Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


Bernie Sanders, 77, decides to take the plunge and moves to third in the nomination betting

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

But how seriously should we view his campaign?

I must admit that I cannot see either 76 year old Joe Biden or 77 Bernie winning the nomination in eighteen months time. The former has yet to decide while Bernie, who ran Hillary close at WH2016, announced today that he’s going for it.

He joins an increasingly crowded field of aspiring nominees and the race will be so unlike last time when it was really just down to two.

What he has got going for him is a substantial supporter base as well as the experience of fighting a prolonged and hard primary campaign. The question is whether he has the appeal of 2016 or has the party moved on?

This is how the New York Times assesses his chances:

“A sensation in 2016, Mr. Sanders is facing a far different electoral landscape this time around. Unlike his last bid for the White House, when he was the only liberal challenger to an establishment-backed front-runner, he will be contending with a crowded and diverse field of candidates, including popular Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts who have adopted his populist mantle.

Victories in the 2018 midterm election by women, minorities and first-time candidates also suggest that many Democrats may prefer fresh energy, something that skeptics believe Mr. Sanders could struggle to deliver. A 77-year-old whose left-wing message has remained largely unchanged in his decades-long career, Mr. Sanders will also need to improve his support from black voters and quell the unease about his campaign’s treatment of women that has been disclosed in recent news accounts, and that has prompted two public apologies.”

The thing that all prospective nominees have to do is demonstrate that they can beat Trump who will fight a fierce and rough campaign against them. I’m not sure he fits the bill.

Current Betfair betting – Harris 25%, Biden 14%, Sanders 11%, O’Rourke 10%, Brown 7%, Klobuchar 7%, Warren 6%.

Mike Smithson


Trump seems to be alienating an awful lot of voters

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

Trump is energising his opponents in record breaking numbers

538 write

With the 2020 election cycle revving into full gear, pollsters are asking voters whether they plan to vote for President Trump. In a Washington Post/ABC News survey, respondents were asked if they would definitely vote for the president, consider voting for him or definitely not vote for him — and 56 percent said they would definitely not vote for him. Morning Consult posed a slightly different form of this question, asking voters if they’d definitely or probably vote for Trump, or if they’d definitely or probably vote for someone else. Eight percent said they would probably vote for someone else, but 47 percent said they would definitely vote for someone else. In total, that’s 55 percent of respondents who seemed unlikely to vote for Trump.

All told, this isn’t that different from the number of Americans who were planning not to back then-President Barack Obama in the early stages of his re-election bid: 51 percent said they “definitely” or “probably” would not vote for the incumbent, according to one poll conducted at a similar point in the 2012 cycle. But there is a key difference: The share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is much higher than it ever was for Obama. In fact, the average share of voters who said they would “definitely” oppose Trump is roughly 10 points higher than it was for Obama more than 600 days out from the election, which is where we are now.

We can see from the chart that Obama’s definitely would not vote for figure increased closer as we approached the 2012 election which is probably a result of the primary process as lots of opponents retrashed Obama and his policies on a regular basis for several months. With the Iowa caucus exactly one year away it isn’t hard to see Trump’s definitely would not vote figure increasing as the Democratic Party contenders criticise Trump.

A couple of caveats, this polling coincides with the record breaking shutdown it might explain why so many are opposed to Trump, if there are no further shutdowns then Trump’s figures might improve. Also Trump had some pretty dire polling numbers in the run up to the 2016 Presidential election but that didn’t stop him being elected.

I’m hoping to track this series on a regular basis. My hunch is if these figures don’t improve for Trump then his chances of winning re-election in 2020 are sub-optimal, Mueller permitting of course.



Beto O’Rourke says he can’t decide whether to run for the Presidency or become a teacher

Friday, February 1st, 2019

The one-time Democratic nominee favourite still pondering WH2020

Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso in Texas, has not really been heard from since pushing Ted Cruz very close in the Senate race last November in a race that received huge amount of media attention.

His campaigning and fundraising ability to mobilise a very large volunteer force and raise a huge amount of cash all led to speculation that he might be the one who would take on Trump for the Democrats in next year. At one point he became favourite on Betfair for the nomination and second favourite be happening trump to be the next President of the United States.

That’s all rather evaporated of late as other contenders, including four Democrat Senators, have thrown their hats into the nomination race ring. At an event in Texas he was questioned by the audience about his plans. This is the report from Politico.

“Despite vaulting into the top tier of Democratic primary contenders, O’Rourke said family concerns and the “exhaustion” of his Texas Senate run are still weighing on him.

“There’s an exhaustion after an effort like that, that I’m learning is hard to recover from,” the former Texas congressman said at a local speaker series event. “You don’t snap back

In response to a question from the audience, he said he has not had any contact with other potential candidates about joining a presidential ticket. If he does not run for president, O’Rourke said he is considering teaching

I know many PBers backed him for WH2020 at long odds during the Senate campaign and I came to this a bit late only getting 26/1. His odds are currently drifting.

My guess is that he might still go for it but he’ll wait to see how the other runners get on.

Mike Smithson


Kamala Harris makes strong start to her WH2020 campaign and is already attracting endorsements

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

My 66/1 tip from January 2017 now the clear frontrunner

Even though we are a year off the first WH2020 primaries the former Attorney General for California and now Senator, Kamala Harris, is top slot in the betting and in pole position for the Democratic party nomination.

Her campaign was launched a week last Monday and on Sunday a crowd estimated at 20k turned up in her home city of Oakland for her first campaign rally. Last night she appeared at a CNN Town Hall in Iowa (see pic) – the state that, of course, is the first to decide in the nomination race.

