Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


How post BREXIT the bookmakers are looking at WH2016

Friday, August 26th, 2016


A certainty – maybe not

With three months to go until election day, people all over the world are lining up to place their bets on who’s going to take on the role of the 45th president of the United States after Barak Obama’s two-term presidency. Up until now, the odds have been everywhere – Donald Trump may have started off with odds that would make you a millionaire if he was elected, but right now, the fact that he could soon be leading one of the most powerful countries in the world is both scaring and exciting millions of people, depending on which side you’re on. But, if the odds are anything to go by, Hilary Clinton is still in the lead, with the wife of former U.S. president Bill Clinton polling strongly during the move along the campaign trail, giving her a solid lead over Republican nominee and immigrant-proof wall-builder Donald Trump.

Is Clinton in the Lead?

It would be safe to say that Hilary Clinton is currently taking the lead, however, when it comes to political betting, it’s always good to remember that sometimes, elections can go a completely different way from how the majority of people envisioned. One of the best recent examples of this is the EU Referendum in the United Kingdom, with bookies placing massive odds on the public voting to leave – a ‘remain’ vote was definitely the favourite, a mistake which cost dearly as the 23rd June saw Britain decide to Brexit with a 52% majority vote. The CEO of Bookmaker Ratings, Paruyr Shahbazyan, said at the time “the shock of Brexit definitely surprised a lot of bookmakers. It’s likely the bookies will be setting tighter odds for the US election, just in case”.

When it comes to the U.S. presidential election, Clinton appears to hold a considerable lead in several of the key states, including New York and California – states which have the most and third-most electoral delegates. However, Donald Trump is currently reigning supreme in Texas, the state with the second-most electoral delegates.

Is the Gap Closing?

Although Hilary Clinton seems to be firmly in the lead, the Republican Convention saw the presidential odds begin to tighten. After Clinton’s extended period of being dominantly in the lead according to the odds, Donald Trump has started to close the gap and creep a little bit closer to being in the lead. And, the bad news for Clinton supporters is that whilst Trump’s odds have been rising, Clinton’s have been doing the exact opposite and falling. Of course, if your money is on Trump to win the presidential election, this is great news for you. However, let’s not forget about Republican newcomer Evan McMullin, a former CIA operative who has recently announced that he will be running for president as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump – great news for anti-Trump Republicans who were unsure of which way to vote.


It’s safe to say that this year’s presidential election in the U.S. will be a stand-off between billionaire media mogul Donald Trump and former First Lady Hilary Clinton, who will become the first female president of the United States if she is elected. It’s worth noting that Clinton’s odds have not yet fallen below those of Donald Trump, as her potential position as the first female president has incited millions of vote from women who want to finally see another woman in power.

On the other hand, Donald Trump was the only presumptive nominee for a month after Ted Cruz and John Kasich both suspended their campaigns within twenty-four hours of one another back in May. Although Clinton gained enough delegates to win the nomination before the Democratic Convention, her opponent Bernie Sanders vowed to take his campaign all the way to Cleveland, before losing the final primary by a huge margin in the District of Columbia on June 14.

The Presidential Race

This year’s presidential race has certainly proven to be one of the most interesting of all time, with many of the candidates defying the odds to win or lose at different points. From a betting perspective, Clinton has always been a firm favourite to win, however, Donald Trump, who’s now the bookies’ second favourite, was just a ludicrous long-shot when he first announced that he would be running in the election. So far, the race for POTUS has taught us one thing – anything can happen!

Who are you backing to win?

Vince D


The betting strategy if for some reason Trump or Clinton aren’t candidates on election day

Sunday, August 21st, 2016


What to do if Trump or Clinton aren’t the candidates on election day?

Paddy Power have markets up on whether Trump or Clinton won’t be their party’s Presidential candidate on election day. After all there has been speculation about Trump quitting the race (or the GOP trying to replace him.)

