Archive for the 'America' Category


On the biggest current political betting market Trump now given a 64% chance of survival

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Trump amazing powers to distract are stopping bad news taking hold

With all the focus on Brexit and Theresa May’s survival in the UK it is sometimes easy to forget that from a political betting point of view the big markets are in the US and particularly on whether Donald Trump survives his first term.

We’ve not looked at this for some time but as the chart above shows the price, on Betfair, have moved quite sharply in his favour from a position when he was 50/50 to the current 64% chance that he’s going to make it through to the end.

    One of the abilities that Trump appears to have is being able to move the subject when a very difficult story appears about him in the media.

So much White House news comes out almost everyday it is very difficult for a particular story to take hold and events that would have brought other presidents to their knees have somehow been bypassed. Remember all the news that was coming out before Christmas on the book about Trump in the White House with comments from his former chief of staff which were less than flattering to the president. Yet now that is long forgotten.

Whether this can continue in the next three years we don’t know and there’s a suggestion from Taegan Goddard that this might be getting harder.

I’ve not bet on this market and I don’t think I will do because I think that Trump is going to survive and I don’t locking up cash in odds on positions that won’t resolved for three years.

Mike Smithson


Punters have more confidence that Trump will survive but are less convinced that he’ll be re-elected

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Trump’s first year in the White House in two betting charts

And the November 2018 midterms

Thanks yet again to Betdata.Io for their excellent historical and current political betting charts based on actual trades on the Betfair exchange.

In money terms all the top politics markets at the moment are US related and my guess is that the following two on the midterms in November, will be the biggest ones of 2018.

Mike Smithson


Donald Trump’s horizontal jogging with a porn star might see Melania Trump jog on from their marriage

Sunday, January 21st, 2018

Following the recent revelations about Donald Trump paying hush money to the porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about their reputed affair, the marriage of Donald and Melania Trump has come under scrutiny. If you have no ethical or moral qualms about betting on the divorce of a couple then you might be interested in the above betting markets from Paddy Power.

The bet on Trump remarrying by the 8th of November this year seems very unappealing, I’m not sure of the logistics of it all, but Donald Trump getting a divorce and remarrying someone in less than ten months time is a very long shot, I’d want around 500/1, not the 50/1 Paddy Power are offering.

The ones that tempt me are Donald Trump getting married for a fourth time during his Presidency looks appealing for a serial marriage enthusiast like Donald Trump, who clearly enjoys taking women up the aisle.

Similarly the 16/1 on Melania Trump on leaving Trump and filing for divorce before the 8th of November looks tempting, I’d stake more but for Paddy Power’s time constraints, it would have looked very tempting if it had been extended to Trump’s first term.

Consequently the 8/1 on Melania Trump living with another man during Trump’s first term might be a better bet of the two, she like most people sees Donald Trump’s behaviour akin to a disposable feminine hygiene product that one might use on a summer’s eve, and the bag it came in.



Never forget that the vast majority of those who voted for Trump are happy with their President

Monday, January 15th, 2018

And the betting continues to point to his survival

Mike Smithson


How Britain should play the Trump card without folding or upping the ante

Friday, January 12th, 2018

A guest slot from Julian Glassford

The vertiginous rise of the new champion of the alt-right in 2016 prompted a palpable blend of bafflement and consternation among the political elite right around the globe. Few dared even imagine that Donald Trump would triumph over his wily, experienced, and altogether far more internationally acceptable rival in the US presidential election. Indeed, most appeared caught almost completely off-guard and, a year on, none have yet managed to figure out quite how to tame the beast (if such a thing is possible).

Before “the Donald” had even taken the oath analysts were mourning the end of the age of Atlanticism, and who can blame them? He has, after all, labelled NATO obsolete, characterised the EU a defunct vehicle for German hegemony, and now added an unedifying Twitter spat with the British Prime Minister to his growing collection of controversies. Other commentators speculated that the reality TV star turned statesman was just posturing during the presidential campaign and would reign in the headline-grabbing stunts once in office. If they were banking on 2017 being a year of relative tranquillity on that basis, well then they miscalculated, bigly.

