Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category

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My 270/1 shot for the White House indicates that he might run

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Watch out for John Hickenlooper – Governor of Colorado

Back in early April I reported that I’d backed Governor John Hickenlooper for the presidency at odds of 270/1 on Betfair.

One of the things about super long-shots is that you generally don’t know when you place your bet whether your man/woman will actually make a bid. So today’s strong indication that he is considering putting his hat into the ring is a big step forward.

I’d first noticed Hickenlooper a couple of years ago when he was being tipped as Hillary Clinton’s running mate and I liked what I saw. He appears to be everything that the Trump isn’t lucid, self-deprecating, intelligent and someone who comes over well. He’s also appears to have a strong sense of public service and has a good record in Colorado and Denver where he used to be mayor.

At this stage he’ll be assessing whether a bid is feasible – will he get the backing of key figures in the party and donors? My guess is that the most important thing the party will be looking for is someone who appears as though he/she could be competitive against Trump.

Today’s comments are exactly what you would expect from a potential runner at this stage. Even though WH2020 is more than two year away the battle will start in only about nine months.

Mike Smithson




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The polling that should give great succour to Trump

Monday, June 11th, 2018

The above chart I found really interesting. Trump is retaining his support that is unmatched bar by George W Bush, by the hopefully unique set of circumstances that was 9/11.

Despite the general hostility directed towards Trump this is quite an achievement by Trump. His supporters are very loyal and shifting him from the White House in 2020 will be difficult, as it usually is with incumbent Presidents.

Of those eight Presidents who first became President after being elected in their own right and retained 74% and over of their support after 500 days only two didn’t win re-election. George Bush Senior, lost his re-election campaign and JFK, tragically, didn’t live long enough to fight a re-election campaign.

TSE



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Introducing my 270/1 shot to win WH2020 – Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Ladbrokes have him at 16/1 for the Democratic nomination

It’s just over a year’s time we should be seeing the formal declarations of those entering the run for president in the 2020 White House race and over the ensuing 12 months we are going to hear a lot of speculation about who might put their hats into the ring.

The assumption is that Donald Trump will seek a second term and all the focus is on who will be his opponent from the Democratic party.

At the moment name recognition seems to be helping the ageing duo of Bernie Sanders (76) and ex Vice President Joe Biden (75) in the betting but once the primaries actually start then anything can happen. Just remember how the 2004 odds-on favourite for the nomination, Howard Dean, flopped as soon as the first primary votes were cast in Iowa – a result that played a big part in the foundation of PB.

    I’m not convinced there is any betting value on either Sanders or Biden.

My love is for long shot bets at this stage provided the odds are big enough to justify the risk. There are two things you can bet on with a possible contender – whether they get the nomination and whether they win the presidency.

Sometimes the gap in the betting in between these two can offer very good value for money.

One of the things I have been monitoring is the gap in the betting for the nomination and the President

My bet yesterday at 270 on Betfair was on the former mayor of Denver and current governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper. He’s no newcomer to presidential speculation and there has been talk of him running on a joint independent ticket with Republican John Kasich. Two years ago he was one of those tipped to be the Clinton V-P choice.

To give you an idea of the gap between the presidential markets and the nomination markets that Ladbrokes currently have Hickenlooper at 16/1 for the nomination.

You can still get 100+ on Betfair which still seems value.

There are several ways this bet could be profitable even if he does not make it to the White House. If he does put his hat into the ring then expect his odds to tighten sharply and during the first few primaries expect a high level of turbulence in the betting.

  • I should add that bets are NOT predictions. They are assessments of value based on the current betting odds. If you think that the betting prices on an outcome are better than the odds available then you have a value bet.
  • Mike Smithson




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    Would Joe Biden beat Donald Trump? See this interesting analysis

    Monday, April 2nd, 2018

    I rather like this approach to looking at the White House race because this is a state battle as we saw in 2016 when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but Trump made it because he picked up several key states by very small margins.

    Currently you can get Biden at 20/1 for the Presidency and Sanders at 12/1.

    I’m not tempted at these odds given how long you would have to wait and so much could happen in the meantime.

    Today I had what is only my third WH2020 bet at 280/1 on Betfair. I’m planing a separate post.

    Mike Smithson




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    Warren makes first move for a possible 2020 White House bid

    Friday, March 9th, 2018

    At a dinner in Washington on Wednesday high profile Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, made what is being seen as the start of her bid to win the 2020 White House race.

    She announced that she is donating $5,000 to all 50 state Democratic parties in the US. She is also giving $15,000 to the national party. According to Politico:-

    “Warren also began laying out a national political argument, calling for the party to pick fights on consumer rights, guns, immigration and investigating and punishing “this president, his Cabinet, and his family.”