But if for whatever reason Trump isn’t the candidate on 8/11/2016 if you wanted to bet on this market, the better strategy might be to back the likely replacements for Trump. Say Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz, whose odds range from 160s to 970s on Betfair to be next President.

A similar strategy can be employed on the Democratic Party nominee, where you can back Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine to be the next President at 80s and 1000s respectively on Betfair were something to happen to Hillary Clinton to stop her being the nominee on election day.

For the record I don’t expect either of the candidates to stand down, if they aren’t the candidates on election day it’ll be either for actuarial reasons or well if we have a modern day John Wilkes Booth, so again this is another market where I wish the bookie would offer the other side of the bet. Plus the actual mechanics of a candidate withdrawing at this late stage is very problematic, this article from a few days ago says

This formal re-selection process would take at least a couple weeks, though, and time is ticking down to Election Day.

Most states have their own ballot deadlines for presidential elections so people casting absentee ballots can vote for the correct candidates.

That means that if the RNC replaces Trump, his name could still appear on the ballot in some states — and not the new nominee selected by the party. This could be incredibly confusing for voters who would want to vote for Pence, but would have to select Trump on the ballot, political scientist Josh Putnam told The Washington Post.

Several ballot deadlines have already passed, and more are coming up this week.

“The deadline for things not being messy is like now,” Aull said. “By the end of the month at the latest, that’s the non-messy deadline, whereas post-August or end of September is when things start to get really, really complicated. They don’t want that.”

Another state-specific hurdle would come up after the election.

When voters select a candidate, they are really telling members of the electoral college in their state to vote for that candidate. In some states, the electors can choose whomever they want for president. Others require they vote for a party based on popular vote. And in a third set, electors are legally bound to vote for the name on the ballot.

It’s this third category where the Republican Party would have to go to court to transfer the votes for Trump to the replacement. That would be even more time consuming and “messy.”



The WH2016 TV ad war: How Clinton is outspending Trump in the key swing states

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016


NBC News data


If elected, will Hillary or the Donald be impeached?

Sunday, August 14th, 2016



Will one of them become the first POTUS to be successfully impeached?

Paddy Power have a market up on if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be impeached and resign during their first term.

I have a few concerns with this bet, for example the impeachment process against Richard Nixon never completed to full impeachment, as Nixon resigned as President before the House of Representatives formally impeached him, so if something similar happened, this bet wouldn’t pay out, also that was during Nixon’s second term, again that wouldn’t pay as per the terms of this bet.

If there’s one Presidential candidate you feel that is likely to be impeached it is Donald Trump, especially as some of his policies seem unconstitutional, however this is no bet for me, even before looking at the recent sub-optimal polling that indicates Hillary Clinton is going to be the forty-fifth President.

Another reason that makes me say no Trump bet is that the actual mechanics of the impeachment process, one of the early steps is a majority of House of Representatives most vote to impeach the President (the Senate conducts the actual impeachment trial.)

With the way the House of Representatives has been heavily gerrymandered redistricted in recent years, the GOP majority there is safe, even when Trump is the nominee for President so if they vote on partisan lines, and a successful impeachment conviction needs two-thirds of the Senate to vote for it. Given the current and anticipated make up of the Senate a vote on partisan lines stops the impeachment.

With Hillary Clinton, there would be a symmetry with her being impeached, given her husband also faced impeachment for turning The Oval Office into The Oral Office, but she seems to be the great survivor, given the way her opponents have tried to use the events in Benghazi or her private email set up to topple her but have failed, and as above, if we see a vote in the Senate on impeachment on partisan lines she’s safe.

Overall this is one of those bets where you wish the bookie would offer the other side of the bet, especially with it being limited to the first term only, but if forced I’d  put a very small stake on the 50/1 Hillary option simply because the polling indicates she’s on course to win in November.



