Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


So far the Kamala Harris announcement hasn’t impacted on the WH2020 betting

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

So far there has been very little polling carried out after yesterday’s big announcement that Kamala Harris will be the nominee for VP. In the betting markets the news, which has been widely covered in the US, has hardly moved Biden is seen as about a 60% chance.

Last night there was a big event, alas without an audience, in which Harris gave her first big speech since she got on the ticket and however you arrange things this is hardly going to be as effective than with an enthusiastic hall of supporters cheering every word. But we are where we are and Tean Biden/Harris are going to do nothing that could draw criticism over their attitude to COVID.

My reaction was that Harris was really quite impressive and is going to add a lot to the Biden campaign which is going to come under fierce attack because of his age and his reputation for gaffes.

I think that Harris will add far more than normal VP choices and that will reinforce the overall ticket.

As for Trump I like the pic above which was flagged up on the previous thread. He’s a bald as I am.

Mike Smithson


Gretchen Whitmer, the Governor who got under Trump’s skin, moves up sharply in the Biden VP pick betting

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

Punters rush to bet on her after reports of secret face to face meeting with Biden

In the early days of the Biden VP pick saga Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of the highly marginal state of Michigan, was one of the early favourites. Her state has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic and there was a highly public clash between her and the President after she was said not to have shown enough gratitude to Trump for his assistance.

Since then all has been quiet on her front until the past few hours ago when reports emerged of a secret meeting she had with the presumptive nominee. CNN and others are reporting that “Flight records show a charter plane left Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport at 5:33 p.m. Sunday for Delaware Coastal Airport and returned at 11:16 p.m. that same night.”

Delaware, of course, is the home and base of Biden and very few of the names being considered for the job have had a face to meetings with the man himself.

Just to say that reports of secret charter flights like this are very much a feature of the VP pick process. Those who remember WH2008 will recall the secret flights from Alaska for Sarah Palin to meet John McCain and sharp eyed observers keep a careful eye on the records of charter planes.

What is clear is that a VP race thought to be confined to Harris and Rice has another serious contender – someone who has had direct experience dealing with COVID19 which is overwhelmingly the main issue. Whitmer can attack Trump’s record in a way that few others are able to do.

Given how imminent the VP announcement is then Whitmer has got to be seen now as a very serious contender. She’s worth a punt. At 0400 GMT she was an 11% chance on Betfair.

Mike Smithson


Only days away now from the Biden VP choice and it’ll be a huge surprise if it is not Kamala Harris or Susan Rice

Friday, August 7th, 2020

The Democratic convention is due to start, in a virtual form because of the pandemic, on August 17th and the big development in the run up to the opening will be Joe Biden’s choice of running mate.

This is currently the most active political betting market and overnight Betfair had ex-US UN Ambassador as a 32% chance with California Senator Kamala Harris hovering just below 50%. These are the only two who are getting the media coverage at the moment and it will be a huge surprise if he names someone else.

I just wonder whether Rice, who worked closely with Biden during the eight years of the Obama administration has known all along that the job would be hers if Biden became the nominee. Back in the spring of 2019 all the speculation was that Rice would run for the Senate and was working hard to get the nomination in Maine. She then pulled out of that race just as it became clear that Biden would go for the White House and the polls had him well a ahead.

That’s just my guess but the timing fits and Rice would be uniquely qualified.

Her biggest negative is what she did after the controversial Benghazi when a number of US soldiers were killed. Fox News and co are already to go on the attack on this point if she does get the job and Rice is reported to be ready to take this head on.

I was all in the green on this market. Now I’ve put more on Rice using my likely gains in the main nominee market.

Mike Smithson


Is this the Dem Duo to take on Trump and win back power?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

On Betfair its Harris 52%, Rice 24% and 7% the field

With the Democratic convention due to take place the week after next year its getting very close to the point where Joe Biden announces who will join him on the ticket in the presidential election on November 3rd. As far as punters are concerned this is now a straight choice between the the Californian senator, Kamala Harris and the former Obama aide who worked closely with Biden in the White House, Susan Rice. For the eight years of the Obama administration she worked as national Security advisor and then as the US ambassador to the United Nations.