    “Folks are hurting, and they’re scared, and they’re angry, and they’re desperate for someone to put up a fight on their behalf. And it sure isn’t going to be Donald Trump and the Republicans,” Warren said, adding later, “I don’t want us to settle for being the party that takes the right side when it comes to the fights facing ordinary Americans. I want us to be the party that picks fights on their behalf.”

    In terms of name recognition Warren is probably at the top of the list at the moment of current Democratic contenders apart from Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The last two who are 75 and 76 years old respectively are surely too old and runs could be portrayed as vanity trips.

    I would have liked Warren as the candidate in 2016 but Clinton had so tied up the Democratic machine that it was hard for anybody else to get any traction.

    But I’m not convinced that Warren is worth a punt at her current odds of about 7/1 for the nomination. There is an awful long way to go and there are several other youngster contenders who could mount serious challenges.

    Mike Smithson




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    Trump critic Mitt Romney could prove problematical for Trump if, as likely, he’s elected senator

    Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

    The Republican White House nominee in 2012 and Trump critic, Mitt Romney is running to become the next Senator for Utah – a GOP stronghold. Given the tightness of the current split in the Senate, 51 Republican to 49 Democratic, the former nominee has the potential to cause problems for the White House.

    During the 2016 campaign Romney was a persistent Trump critic describing the man who was to become President as a “fraud” who was “playing the American public for suckers.

    It has been reported that Trump sought to try to persuade the incumbent Senator for Utah to stay after he’d announced his plan to retire in order to stop Romney.

    Romney shas said he generally approved of Trump’s agenda, but would not hesitate to call out the president if needed.

    “I‘m with the president’s domestic policy agenda of low taxes, low regulation, smaller government, pushing back against the bureaucrats,” Romney said. “I‘m not always with the president on what he might say or do, and if that happens I’ll call‘em like I see‘em, the way I have in the past.”

    Trump said on Twitter that Romney “will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!”

    I wonder whether Romney might also be thinking of running for the nomination at WH2020

    Mike Smithson




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    First Winfrey – Trump polling has Oprah 10 points ahead

    Wednesday, January 10th, 2018


    Boondocks

    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




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    What 2018 could have in store for Trump (and who might he face in 2020)

    Monday, January 1st, 2018

    On his return from the U.S., Keiran Pedley gives us the rundown on what is happening stateside

    Having spent a few weeks in New Jersey, as I usually do this time of year, it will not come as much of a surprise that the news media there is wall to wall Trump. However, as a keen observer of US politics, I do enjoy being over there and watching the political comings and goings ‘live’ – you can often pick up some nuances that you might not when watching from overseas. Here are some observations from my time there over the Christmas break.

    Trump faces a tough election cycle in 2018

    Unless the ongoing Russia investigation finds a ‘smoking gun’, or war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, the big story of 2018 in Washington is likely to be November’s midterm elections. Here Trump’s Republican Party, which currently holds both houses of Congress, could potentially lose both. Any sense that this prospect was ‘fake news’ was pretty much dispelled by the Democrats taking deep red Alabama in December’s special election (granted under very ‘special’ circumstances given the objectively awful Republican candidate Roy Moore).

    The two charts below spell out the difficulties faced by Trump and the GOP in no uncertain terms. The first chart, courtesy of Jennifer Agiesta of CNN, shows President Trump is the least popular president after his first year in office since modern polling began. The second chart, courtesy of FiveThirtyEight shows the Democrats are on average 12 points ahead of the Republicans in the so-called ‘generic ballot’ – polling that measures which party Americans would support for Congress irrespective of who is running locally. The conventional wisdom, reflected here again at FiveThirtyEight, suggests a lead of more than eight points (maybe less) would be enough for the Democrats to win back the House of Representatives.  As it stands, they are favourites to do so.

    Table 1: Trump’s approval rating after one year versus other presidents

    Table 2: Polling average for the ‘generic ballot’

    But it isn’t all bad news for Trump

    The race for the House might be going the Democrat’s way but the race for the Senate is much less certain. Whereas the whole House is up for re-election every two years, only a third of the Senate is up each cycle and the 2018 map is not kind for Democrats. At the time of writing, they need a net gain of two seats to win back control of the Senate, yet the Republicans are only defending 8 of the 34 seats up for election (many of these in very ‘red’ states). Furthermore, the Democrats themselves happen to be defending seats in several states that Trump won in 2016 (notably Vice President Pence’s Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida and several others in the now infamous ‘blue wall’ that failed so miserably for Hillary Clinton). Put simply, two Democratic gains may not be enough if they fail to hold seats elsewhere.

