Archive for the 'US Politics' Category


Your timetable for this historic day

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016


How events will unfold state by state

November 8th 2016 (all times GMT)

5.00am Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location, New Hampshire
The two communities of Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location in the battleground state of New Hampshire, have been voting at midnight for the best part of forty years and between them, give us the first indications of the result. For instance in 2012 Obama polled 28 votes in the two locations, Romney 14 votes and Johnson 1 vote (Obama 65%, Romney 33%, Johnson 2%) which when compared to the 2008 results in the locations showed there was no real swing between Obama and Romney with Johnson’s support switching to Ron Paul (as write in candidates). This compared to a national swing of 1.7% to Romney suggesting that the swing in these two locations is smaller than the national swing. Therefore if Clinton romps home in these two locations, a Clinton landslide is very likely, but if Trump wins, no matter by how small a margin, then we are in for a cliffhanger of an election

9.00am The Northern Marianas Islands
It may sound odd, but there are in fact 441 seats in Congress. The extra seats are for the delegation from the Northern Marianas Islands, which thanks to there only being one candidate will be filled by Gregorio Kilili Camacho “Kilili” Sablan who although an Independent will caucus with the Democrats

10.00am Guam
however the island nation of Guam where there will be an election between Madeleine Zeien Bordallo for the Democrats and Felix P. Camacho for the Republicans for their congressional seat

9.00pm Puerto Rico
as will the the resident commissioner for Puerto Rico (where not only do they have a multi party election, they are parties that have no connection to the United States parties)

11.00pm The United States Virgin Islands, first polls in Indiana and Kentucky
Indiana is such a Republican state that, along with Kentucky, it can be called for the Republicans without any problems at all. However in 2008, it didn’t and that gave an instant clue that Obama was going to win. Therefore Indiana which requires a swing of 5.1% to flip will give us an instant clue to the result. If the networks project it as Trump, then it’s going to be no change since 2012, but any hint of a Clinton win (even to the extent of the networks not being prepared to call it at 11.00pm) and that’s it, Clinton has won a landslide. But those aren’t the only elections that the media will be looking at, with open seats in IN 3, IN 9 and KY 1 and an open seat in the senate election for Indiana the Democrats aim to retake the Senate and the House would get a very early boost. The United States Virgin Islands are the fourth extra seat in Congress with a straight GOP / Dem fight

November 9th 2016

12.00am Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont, all polls in Indiana and Kentucky, first polls in Florida
Another indication of the battle will come now when Georgia’s polls close. Georgia only needs a swing of 3.9% to flip and so any suggestion of this state being too close to call will bolster the Clinton camp, but we will also get our first suggestions from Florida, a state that Trump would gain on a 0.44% swing. So what could happen? Well, in theory both Georgia and Florida could flip in opposite directions making both “too close to call” and no doubt giving the Trump campaign cause for both concern and joy at the same time.

12.30am Ohio, West Virginia, first polls in North Carolina
Ohio is the real battleground of the whole election. It is virtually impossible for a Republican to win the White House without carrying the state and with only a 1.5% swing needed to flip the state it must surely be a prime target but at the same time we get indications from North Carolina, a state that ignored Clinton in the 1990’s but flipped to Obama in 2008 only to flip back in 2012. Has North Carolina become the Basildon of America (and becoming the new bellwether state?)

1.00am Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, all polls in Florida, first polls in Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Tennessee
If Ohio is the real battleground, then this collection of states is the motherlode with 235 electoral college votes up for grabs. Included in that list is Maine with it’s statewide allocation of electoral college votes and districts but also Pennsylvania, where any Trump win would be a massive blow to the Clinton path to victory. The last time the state voted Republican was back in 1988 when George Bush Senior won the state, if Trump can win that state then expect the Asian markets (open since midnight) to start wobbling. In the House and Senate elections this is the time when nails could get badly bitten, Delaware’s at large seat is open, as is IL 8, MD 4, MD 8, PA 8, PA 16, FL 1, FL 2, FL 4, FL 9, FL 11, FL 18, FL 19, MI 1, MI 10, TX 15, TX 19 and TN 8 and with the Dems needing thirty one House gains to take control, this is when they have to start making those gains. The fifth extra seat belongs to DC (despite having three electoral college votes)

1.30am Arkansas
Aside from voting for the homeboy in 1992 and 1996, Arkansas has been a solid red state and needing an 11.84% swing to flip, there is little chance of it voting for it’s former First Lady, so the question will be how much of a swing can Clinton achieve in the state. The smaller the swing, the more impact scandals such as Whitewater has had on the Clinton’s legacy in the state.

2.00am Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming, all polls in Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas, postal votes in Colorado
It’s another big chunk of votes here with five states in the mix. If Arizona flips to Clinton (4.53% swing) then Clinton has done it, however if Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota flip then it’s still all to play for. And then there is the wild card of New Mexico, will Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, become the first non mainstream candidate to pick up electoral college votes since George Wallace in 1968 and if he does, and the result is looking tight what influence is he having across the rest of the country? Here too are important open house races in AZ 1, AZ 5, LA 3, LA 4, MN 2, WI 8 and Wyoming’s at large seat.