Gary Johnson could be the WH2016 king-maker

Saturday, August 13th, 2016


For Hillary and Donald, the fringe candidates matter

US presidential elections are always two-horse races. No candidate from any party other than the Republicans or Democrats has won the White House in over 150 years (which is to say, not since the Republicans became a major force), and nor has any even come close. Even Roosevelt in 1912 – by a huge distance the most successful third-party candidate in that time – fell a very long way short of defeating Wilson.

That’s not to say that minor candidates don’t matter; they do (or at least, they can). To the extent that they do count, it’s in how their support affects the main players. Notoriously, the Green candidate, Ralph Nader, almost certainly decided the 2000 election for Bush against Gore by his presence swinging Florida and with it, the country. Of course, it wasn’t the only reason why Bush won but it was a necessary one, as it turned out.

This year, the minor candidates matter more than usual. In the four elections between 2000 and 2012, they took no more than 1.5% between them whereas at the moment, Jill Stein for the Greens and Gary Johnson for the Libertarians are each polling above that level – and in Johnson’s case, way above that level (and more than the gap between Trump and Clinton).

Both the Huffington Post and RCP averages put him on about 9%, which is within striking distance of the 15% needed for inclusion in the presidential debates. The surge in support from the 1% he won in 2012 is unlikely to be down to many positive factors, although unlike some minor candidates (and, arguably, the occasional major one), Johnson is no crank or lightweight. Both he and his running mate, William Weld, are former governors (of New Mexico and Massachusetts, respectively).

More realistically, his support – and that going to Stein – is a protest against the dreadful quality offered up by the Republicans and the Democrats; one which in Johnson’s case could easily be seen as having found a more credible home than it would with Trump.

So for once, they matter. They matter both because of the options they offer the electorate and because of the dynamics they introduce to the race. Negative campaigning is always a massive part of any American election and given the library of material that Trump and Clinton have to throw at the other, it’s likely to be even more prevalent this time. But negative campaigning only works in relative terms: it doesn’t make you more popular, it just aims to make your opponent more unpopular. That’s fine as long as there isn’t a third or fourth option to which these disillusioned voters can decamp – which this time, there is.

Even so, if a voter is sufficiently fearful of one candidate being elected (and they believe in the possibility of that outcome), then they’ll stick with the best-placed alternative who could beat them – of which there’ll be but one option. It’s only if they’re not sufficiently fearful that they can afford to cast a plague on both houses.

On that score, the presence of Johnson ought to be a serious headache for Trump. A credible ex-Republican is a natural home for GOP voters who don’t trust Trump as much as a Green is a natural bolthole for Sanders supporters disdainful of Hillary. However, while many American voters do hate and fear her, and while there’s good reason to be contemptuous of a DC machine politician masquerading as an outsider, it will be far easier for her to sell Trump’s danger to both the centre and her own radical wing than for him to sell hers – hence no doubt Stein polling at less than half that of Johnson.

Will that continue? I think it will. Not only are the dynamics outlined above likely to continue through the rest of the campaign but there’s an outside possibility that if Johnson does gain support, even if it’s just for negative reasons, he’ll start receiving considerable coverage from a media interested in a new angle. That presence rises much further still if he can make the debates. Stein, by contrast, will get nowhere near.

In all probability, he won’t reach the debates. If it looks like becoming a possibility, no doubt Trump will start sending some fire his way – though that of itself would affect the nature of his fight against Hillary. And having built him up, the media would be likely to start dissecting his policies a good deal more critically, and there’s plenty to dissect. For that reason alone – and there are a good many more, from the electoral system to his party’s campaign organisation – he should only be touched on the betting markets for trading purposes and only by the brave.

All the same, Johnson’s campaign is more than a nuisance for Trump. It’s not just Republican voters could switch; there’s the genuine risk of the Libertarian gaining endorsements from high-profile GOP politicians. So far, he has but a single congressman to his name but there is the intriguing possibility that he could bag the immensely bigger prize of the Republicans’ 2012 presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. Were he to do so, it could easily be the precedent needed for other GOP Trump-sceptics to follow suit.

