Archive for the 'America' Category


Warren and Klobuchar get key newspaper endorsements Iowa and New Hampshire

Monday, January 27th, 2020

But Bernie and Biden still top the polling and betting

The weekend has seen the leading papers in first two states to decide give their backing to Senators Warren and Klobuchar. In Iowa its the Des Moines Register that is going for Warren while in New Hampshire the Union Leader goes for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Historically this does matter and according to Fivethirtyeight the DMR’s backing has been worth an average boost of 4% in previous races.

My guess is that the biggest beneficiary with these moves is Klobuchar who has been really struggling in the polls and has yet to have a breakthrough moment. I don’t think she has ever been higher than fifth. Her great strength are that she is a centrist and is just 59 years old. The four ahead of her – Bernie, Biden Bloomberg and Warren – are all in their 70s. The Union Leader says:

“If there is to be any realistic challenge to Trump in November, the Democratic nominee needs to have a proven and substantial record of accomplishment across party lines, an ability to unite rather than divide, and the strength and stamina to go toe-to-toe with the Tweeter-in-Chief. That would be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. She is sharp and witty, with a commanding understanding of both history and the inner workings of Capitol Hill.”

Multi-billionaire Bloomberg is not really competing in these early states and is focussing on Super Tuesday on March 3rd. I am planning to be in California for its primary on that day.

Mike Smithson


After the latest Democratic debate watch Klobuchar

Friday, December 20th, 2019

The 59 year old from Minnesota should now get some traction

Overnight we have had the the December democratic debate in the long process to choose the party’s nominee for next November’s White House election. The field is getting much smaller and on the debate stage in Los Angeles there were just seven which made it a lot more manageable and better television.

There was tough questioning on the age issue which is not surprising given how Biden and Sanders are in their late 70s and Warren would be the the oldest President ever to be inaugurated if she made it all the way.

Until now the oldies have contrasted with the 37 year old Pete Buttigieg who is facing more scrutiny as he has progressed and had a particularly furious spat with Warren.

Taegan Goddard of Political Wire summed it like this.

“..For the first half of the debate, there was notably little explicit conflict…That changed with a fierce exchange between Warren and Buttigieg over wealthy campaign donors. Both landed solid punches because neither is as pure as they would like you to believe.

But Klobuchar also went after Buttigieg for his now infamous “wine cave” fundraiser. And she also scored points challenging Buttigieg on his relative lack of experience. Both were devastatingly effective attacks.

If there was a winner tonight, it was Klobuchar. And that’s partly because Buttigieg was a loser. Klobuchar’s appeal overlaps with Buttigieg’s but she has the added advantage of more experience and a proven track record of getting elected in a state very much like Iowa.”

This was Nate Silver’s verdict:

“There are two candidates who I thought definitely had good evenings, and then several I’m not sure about. I’ll start with Klobuchar, the candidate who I was assigned to cover tonight. I thought this was not only her best debate, but one of the better debates that any Democrat has had so far in the cycle. I say that because she was both pretty good on the substance and smart tactically — going after Buttigieg by emphasizing electability and experience is exactly the strategy I advocated for her at the start of the evening. I don’t know whether we’re going to get a Klobuchar surge — she’s at only at 3 percent nationally so she has a looooong way to go! — but if there’s one in the cards, tonight might have been the catalyst for it.

If Klobuchar does get a boost the timing could not be better. The Iowa caucuses take place on February 3rd.

Financial disclosure: As I have reported here before I have £8 at 770/1 on Klobuchar.

Mike Smithson


Trump’s impeachment has almost no impact on the WH2020 betting – he’s still an evens chance to win

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

And it might not even get to the Senate

The betdata/io chart shows the latest WH2020 betting and as can be seen Trump remains the evens favourite to secure re-election in November next year. The overnight apparently dramatic news that this is only the third time in US history that the House of Representatives has voted in this way was widely anticipated and, of course, only the Senate can remove him from office.

The upper house would require a two thirds majority and is controlled by the Republicans who are sticking firmly with their man. For Trump remains very popular with his base and GOP Senators seeking re-election do no not want to incur their wrath which could risk them not being renominated.

It might not even get as far as the Senate voting on it. Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she could defer forwarding it until such time as she’s satisfied with the Senate’s procedures for handling what is a judicial process. So Trump could remain the impeached President without the satisfaction of a Senate vote in his favour.

There are many battles ahead.

Mike Smithson


Septuagenarians continue to dominate the Democratic nomination race betting to face septuagenarian Trump

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

We are now just six and a half weeks off the first big event in WH2020 – the Iowa caucuses on February 3rd when those seeking the Democratic nomination will face their first electoral test with real voters. The crowded field has slimmed back a bit with former favourite Kamala Harris pulling out but there are a lot of contenders still there.