3.00am Iowa, Montana, Nevada, Utah, first polls in North Dakota, Idaho, first postal votes in Oregon
And New Mexico is not the only state that could throw a spanner in the works. In Utah, a state that Romney won in 2012 with 73% of the vote, a Conservative is standing and according to some polls is within a whisker of winning denying Trump would should be an easy six electoral college votes, but all is not lost if that happens as Iowa is certain to flip. Well, when you have a strongly agricultural state dismayed by schemes to make corn made ethanol into a petrol alternative, sending the cost of corn plunging coupled with a Senator up for re-election who in 2010 polled 70% of the vote, of course it is going to flip. But if Nevada doesn’t flip as people expect and the vote is still close it will all come down to the last mainland states.

4.00am California, Hawaii, Washington, all polls in North Dakota, Idaho, all postal votes in Oregon
Here is the Democratic firewall, 78 electoral college votes all certain to land into the Clinton column, all of which means that if Clinton is on 193 electoral college votes or more before these polls close, there is no question to be asked. Clinton has won the presidency. However, if a state such as Oregon (6.04% swing to flip) does flip and joins North Dakota and Idaho in the red column and Trump is not that far behind, it’s going to an anxious night for both campaigns. If the house is still close then the results in CA 20, CA 24, CA 44, and CA 46 will have a bearing. Although that said one thing that cannot happen is a loss of California’s Senate seat to the Democrats because although Senator Boxer is standing down, she’s going to be replaced by one of two Democrats (that’s right, no Republican candidate).

5.00am American Samoa, first polls in Alaska
And that anxiety will be heightened even if Alaska as expected is called for the Republicans even before of all it’s polls have closed as they do in American Samoa to elect the sixth extra seat. There is however one tiny problem with these extra seats, none of them have the right to vote in the House (which therefore poses the question “What on earth do they do there?”)

6.00pm all polls in Alaska
And if they still have not made a national projection by the time the polls all close then it’s 2000 all over again.

Harry Hayfield


A former odds-on favourite for the Democratic nomination says the LDs could form the next UK government

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Back in late 2003, not too long after the Iraq War, the governor of Vermont, Howard Dean, was causing a stir on the WH2004 betting markets. He had become just about the first politician to tap into the power of the internet and was running a very effective online campaign building up hundreds of thousands of supporters.

By early January 2004 ahead of the Iowa caucuses he looked unstoppable with the money and, apparently, campaign organisation see see him through the primary battle. On Betfair he moved to a 65% chance of winning the nomination.

It all started to fall to pieces at the first hurdle. Against all the predictions he failed in Iowa and his shouting response to the result became an immediate online hit.

This is by way of introduction to his observation on the UK political scene in the Tweet above.

For the record I don’t believe he is right.

Mike Smithson


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


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


Obama ups the ante over the Supreme Court nomination

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

supreme court   Google Search


Trump now in clear lead in the betting following another confident debate performance

Friday, January 15th, 2016



Seven weeks to go before Iowa and Trump remains totally dominant

Monday, December 7th, 2015

RCP Polling Average GOP Nominee

Seven weeks tomorrow the first state to decide in next year’s White House Race will choose which of the Democratic and Republican Party hopefuls will be their choice as nominees.

Hillary Clinton looks as though she has sewn up the Democratic race and most of the attention is on the Republicans. The chart above shows the national trend and as can be seen the property billionaire turned TV star is now back at his former heights in the Real Clear Politics polling average.

What is more striking is that Trump has big leads in both the Iowa caucuses and the first full primary, New Hampshire.

    It wasn’t meant to be like this. The non-politico contenders were supposed to be out of the race by now, just like has happened in previous elections, and established politicians would be heading the field.

Now established pundits are starting to contemplate the possibility of a Trump victory.

I still find it hard to see Trump doing it but his position gets stronger as each day goes by and none of the other contenders have got near.

My current betting is on Trump, Rubio, and Cruz.

Mike Smithson


Fiorina now leading the Donald in New Hampshire – where the first full primary takes place

Monday, September 21st, 2015


Just arrived back home from my holiday in Southern France and am only now catching up with the news – so no piggy puns from me!

While Britain has been focussed on the election of Mr Corbyn, and now the Ashcroft Cameron biography, the 2016 White House race has been seeing some dramatic developments

Last week there was the second full TV debate of the Republican party Primary featuring the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina, who only just managed to be allowed to take place in the top debate following a change in the rules by CNN and on polling level participants should have been averaging.

Yet by all accounts she certainly seized the opportunity was the one who was deemed to have done best and particularly in clashes with the then runaway leader in the polls, the property billionaire, Donald Trump.

The latest big development has been survey of Republican voters in New Hampshire – the state which traditionally holds the first full primary. As can be seen Carly is now in the lead besting Trump

At this stage in US elections we can expect many changes before the campaign proper takes takes place but the presence of Trump as GOP contender has created far more public interest at this stage and bigger TV debate audiences than ever before.

If Carly got it, and some bookies now have her at 7/1, we could see an all-female election in November next year – assuming Hillary wins the Democratic party race.

Mike Smithson