Party loyalty will probably prevent that but as we’re seeing in the UK, what loyalty to a party means is wide open to interpretation. Never underestimate the ability of a politician to rationalise a supporting case for a preferred conclusion. Johnson might just be the right man in the right place at the right time to siphon support from Trump without GOP-inclined voters having to muddy their consciences with backing Hillary. She’d end up comfortably back in the White House all the same.

David Herdson


As Trump prepares to give a defining speech on the economy the good polling news for Clinton continues

Monday, August 8th, 2016

RealClearPolitics   Election 2016   General Election  Trump vs. Clinton

Trump’s best hope is by becoming more boring

This from the excellent Rick Klein of ABC neatly sums up where we are and what Trump needs to do:-

” It’s not just that Donald Trump needs to pivot – it’s that he needs to pivot away from being what’s made him Donald Trump. That means traditional-candidate Trump, maybe even boring-candidate Trump, reading from notes or TelePrompTers, and staying away from interviews and Twitter for a while. (Not coincidentally, Hillary Clinton is quite good at all of that.) Monday’s speech on the economy, where Trump is expected to lay out his plans for tax cuts and make the case against Hillary Clinton’s plans, will stand as proof (or not) that he gets the message. But the damage already done is severe: The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll makes clear he squandered his convention opportunities, and then stomped all over the post-convention period with a counter-productive series of feuds. Nearly three-fourths of all voters, and six in 10 Republicans, disapproved of his handling of his dispute with the Khan family. He can put that, along with his intra-party fight with Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte, behind him now but doing something he’s not that good at: not making news. Remember, with Trump, dominating news cycles is not his problem. It’s dominating them with a message his party can rally behind that has proved vexing.”

Mike Smithson


The Vladimir Putin link looks set to dog the Trump campaign right through to November

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

His lack of response make it easy for it to be portrayed in the most negative fashion

Above is a new ad from the Clinton campaign seeking to raise doubts over Trump’s linkages with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. It seems to have been aimed at the Republican party establishment and I think it is very effective.

The Putin element has increasingly become a huge campaign issue and one in which the Republican nominee has failed to address. This is all being exacerbated by Trump’s total refusal to release his tax returns – something that every main party nominee has done for nearly half a century.

This leaves him open to attack in so many ways and allows his opponents to frame issues like Putin in terms that suit them.

What’s been remarkable about the campaign since the conventions ended has been the lack of support he’s getting from the big figures in his party. No one wants to be associated with his campaign and their are big fears about the Republicans standing in other elections on November 8th being hit because of the man at the top of the ticket.

There’s been much talk of him pulling out of the race and even that the Republican party would try to find a way of getting him off the ticket. The legal and organisational obstacles to this seem enormous and the time is fast running out.

I can’t see Trump backing out of his on accord. The man has simply got too much pride. What is becoming so clear that it is a totally different kettle of fish going for the nomination compared with being the actual nominee.

As I write Trump is a 23% chance on Betfair.

Mike Smithson


Hillary Clinton appears to be doing much better in polls conducted with live interviews

Friday, August 5th, 2016

“Shy Trump” supporters – possibly?

Above is the national WH2016 polling for the past ten days. Clinton’s ahead in all but notice the big difference between those surveys which were conducted by live interviewers over the phone and those which used the internet or automated phone calls to get responses.

The trend is clear. Hillary does much better when those sampled are talking to a real person. When that’s not how the poll was conducted we see a different picture.

Given the massive negative media coverage that Trump is getting at the moment I wonder whether his supporters are a little bit less likely to volunteer their view to a live person rather than the anonymity of a computer based system.

In broad terms we saw a similar picture in the BREXIT polling. LEAVE was invariably doing better in online surveys, REMAIN with phone interviews.

It has long been argued that the interviewer effect can play a part. People might be less likely to reveal their real views to a real person.

Mike Smithson