Resurgent populism and the nationalistic upending of the Washington Consensus has left (neo)liberal internationalists the world over with their heads in a spin. “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind”, and boy has the global political climate become blustery on their watch! Enter brash Trumponomics, rash social policy, and decidedly undiplomatic rhetoric scarcely seen in the West since The War.

Major domestic and international protests sparked by the Trump travel ban saga, followed by calls for the man himself to be barred from visiting countries like the UK – which have only grown following his far-right retweets – place governments in an awkward position. Few leaders can risk appearing to accept socially divisive ‘alternative facts’ or to condone his incendiary politics. Fewer still can afford to turn their backs on the largest and most advanced economic and military power on earth, however. And, given our role as a bastion of ‘soft power’ and human dignity vs. the need to nail‘The Art of the Deal’ with the US ahead of post-Brexit trade talks, this tension applies to the UK in spades.

Public figures have every right to voice their discontent, and relevant politicians and diplomats are of course duty-bound to make appropriate representations to their stateside counterparts. But, at the end of the day, whilst we do not have to respect the views and policies that President Trump espouses we cannot deny anyone’s right to hold or state them. Instead, we must trust in modern democratic institutions, our values, and unity. If we cannot place our faith wholly in these things then surely this says more about the state of our society and fragility of our principles (e.g. free speech) than it does about the vulgarian at the centre of the storm.

Far from deterred, Donald – like many an ‘echo chamber’ dwelling ‘keyboard warrior’ – appears buoyed by his latest fracas, even if most Americans clearly disapprove of his Twitter antics. As it dawns on remonstrators that the egotistical and intransigent showman is, figuratively speaking at least, sat in the Oval Office with his fingers in his ears and his direct line unplugged, many governments will be tempted to disengage completely. The UK must not do so. “Keep Calm and Carry on”, as the saying goes.

Britain can ill afford to sacrifice the special relationship as a knee-jerk reaction to political incorrectness or, indeed, in the name of tokenistic ‘virtue signalling’. Whatever the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel may say about Europe going its own way, Western interests are not well served by marginalising the United States or its capricious commander in chief. The recent announcement regarding the relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem offers a timely reminder that, left to his own devices, the cocksure neophyte is liable to land us all in a world of trouble.

For all his characteristically provocative and bolshie behaviour on social media, the President is a self-confessed Anglophile with Scottish roots. He shares a close affinity with a number of British public figures, actively seeks their advice, and was of course keen to invite the PM to be the first foreign head of state to visit him in office. Slightly uncomfortable, and recently diminished, though this association has been, the spirit of such acts has value and should not be disregarded.

Rather than cancel the much maligned US state visit outright, as others have pointed out the government can just as well kick it into the long grass. With a little quintessentially British composure and savvy, it should be possible to sustain cordial relations and continue to productively engage with our friends across the pond without compromising on matters moral integrity or social stability.

Strong leadership entails embracing difficulty, acting with level-headed stoicism, and leading by example, and we are in the business of building bridges, not walls. To abandon the current US administration at this juncture would be no more flattering on the UK than the reverse proposition i.e. Blair-Bush style fawning. Instead, we must live up to the long tradition of being America’s faithful, if not uncritical, old friend and ally. This means underscoring shared pluralistic values and being the pragmatic voice of reason: ever ready to administer a helping hand and, where necessary, the odd slap on the wrist.


Brief Bio: Julian Glassford is a UK-based multidisciplinary researcher and social entrepreneur.


First Winfrey – Trump polling has Oprah 10 points ahead

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


And she’s a favourability rating of 55%

New polling just out this afternoon from the right-leaning pollster Rasmussen has a big boost for TV personality, Oprah Winfrey who has now entered, though not the race, the frame for WH20020. This is from the pollster:

“TV personality Oprah Winfrey is the likely winner over President Trump if the 2020 election were held today, but there are a lot of undecideds.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters would opt for Winfrey, while 38% would choose Trump. But a sizable 14% are undecided.

Winfrey has the support of 76% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans and 44% of voters not affiliated with either major political party. The president earns 66% of the vote from Republicans, 12% of Democrats and 38% of unaffiliateds.