It is said that their offices in the building were next to each other and both would spend a lot of time working through the problems of that government.

The big question is whether Biden will take the plunge and continue with her in the key VP role as we get closer to the election.

Whoever he chooses this is a gamble and something that could change the narrative which no doubt the Republicans are working very hard preparing for.

Rice has never run for elected office and Harris is clearly much better prepared on that side of the business. Rice’s strong point is that she could be an infallible number 2 if he should actually win the election. Rice knows her way round in a way none of the other PP contenders can claim to do

Mike Smithson


Team Biden now says he won’t be announcing his VP choice until just before the convention

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

The screengrab from CBS news above includes just about all the women who have been been linked with being Joe Biden’s running mate for the November 3rd presidential election.

There had been hints from Biden team that an announcement could have been made this last weekend but now we hear that we have got to wait. My guess is that it will be deferred until the couple of days before the Democratic convention is due to start on August 18th.

The reason is quite simple: just as soon as the choice is announced then the Republicans will start with releasing the opposition research on things in the chosen person’s history that could possibly be embarrassing now. They want to move the narrative on from Trump’s handling of the pandemic which is costing him dear. Thus we got a taste this weekend with the reports about the current emerging figure in the race, Karen Bass, and what she said when she was much younger about Fidel Castro and the Cuban issue. She’s third favourite.

If it is the former US American ambassador to the United Nations and national Security adviser under Obama, Susan Rice, then expect to hear her attacked over controversial comments about the Benghazi raid and the fact that her son is an active campaigner for Donald Trump.

No doubt the record of odds-on favourite Kamala Harris in her previous job as Attorney General of California has been looked at with a fine tooth comb and issues will be brought up.

This is all just politics but my understanding from the US media at the moment is that Biden is aware of the challenge and will seek to minimise the timing for such a development by not saying who it will be until maybe a couple of days before the convention starts. Then the media focus will be on the formal party nomination.

In the betting I’m all green on Betfair so for the first time since PB was founded in 2004 I will end up a winner on the VP choice. My sense is that Harris is over-priced and that Bass and Rice are worth punts if you can get decent odds. It could be someone other than the three I’ve mentioned.

Mike Smithson


Some succour for Trump: Exactly four years ago today Betfair punters rated Hillary Clinton’s chances a lot higher than they do Joe Biden’s today

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

The chart atop this thread is from exactly four years ago showing that Betfair punters were effectively saying Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 election were 72%, as we can see in the chart below Biden’s chances are around 62%.

I’ve written in the past the terrible predictive abilities of the betting markets when it comes to politics, perhaps we might see that again, after all on election night Hillary Clinton’s chances went north of 90%. Perhaps the value might be in backing Trump, he may also be relying on electoral chicanery.



Senior Republicans not enthused by Trump’s postpone the election move

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

The only way that Trump’s controversial postpone the election move could become a reality would be if senior Republicans were ready to go along with it. So far that backing seems to be absent.

Under the heading “Trump floats a ‘delay’ in the election. None of his usual allies are on board” the New York Times reports that top Republicans quickly rejected the move.

Never in the history of the federal elections have we not held an election, and we should go forward,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader..Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, dismissed Mr. Trump’s suggestion in a TV interview said: “Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,”

That really rules it out. Trump is going to get nowhere if figures like McConnell are rubbishing idea.

On Betfair it is now a 64% chance that the Democrats will retake the White House on November 3rd

Mike Smithson


Joe Biden says his VP choice will be announced in the first week of August

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

The big news in the Biden VP betting is that the presumptive nominee has said that he’ll reveal in the first week of August who is going to be on the ticket with him.

The impact on the betting markets has been to see more money backed on Susan Rice who worked closely with Biden during the eight years of the Obama presidency. She’s the one contender for the slot who has no experience of being a candidate but it is said she and Biden were very.

Whether you can interpret the announcement date news as being good for Rice is hard to say but she has been getting more and more write-ups in the US media.

One thing seems very likely – if Rice does not get the VP nomination she would surely look forward to a big role if as the polls suggest Biden succeeds Trump.

Mike Smithson