Archive for the 'America' Category


Elizabeth Warren trounces betting favourite, Bernie Sanders, in the first Democratic primary poll of WH2020

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

An early setback for Bernie & his enthusiastic fans?

Although the first primary of the next White House Race will not be held for another 20 months or so we have the first poll out overnight on the Democratic nomination and this, as can be seen above, has Senator Elizabeth Warren with a clear lead in New Hampshire, the first full primary state.

These early polls can be important in determining who actually decides to throw their hats into the ring and begin the arduous quest to become the next president of the United States and successor to Donald Trump.

The current front runners in the betting have been Joe Biden, former Vice President to Obama and Bernie Sanders who did very well last time in the primary race against Hillary Clinton. Both these have very high name recognition but are both in their late 70s and surely, it has been argued too old to be a contender.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has become a very powerful voice in Washington against the Trump administration in the past 18 months and, during the last White House race, there was a lot of speculation that she could put her hat into the ring.

The fight for the Democratic nomination is going to get an enormous amount of attention simply because the Democratic party base is so fired up in its desire to oust Mr Trump. We have seen this very strikingly in recent special elections where the Democrats have pulled off some pretty spectacular results in areas which Trump took comfortably in November 2016.

Currently on Betfair Warren is fourth favourite rated as a 7% Chance. The one at the top of the nomination betting is Bernie Sanders on 15% with Biden in second place on 14% and Senator Kamala Harris from California is in third on 13%.

One thing appears certain: whether Warren runs or not she will have a big influence on the race.

Mike Smithson


Early voting from the Arizona 8th special election suggests this won’t be another Alabama or Pennsylvania

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

Maybe not a third Democratic special election victory on the trot?

After the sensational Democratic party wins in the recent Alabama and Pennsylvania special elections there’s a lot of focus on Arizona 8th Congressional District where voting takes place next Tuesday. The earlier two elections saw victories for the Democratic Party which were particularly striking because because they were in places Trump had done so well at WH2016.

There’s been a bit of excitement on this latest “special” election because an Emerson poll found both parties neck and neck with the Republican just a point ahead.

Before you have a punt check out this from ABC News on early voting:

“..Indications from early vote data show that Republicans still maintain a strong advantage in the district.

As of Friday, 151,532 early votes have been cast in the district. According to data from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office nearly half of the early votes cast have come from Republicans, and over half of early votes have been cast by voters over the age of 65. In the February primary election, a total of 116,732 ballots were cast according to the official canvas results from the Secretary of State’s office, indicating a slight uptick in turnout in a race where the large majority of votes will be cast early.”

I’d reinvested a small part of my Alabama and Pennsylvania winnings at 9/2 on the Democratic candidate but that was before I’d read the ABC report.

Mike Smithson


The betting edges a notch away from Trump completing his first term

Monday, April 16th, 2018

With Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen due to appear in court at 1900 BST in New York there’s been some movement on the “Will Trump complete a full first term” betting on Betfair.

The whole atmosphere has changed since the surprise raid on Cohen’s offices last week and there’s a lot of speculation about what might have been found.

It is reported that Stormy Daniels will be at the hearing. It is also being said that the President is much more concerned about these developments than with the Russia probe.

Although this is a popular betting market it is not one that I have been tempted to enter so far. Trump appears totally determined to remain in post and that stubbornness, surely, will mean that he’ll have to be forced out if he’s to go early.

Mike Smithson


If Mrs May does back military strikes against Syria it will be in the face of public opinion

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

There is no doubt that this is going to be a tricky one for the prime minister. After gathering of the consensus of nations in relation to the Salisbury attack she’s now in a position where there’s an expectation that Britain could support action against Syria particularly because of the use of chemical weapons.

The first full national polling on the issue it is featured above in the YouGov charts and there is no doubt at all that the public is very nervous about going forward with a UK military intervention. Maybe memories of Iraq still run very deep even though that was 15 years ago.

My guess is that that there will be some sort of limited UK involvement but only if the Americans are also acting.

Mike Smithson


The money starts to go on Biden for the nomination but I’m far from convinced

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

The spotlight turns to Obama’a V-P after threat to “beat up” Trump

Over the past couple of days there’s been renewed betting interest in former vice president Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination.

It all started with a spat with Trump sparked off by Biden comments at an anti-sexual assault rally in Florida when he cited lewd comments Mr. Trump made in a 2005 about grabbing women. He said:

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it, “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’”

Inevitably the compulsive Twitterer in the White House responded:

“Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!

Biden is an able campaigner and can command media attention. A CNN poll in January had him beating the incumbent by 17 points in a theoretical match-up – a result that said more about his name recognition than anything else. The same poll had the aged Bernie Sanders 15 points ahead.

Age is a huge problem for the former V-P. He’s currently 75 and would be 78 if he was elected. Even by American standards, surely, that is far too old. My guess is that age-related issues would emerge during a primary campaign if he decided to go for it.

Three of the four topping current betting for the Democratic nomination are heading for 70 or above good the other one, California senator Kamala Harris, is much younger and has been making her mark as a fierce critic of the trump administration.

Mike Smithson


At last the Pennsylvania Special election is resolved with the Republicans conceding defeat

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

What had been a 627 vote lead on the night became more than 800

Overnight the GOP contender in last week’s Pennsylvania special Congressional election, Rick Saccone, conceded defeat which means that the sensational victory by the Democrats in a District won by Trump by a 20% margin at the last presidential election has been confirmed.

The margin was incredibly tight. With more that 228k votes cast the margin on the night was 627 votes. That’s now move out to 800+

In the final days before before the election the betting switched a fair bit between the Republican and the Democratic contenders because the polls were so split.

I, like many other than PB, took the view that in a 50-50 situation the best betting option is the one with the longest price. This was the right betting strategy even for those who ended up backing the Republican and losing.

I was fortunate that I placed my bets on the Democrat when he was at 2.4 on Betfair or quite a bit longer than evens.

One thing that we are learning about betting on American politics is that it can take time to settle the markets if there is a close outcome. Bookies have learnt by hard experience not to pay out on the basis of the on the night winner.

One of the confusing factors for British punters is that the postal votes can be counted a week our so after the main count.

Mike Smithson


It looks as though it could be after Easter before Pennsylvania punters get paid

Monday, March 19th, 2018

The above from the Wikipedia page on last Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election sets out the result as it stands at the moment but those who have bet on It are going to have to wait some time before this has been resolved.

The on the night winner was the Democratic contender but the margin was a fraction of a percent and it looks as though there will be a recount or some other move that could impact on the outcome.

Interestingly the Republicans have placed TV ads to find out if individual voters had any difficulty getting their votes cast on the day suggesting that some sort of court challenge could be possible.

In a letter the party’s lawyer outlined five areas of concern, ranging from calls about machine errors to confusion about polling places and a dispute over whether a Republican attorney could watch part of the elections process.

So we have yet another US election where punters are going to have to wait for their money. Before Christmas, of course, we had the Alabama Senator race where the Democrats won by a tight margin.

I understand why the bookies have to be careful. Back in 2012 at the Iowa caucuses the bookies paid out on Mitt Romney who was, after all the votes had been verified, the loser. Those who had backed Rick Santorum, some like me at long odds, were mighty displeased when our winning bets were countermanded by the on the night result.

Mike Smithson



Now the US orders sanctions against Russia for interference at WH2016

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

This is starting to get serious