Twelve percent (12%) of both Republicans and Democrats are undecided given this matchup. One-in-five unaffiliated voters (19%) aren’t sure which candidate they would support.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of all voters view Winfrey favorably, including 27% with a Very Favorable view of the longtime media personality and entrepreneur. That’s little changed from 2011 after Winfrey announced she was ending her TV talk show after 25 years on the air. Thirty-four percent (34%) share an unfavorable view of her, with 18% who have a Very Unfavorable one.”

Clearly at this stage there is a novelty element but Oprah, like Trump as WH2016 has high level of name recognition simply because she’s is a high profile TV star.

Whether these sort of numbers would survive an actual run for the nomination and the cut and thrust of a campaign we do not know.

She is second favourite, behind Trump, on Betfair to win WH20120.

Mike Smithson


Suddenly Oprah Winfrey becomes second favourite for next President

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

But does she want it?

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the American presidential election cycle seems to move. Donald Trump has only been in the White House since January last year and now all the talk is of the 2020 contest with a focus on who would be his Democratic opponent should he decide to run again.

Following her widely publicised appearance at The Golden Globes on Sunday night in Los Angeles the talk is all about Oprah Winfrey being the person who could be the Democratic Party flag carrier.

This is how the New York Post is putting it this morning:

“.. In a rhetorically dazzling 14-minute speech that began with Sidney Poitier inspiring her by winning an Oscar in 1963 and ended with her promising that “a new day is on the horizon,” Winfrey delivered exactly the kind of inspirational and aspirational speech Hillary Clinton tried but failed to deliver about 300 times during her deadly bid for the presidency..”

On Betfair in the UK she has now moved to a 12/1 shot which looks ridiculously tight given the timescale and that the fact that she has never held any elected political position. But I have to say that is what everybody said about Donald Trump at this stage ahead of the 2016 contest.

The big question is would she consider running? Certainly there has been a level of ambivalence from her since making her Sunday night speech. This is from CNN:

“…according to two of Winfrey’s close friends who requested anonymity to speak freely, Winfrey is “actively thinking” about running for president in 2020..”

That’s exactly what “friends” of all contenders who are thinking about running are saying at the stage. My guess is that she will test the waters and look at what is actually involved in running for president. But who knows? It could be that in January in two years time we are chewing over a sensational Oprah performance in the Democratic party’s Iowa caucuses – the first state to make its choice in the presidential race.

Mike Smithson


If you are betting on the Trump exit markets be careful to check the precise terms of the bet

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

What happens, for instance, if the President dies in office?

Inevitably the publication of the new book on the Trump White House Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff has led to an enormous amount interest in betting on whether Mr trump Will survive his first term.

This is currently, by a big margin, the busiest current political betting market and I would expect that to continue for some time.

I’d also expect a lot of fluctuations as one new development after another changes perceptions as to whether something will happen or not.

The picture being described by Wolff is so extraordinary and far beyond what anyone, I would suggest, many people had realised. That the man who is almost certainly the most powerful in the entire world should operate in the manner that he does is, surely, something that cannot continue? But it may do and so we are talking about bets on it. Top politicians in difficult situations have a remarkable record of resilience and so far Mr Trump has shown that he can carry on.

The Betfair Exchange, which has a market currently valued at £0.75 million, states explicitly that the death of the President would count with one big exception. Its rules are:-

“When will Donald Trump officially cease to be the President of the United States of America?

This includes, but is not limited to, if Donald Trump leaves office due to death (excluding assassination), incapacity, illness, impeachment or resignation (or anything comparable). ). All [unsettled] bets will be voided if Donald Trump ceases to be President of the United States of America due to an assassination or an assassination attempt.”

Ladbrokes, on the other hand, do not include the possibility of death but state that the specfics cessation of his Presidency. It is defining the bet like this:-

“To Leave Office Via Impeachment Or Resignation”

So if he dies in the declared time frame bets would be losers. For this reason I would argue that the Betfair terms are better if you think that he will go early. There is another contingency included. I’ve used part my Alabama winnings to have a small on him not making it but I’m ready to move in and out should circumstances change.

Mike Smithson