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Old White Man Mispriced In 2020 Presidential Election – a 140/1 shot that’s surely worth a punt

July 1st, 2019

So… there’s an old white man, whose 2020 Presidential election price on Betfair is wrong. Perhaps very significantly wrong.

And no, I’m not talking about Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump or Joe Biden. I’m talking about the Vice President, Mike Pence.

On Betfair right now, he’s currently at 150-1. The traditional bookies have him at 100/1.

Yeah, you might say, but Mueller’s over, and Trump’s not getting impeached. And his favourable numbers with Republicans are off the charts. So, why would anyone bet on any Republican other than Trump?

Well, simply, Pence’s odds are wildly wrong.

The 2020 Presidential election is Tuesday November 3rd, 2020. That’s almost a year and a half away.

If President Trump dies or has a serious medical issue in that period, then who is extremely likely to be the Republican nominee? Errr – that would be Vice President Mike Pence. Statistically, that’s probably a 30-1 (or better) chance given the demographics tables. (And while you shouldn’t pay too much attention, there are a number of stories in the US press right now about how he seems to be struggling with his balance, and is often seen holding onto things. Make of that what you will.)

But that isn’t the only way this pays out. What if President Trump sees that his reelection numbers are horrible and decides to retire declaring “Mission Accomplished”? That’s not impossible either. Or perhaps President Trump starts to worry about having to wear an orange jumpsuit. Well, promoting Pence to President makes sure he’s pardoned prior to a Democrat taking over.

This is a long-odds bet. But all in all, the chances of Pence being the Republican nominee are no worse that 30-1 or so, and may well be less. If we assume that a generic Republican has a 40% chance of winning the election, then any price better than about 65-1 is value. Were I not US resident, I would make a small bet on President Pence.

Robert Smithson