The experience of previous races is that doing well in Iowa and then the New Hampshire primary sets the whole tone for the battle ahead, This is why the contenders spend so much time in the nine months beforehand in the two states.

As a general rule early state polls are probably a better guide at this stage to the outcome than the national surveys in that voters there are likely paying more attention.

The big poll to look out for will be the final one in the Des Moines Register from Iowa pollster, Ann Selzer. She has built up a good track record in finding actual likely caucus participants.

A big feature so far is how old the apparent front runners are. Biden, Bernie and Bloomberg are all in their late 70s with Warren and Clinton in their early 70s. Pete Buttiegieg, by contrast, is in his late 30s. Trump will be 74 next June.

At the moment I am in the green in both the nomination betting and the race itself.

Mike Smithson


Amy Klobuchar coming up strongly in Iowa and now within striking distance of the top 4

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

My 760/1 WH2020 shot enters the frame

My apologies for going off the GE2020 message but for me personally this morning the biggest betting news is this latest poll from Iowa showing that my wild longshot for WH2020, Amy Klobuchar,  has now moved up sharply in the Iowa polling and looks set to become a serious contender in the first state to decide.

To put this into context she has jumped from just 1% in the previous survey from this pollster to 10% now putting her closer to the clear front runners of Bernie, Biden, Warren and Mayor Pete.

As I recorded here two months ago I have a longstanding £20  bet at 760/1 on the Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar, which I placed on the Betfair exchange in the summer. 

The Iowa caucuses take place on February 3rd and play a huge role in shaping the nomination races in both parties. It was Trump’s performance here in 2016 that showed that he was a serious contender for the GOP nomination. The lessons from previous races is that the time to rise Iowa is in the final period.

Klobuchar has been helped by the decline of Elizabeth Warren and the withdrawal from the race last week of Kamala Harris, the one time betting favourite. She is also benefiting from the increasing scrutiny that Mayor Pete is now experiencing.

Mike Smithson


Kamala Harris, one time favourite the Democratic nomination, reported to be pulling out of the race

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

So another one bites the dust

The big news from the US is the California Senator, Kamala Harris, is reported to be quitting the race for the nomination. This come less than six months after moving to the favourite slot following her performance in the first TV debate.

Unfortunately she was not able to follow that up and has dwindled in the polls. The latest surveys in Iowa, the first state to decide, have her down at 2-3%. She simply has not gained any traction.

This has not come as a shock and is surely a wise decision on her part. Her decision follows a similar move last month by the once fancied, Beto O’Rourke.

All this underlines what a massive challenge running for president actually is especially as at one stage she was up against more than 20 other contenders.

From my perspective this is a pity. I had a long-term bet on her at 66/1.

Mike Smithson


Bloomberg’s WH2020 bid looks serious and credible and it helps that he’s worth $50bn

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

The multi-billionaire who wants to beat Trump

Above is one of the first WH2020 campaign ads for 77 year old Michael Bloomberg who announced at the weekend that we was running for the White House. His approach to the campaign for the Democratic is very different from his rivals.

Firstly, of course, he’s not having to bother with the tedious business of fundraising. He’s committed $150m of his own money to his campaign and clearly there is a lot more there if he needs it.

Secondly he’s not bothering with the four early primary states where the outcomes generally set the tone for the whole campaign. His focus is on March 3rd “Super Tuesday” This is when the delegate-rich states of California and Texas as well as twelve other are holding their primaries and is likely to be fairly decisive in determining who takes on Trump in November 2020.

For the other contenders Super Tuesday is a massive challenge simply because of the resource requirements that are needed to mount efforts across such a wide range of parts of the US. Bloomberg will be able to have a big presence in all because he’s got the resources.

Bloomberg, of course, is no stranger to the political world. As a Republican (he has since switched parties) he ran and won the New York Mayoralty in 2001 and went on to win re-election twice serving a total of 12 years.

His prime aim now appears to be to stop Trump and it is said he fears that if either Warren on Sanders was the nominee they would struggle to win the White House because they are too left-wing.

At the very minimum he is likely to accumulate enough delegates to give him a fairly big say over who will get the nomination if it is not him. 

He’s currently fifth favourite at 7% on Betfair for the nomination. I’ve had a punt.

  • I plan to be in California for Super Tuesday and will be doing PB posts from there

    Mike Smithson


Another man in his late ’70s puts his hat into the ring for WH2020

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

New York Times

This had been expected but during the day the multi-billionaire former Republican, Michael Bloomberg has announced that he is running for the White House and he’s formally entered the race. He said:

““Defeating Donald Trump — and rebuilding America — is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver — not a talker. And someone who is ready to take on the tough fights — and win.”

He joins 77 year old Joe Biden, 78 year old Bernie Sanders, 70 year old Elizabeth Warren in seeking to take on Donald Trump who will be 74 in June.

On Betfair he’s currently rated as a 6% chance and is fifth in the betting.

Mike Smithson