Archive for the 'America' Category


The Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: Trump ups the ante by mocking the woman who says she was sexually assaulted

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

In the betting PaddyPower make it 3/10 that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court in 2018 and 21/10 that he won’t.

The wider political dimension is how this is going to influence voters in the midterm elections next month when the Democratic party has a realistic chance of taking the House and an outside one of taking the Senate as well.

Until a few hours ago Trump had been fairly guarded in how he referred to the woman who has made the accusations of sexual assault 35 years ago against the man who next week could be on the Supreme Court. Her statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Kavanaugh’ response last Thursday have been totally dominating US politics during this critical election period.

Given Trump’s personal history this is a territory where you would have thought he would have been extremely careful.

The nomination process was paused for a week last Friday to allow the FBI time to examine the allegations.

My reading is that if Kavanaugh is not confirmed that will fire up Republicans in the elections while it will be the Democrats who’ll be fired up if it goes the other way.

Mike Smithson


By 55% to 37% women say Kavanagh’s Supreme Court nomination should NOT be confirmed

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Men support it by 49% to 40%

A Quinnipiac poll just published finds finds that 48% of US voters think the U.S. Senate should reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, with 42% saying he should be confirmed.

Those headline figures overshadow a huge gender divide with women overwhelmingly opposed and men giving Trump’s move some support.

At the moment this has all been delayed by the move last Friday to defer things for a week to allow an FBI investigation into the allegations of rape by the nominee 35% years ago.

With just 5 weeks to go until the midterm elections this is an issue that is totally dominating US politics and whichever way it goes it is likely to have an electoral impact.

In a development today the GOP senator whose move on Friday caused the delay, Jeff Flake, urged the FBI on to probe all “credible” allegations of sexual assault against the nominee. He felt dismay that Judiciary Committee hadn’t been “doing due diligence”.

PaddyPower now make it 4/9 that Kavanagh will be confirmed.

Mike Smithson


The Senate Kavanaugh hearing begins taking evidence from the woman who says she was sexually attacked by Trump’s nominee

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

BBC News

Its odds-on that he’ll be confirmed

All eyes in the US are on the Senate Justice committee which is taking evidence from a woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy, Brett Kavanaugh.

Christine Blasey Ford told the committee that Kavanaugh’s attack on her 38 years ago had left her “afraid and ashamed”.

Because of the power of the Supreme Court and that its members serve for life the stakes couldn’t be higher. There are 100 Senators of which 51 are currently Republicans. If the vote is tied then the decision would be down Vice-President Pence.

PaddyPower make it 8/11 that Kavanaugh will be confirmed and evens that he won’t.

Mike Smithson


It’s the WH2016 voter segments that said they were backing Hillary but abstained that the GOP should worry about

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

We all recall how in much of key state polling at WH2016 that Clinton was overstated thus giving us a very false impression of what was going to happen.

Much of this was not down to switching but to ostensible Clinton backers not bothering to turnout. Their problem was the candidate.

One of the insights I got from this excellent analysis of November’s US Midterm elections by NBC’s, Chris Matthews, is what this group of voters will do in the Midterms exactly six weeks on from today.

He’s suggesting that after watching Trump for nearly two years there will be no abstentions in November. The occupant of the White will be the turnout driver.

This sounds very plausible to me in the key races.

Mike Smithson


Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, faces a second accuser

Monday, September 24th, 2018

By far the biggest political battle in US politics at the moment is the effort by the Republicans to ensure that Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy, Brett Kavanaugh, gets approved.

Because of the power of the court and the fact that members are appointed for life this has the potential of having an impact in the US that could last decades. The Democrats are doing everything to try to stall the process while the White House is pushing to get this through as quickly as possible.

Things have been made more complicated by accusations against Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct nearly forty years ago. The person involved is due to appear later in the week and now another woman has come forward.

From what I can see the only betting market on whether Kavanaugh gets approved is from PaddyPower which has it at 5/6 with way.

