Archive for the 'Hillary Clinton' Category


CNN reveals document on Russian tower deal signed by Trump contradicting what his lawyer’s been saying

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

With the Russian collusion investigation continuing to dominate US politics CNN has revealed overnight a letter of intent signed by Mr Trump in 2015 on the plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

This is significant because it appears to contradict a lot of what Trump has been saying about his Russian links and, indeed, at the weekend the President’s lawyer went on the record asserting that nothing was ever signed.

All this comes as the President is facing ongoing investigations into a whole raft of areas. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three three year imprisonment last week.

    This comes as the Republican party gets ready to hand over control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats following the seat losses in the Midterms last month. This will give the party power to launch investigations with subpoena power into many areas of Trump’s activities. Remember how the Republicans ahead of WH2016 were able to probe Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi role which cast big shadows over her campaign.

My biggest current political bets are that Trump will not be the WH2020 Republican nominee. He was a 73% chance and that has now dropped to 60% on Betfair. At some stage, surely, he’ll be seen as too much of an electoral liability.

Mike Smithson


If Trump does win it will make a mockery of the “rule” that the one with the best ratings takes the crown

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

I’m sticking with my confidence in favourability ratings

Mike Smithson


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


Clinton punters are getting the jitters with the Electoral College Votes spreads slipping nine on today’s peak

Monday, November 7th, 2016



One day to go and Betfair makes Hillary an 83% chance but the markets could be over-reacting

Monday, November 7th, 2016


Why I’ve now taken my Clinton spread betting profits

There’s a rule in betting generally that markets have a tendency to over-react to big news. With the White House race we saw Trump price rise sharply to more than 30% when the initial FBI announcement came about opening up the email case a week and a half ago.

Overnight we’ve seen the opposite with Trump moving back to the 16-17% range on Betfair as an instant reaction to the no prosecution for Clinton statement.

Both moves, I’d suggest,overstated the impact that the developments would have.

My main betting WH2016 platform has been the Sporting Index Electoral College Votes spread market. In the aftermath of Comey’s first statement Hillary’s BUY price dropped to 295 ECVs. The latest buy level is 324.

I had been on Hillary at 302 and overnight I cashed out at the current selling price of 314 – so a profit of twelve times my stake level which is a very nice bonus.

These are always hard decisions as punter. Do you take your profits with the downside of, maybe, the amount you get now being considerably less than if you had remained? But being certain of the cash in your pocket now is very attractive. We’ll see.

Mike Smithson


Why YouGov says we should beware of the phantom swings: dramatic bounces in the polls aren’t always what they seem

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016


Maybe things aren’t as bad for Clinton after all?

YouGov has produced what I regard as must read analysis by Benjamin Lauderdale of the LSE and Douglas Rivers on what it terms phantom polling swings. Thus on the face of it there has been a move from Clinton to Trump in the aftermath of the FBI announcement. Their argument is that this might not be all it seems

In essence they are saying is that whenever there’s particularly bad news about a candidate then supporters can be less inclined to take part in polls. This assertion certainly sounds plausible and YouGov are able to measure this because of the way the pollster operates. The article notes:

“YouGov draws its samples from a large panel of respondents. In most of our polls, there is little overlap from one sample to another. However, sometimes the same respondents are recontacted to see whether their opinions have changed. For example, after the first presidential debate in September, we reinterviewed 2,132 people who had told us their vote intentions a month before. 95 percent of the September Clinton supporters said they intended to vote for her. None of them said they intended to vote for Donald Trump, but five percent said they were now undecided, would vote for a third party candidate, or would not vote. Of the Trump supporters, only 91 percent said they were still planning on voting for Trump. Five percent moved to undecided, one percent to Clinton, and the rest to third party candidates or not voting. The net effect was to increase Clinton’s lead by almost four points. That was real change, though significantly less that the ten point change to Clinton’s lead seen in some polls.

Other events, however, have not had any detectable impact on voting intentions. We did not see any shifts after the release of the Access Hollywood video, the second or third presidential debates, or the reopening of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s emails. When the same people were reinterviewed, almost all said they were supporting the same candidate they had told us they were supporting in prior interviews. The small number who did change their voting intentions shifted about evenly toward Clinton and Trump so the net real change was close to zero.

Although we didn’t find much vote switching, we did notice a different type of change: the willingness of Clinton and Trump supporters to participate in our polls varied by a significant amount depending upon what was happening at the time of the poll: when things are going badly for a candidate, their supporters tend to stop participating in polls. For example, after the release of the Access Hollywood video, Trump supporters were four percent less likely than Clinton supporters to participate in our poll. The same phenomenon occurred this weekend for Clinton supporters after the announcement of the FBI investigation: Clinton supporters responded at a three percent lower rate than Trump supporters (who could finally take a survey about a subject they liked)…”

That the same polling movement was seen with Trump after the Access Hollywood tapes adds credence to the argument.

So if this is the case then it will ease the pressure on Hillary Clinton.

Mike Smithson


Clinton versus Trump: What men say their spouses will do and what women in partnerships actually say

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016


Hillary is now even more than reliant on the First Lady to get her over the line

Saturday, October 29th, 2016


The race looks a lot tighter than it 24 hours ago

What’s become almost the best guide to how WH2016 is going is how often it is Michelle Obama who is making the news.

She was the star of the Democratic convention in August – an event that was certainly a turning point in the polling. Recently she’s been really forceful on Trump’s issues with women and last night made a big speech alongside Hillary in North Carolina which got good coverage. This is a state that Obama missed in 2012 which, if things go rightly for HRC, could end up in her hands on November 8th.

As Taegan Goddard writes on the excellent PoliticalWire:

“..The reasons Obama is such a perfect surrogate for Clinton is that she appeals to every part of the coalition that carried Barack Obama to victories in 2008 and 2012: younger voters, people of color, single women and college-educated white voters.

Clinton has struggled to put that coalition back together, but Michelle Obama is helping her do it..”

While the early voting continues to look positive for the blue team the latest FBI intervention has certainly taken the wind of out the Clinton campaign sails even though it did not directly concern her.

What appears to be happening in the polls is that Republicans are increasingly likely to say they are certain which is helping the Trimp numbers.

This battle is very much about turnout. Only a week and a half to go.

Mike Smithson