    Table 3: Senate seats up in 2018

    So for the Democrats to take the Senate everything would need to go right for them. The prevailing political mood now suggests this might happen. However, Trump will hope to shift this mood if his recently passed tax plan provides a turbo boost to a US economy that is already chugging along quite nicely and the Russia investigation comes to naught (a crisis in North Korea is never far away too). He will hope for a second hearing, if not from Democrats, from Independents that currently give him an approval rating of just 33% with Gallup (57% disapprove).

    The risk for Trump is that the 2018 election cycle may not really be about his record at all. It could be a referendum on the man himself as president and in that case there is nothing he can really do to avoid the Democratic wave he faces. Even if he ‘only’ loses the House, his domestic agenda will be severely hampered. If he loses both the House and Senate, it will stall completely.

    However, this does not mean impeachment.  The US constitution requires two-thirds of the Senate to vote for impeachment to remove a president from office. Despite many suggesting that the GOP might ‘dump Trump’ if he became a liability, I find that idea highly dubious, unless clear and unambiguous illegality emerges that is explicitly linked to Trump’s own hand. Never say never but I won’t hold my breath.

    In a bizarre way, Trump may even find his prospects for re-election boosted to some extent if the Democrats control Congress. He will once again have an enemy to run against in 2020 and nothing motivates the Republican base more than getting one over on the Pelosi’s and Schumer’s of this world. Make no mistake, losing Congress is bad for any president’s agenda, but there could be a silver lining of sorts for Trump – particularly if he manages to boost his credentials as a ‘dealmaker’ by governing with the Democrats (unlikely as that sounds).

    Meanwhile the Democrats lack leadership – and that makes 2020 unpredictable

    It is too early to make any definitive judgements about who the Democratic nominee will be in 2020. There are large question marks over who will actually run from the early list of front runners. Yet the skeleton of a field is starting to emerge nonetheless. Here are some names that consistently come up in the conversation about 2020 and their odds with Ladbrokes. This list doesn’t include some of the more fanciful names that feature, such as Michelle Obama, Mark Zuckerberg or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson:

    • Elizabeth Warren (Senator, Massachusetts) 6/1
    • Kamala Harris (Senator, California) 6/1
    • Bernie Sanders (Senator, Vermont) 7/1
    • Cory Booker (Senator, New Jersey) 20/1
    • Joe Biden (fmr. Vice President) 20/1
    • Kirsten Gillibrand (Senator, New York) 25/1

    Selection of odds taken from Ladbrokes

    What should worry Democrats at this stage is that there is no obvious spokesperson for the party right now. No clear leadership. That suggests that the field for 2020 will be large, much like it was for the GOP in 2016, this makes the contest itself extremely unpredictable.

    A number of dynamics will be at play when the Democrats choose their standard bearer in a couple of years’ time. Race and gender will loom large as ever but so too will a generational divide. In ‘normal’ circumstances, 2020 would be a contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; yet both will be comfortably in their late 70s come 2020. We cannot be certain if either will actually run. Therefore, the race is on to see who will emerge as the ‘next generation candidate’ to challenge or replace them.

    In this context, I think Kirsten Gillibrand is a great value bet. She has made a lot of running in 2017, surprising many by saying President Clinton should have resigned following the Monica Lewinsky scandal and decisively calling for the resignation of Al Franken following accusations of sexual assault. Aged 51, she is seeking to make herself a leader of the #metoo movement and seems to have made the early running better than others that might seek that ‘next generation’ mantle; such as Kamala Harris or Cory Booker.

    Of course, it is early days and just because a generational divide exists, it does not necessarily follow that the Democrats ‘have’ to move to the next one. It may well be that Biden and Sanders both run and they dominate the field. However, I think it is highly likely that at least one woman makes a strong bid for the Democratic nomination next time and this makes Gillibrand one to watch.

    Nevertheless, for now I am still watching Bernie Sanders closest of all – whether he runs or not. If the 2020 Democratic field is as crowded as it was for the GOP in 2016, it is easy to see how Sanders, with his loyal supporters, racks up primary wins without winning a majority of the vote each time. If he doesn’t run, Elizabeth Warren could take his progressive mantle. Given that she is a woman as well it is not hard to see why Ladbrokes have her as favourite but she probably needs Sanders not to run. A Biden run from the centre has to be taken seriously too – more seriously than 20-1.

    For now this is all speculation. In 2018, it will be important to watch Trump’s approval rating as we approach the midterms and keep a keen eye for which Democrats emerge as party leaders with one eye on 2020. It should make for interesting viewing.

    Keiran Pedley

    Keiran Pedley tweets about politics and public opinion at @keiranpedley