The Republicans have 51 of the 100 seats in the Senate so the approval requires all to back him. It is being suggested that one or two GOP Senators might not go with the White House.

Mike Smithson


The biggest US midterms battle: Beto O’Rourke’s Texas effort to unseat Ted Cruz

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

The Senate race that could deprive the Republicans of their majority

Of all the elections that are taking place across the US in November the one that’s attracting the most attention is the effort by Beto O’Rourke to take the Texas Senate seat held by Ted Cruz. Overnight there was the first TC debate as featured in the video clip above.

What looked like a certain hold by the Republican is now being rated as a toss-up following an energetic and focused campaign by the Democrat who is raising a huge amount of money. The outcome could be crucial to US politics during the second half of Trump’s tenancy at the White House. Currently 51 of the 100 US Senators are Republicans and Texas could well be the state that determines the outcome.

The polls are now sending out mixed messages and while Cruz still remains the strong odd-on favourite it’s not going to be as simple for him as it first appeared.

Like in all elections the critical factor is going to be turnout and the excellent fundraising figures are a guide to the broad support that the Democratic contender is getting.

Because of the way the Betfair Senate majority market is defined the best bet, I’d argue,is to “lay” (bet that it won’t happen) a Republican hold.

Mike Smithson

Follow @MSmithsonPB


Ashcroft US poll finds 53% saying there are grounds to believe that Trump committed crimes that would warrant impeachment

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Nearly a half believe Trump campaign colluded with Russia & he was aware

A 6k sample poll of US voters has just been published by Lord Ashcroft and sets the scene for the important midterm elections that take place in the first week in November.

Currently the Democratic party is enjoying reasonable leads in generic Congressional polls and the betting is on the party re-taking control of the House.

But a much tighter battle is taking place for control of the Senate where about a third of the seats are up for election this year. Currently the Republicans have 51 of the 100 seats and the betting is that they will continue to have a majority.

What’s very likely to dominate US politics if the Democrats do as well in the House of Representatives as projected will be the ongoing rumbles and investigation into whether the Trump colluded with the Russians in his victory in November 2016.

The view is that if the Democrats do end up holding the House then impeachment proceedings could start and the Ashcroft polling seeks to test opinion on what American voters believe happened in that election.

As can be seen voters’ views are very much determined by whether or not they are Trump supporters.

Mike Smithson


My 66/1 longshot for WH2020 now favourite for the Democratic nomination and 2nd favourite for the Presidency

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

While I was on holiday I was grateful that TSE Tweeted my post from January 18th 2017, two days before Trump was inaugurated, on my long-shot bet for WH2020 – Senator Kamala Harris of California.

On Betfair Harris is currently a 16% chance for the nomination and 10% to become next president. In November 2016 she became the second black woman and first Indian American elected to serve in the Senate. She’s a former Attorney-General for California and is the daughter of an Indian-American mother and Jamaican-American father.

Since then she has gained huge prominence in the US following her grillings of Trump’s nominees for high office. The clip above is from the hearing last week on the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court. This is what I wrote about her in January 2017 –

“My reading of the Democratic party 2020 race is that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will simply be too old to contemplate running. Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren (15/2) is currently favourite and she’s likely to play a big part in her party’s opposition to the incoming president. She was strongly tipped to run last year but didn’t. Maybe 2016 was her best chance.

Michelle Obama (8/1) is also being tipped but somehow I can’t see her taking the plunge.

For bets that won’t mature for nearly four years I like long-shots and have 53 year old Harris at 66/1 for the Presidency and 40/1 for the nomination. As I write these odds are still available and might be worth a punt.”

My other longshot bets for WH2016 are on the current Governor of Colorado, John Hickenhooper. My longest price is 270/1. After looking at some TV interviews I love his laid back-self-deprecation and he has already started to indicate that he’s thinking of a run. I think that he would be appealing to primary voters and Trump would find him difficult to deal with.

What the Democrats want more than anything is to get the current incumbent of the White House out.

Mike Smithson