikipedia page.

    Just three weeks ago, the day after the election, it looked as though Obama’s overall lead was about 2% and this was the number used to calculate the inevitable polling accuracy tables.

    Well as the counting of absentee ballots and the certification of results state by state continues the gap between the two men is getting larger and larger. The 0230 GMT update by AndyJS above and shows Obama now with a 3.43% lead which could get wider.

      For Mitt Romney his total is edging downwards by the day and is heading towards the 47% level – a number which became quite significant for him during the campaign.

    For PBers who entered the site’s prize competition in conjunction with William Hill the wait continues. The winners will be the ones who get closest to the final margin to within two decimal points when the results from all states are in. Hopefully we’ll know by next week.

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news