Her campaign has also made key hirings of political professionals for Iowa and is starting to get endorsements.

    All of this puts her well ahead of the other likely contenders and might well be a factor in determining how many others want to run against her.

If she starts to look almost invincible then that will play a big part in the decisions of maybe two dozen potential other challengers. She is certainly being treated by the media as the clear frontrunner which means that what she does and says gets a lot more coverage.

A big danger of being in this position is that her opponents for both the nomination and the White House do deep opposition research to find things that could impede the campaign. That’s already started and she can expect her every action while Californian Attorney-General to be scrutinised.

I just wonder how 76 year old Joe Biden and 77 year old Bernie Sanders are viewing the rise of Harris. My guess is that the former, at least, might decide that its not worth the effort. Bernie, who played a big part in Trump’s victory at WH2016, will probably try again.

Exactly two years ago I tipped her here when Kamala was 66/1, I’m hoping to be able to refer to that post again!

Mike Smithson


Sherrod Brown, victor in Ohio last November, looks increasingly like a good bet for WH2020

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

I’ve had quite a few long shot bets on the next White House Race but the one I am becoming increasingly confident about is Sherrod Brown Who last November held his Ohio senate seat by a margin of 6%. What makes this striking is that at WH2016 Trump took the state with a margin of 8 points. If anyone can win the rust belt back for the Democrats then it’s Brown.

So far he’s not formally put his hat into the ring but he is making the usual tour of the first primary state and doing TV spots like the one last night on CNN shown above.

What I believe will be the dominant factor in the Democratic primaries, due to start almost exactly a year from now in Iowa, will be perceived electability. The party desperately wants somebody who can beat the current incumbent and few of the field that have so far declared have credentials on that score anything like as good as Brown’s.

For many years, Ohio was absolutely central to the Democrats in presidential campaigns but that changed with Trump. Brown is presenting himself as the answer and he maybe right.

His wife, Pulitzer-winning columnist, Connie Schultz, looks as though she could play a key part in a campaign.

I don’t attach much value to polls at this stage. The late-70s oldies, Sanders and Biden, rate highly at the moment because of name recognition.

Betfair currently have Brown at 35/1 to win WH2016 which I regard as value.

Can I add that me suggesting that a bet is good value is NOT me making a prediction. I am just looking at the odds available and assessing whether what's being offered is better than my assessment of the chances.

Mike Smithson


The Dems, surely, are. not going to choose someone in their late 70s to oust an incumbent in his mid-70s

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

But Biden and Sanders head the polling

We are going to see a lot of polling like this over the next 18 months as the Democratic party goes through the prolonged process of choosing who should be the one to block Trump’s second term.

Joe Biden, of course, was Obama’s VP while Bernie Sanders was the one who gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money at WH2016. Both are well known which clearly gives them an edge in polling at this stage.

The other names listed in the PPP polling list have yet to make an impact that moves them beyond where they are at the moment but that will change over the coming months.

I’m not convinced that Sanders and Biden will run. It is a massive undertaking and requires a huge commitment. A challenge for Sanders is that some of his team from last time are following a different course for WH2020 while Biden might just delay making a decision to see how the declared runners get on.

What is striking about the poll is that all listed beat Trump.

Mike Smithson


More Democrats put their hats into the ring in the fight for the nomination to take on Trump

Friday, January 18th, 2019

While all in the UK have been focused on Brexit and it’s aftermath things are starting to hot up in the race to be elected president of the United States in November 2020. This will be the 5th White House campaign that will be covered by Politicalbetting since the site’s foundation in 2004.

These are massive betting events and throughout the next 22 months there’ll be a wide range of markets to bet on.

There’s a lot of early activity going on at the moment as prospective Democratic party nominees put the toe into the water to try to determine whether they’ve got a chance. This is important because securing the funding and organisational backing for a prolonged campaign is essential.

Ahead of WH2016 Hillary Clinton had so squeezed the potential funding and campaign expertise resources available to her party that other contenders were almost excluded from attempting a bid right from the beginning.

This time it is going to be very different and by the time the first TV debates take place in the summer there could be more than a dozen serious contenders.

Of the leading names Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was first to move making an announcement on New Year’s eve. Then there was Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii and this week New York Kirsten Gillibrand from New York made announcements.

My 66/1 tip from January 2017 now current favourite for the nomination , Senator Kamala Harris is due to launch her bid on Monday while we wait for the prominent men to move. These include Senator Bernie Sanders, ex-VP Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke.

Biden and Sanders have the best name recognition which is helping them in the early polls though I’m not convinced by either. Age is a factor.

The latest betting from the Betfair exchange.

Kamala Harris 19%
Beto O’Rourke 18%
Joe Biden 13%
Elizabeth Warren 6%
Tulsi Gabbard 6%
Bernie Sanders 6%
Kirsten Gillibrand 5%
Cory Booker 4%
Amy Klobuchar 5%
Sherrod Brown 5%

I’ve got longshot bets on all apart from Booker, Biden and Sanders.

Mike Smithson


Kamala Harris – my WH2020 66/1 pick from two years ago – set to enter the race a week on Monday

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

Now joint favourite for the Democratic nomination

This is from my post under the heading “My 66/1 long-shot bet for the 2020 White House race: Democratic Senator Kamala Harris from California” from January 18th 2017 – two days before Donald Trump was inaugurated as President.

“..With Trump’s inauguration taking place on Friday there’s been a flurry of betting activity on the newly elected Senator from California, Kamala Harris, for the next White House Race in 2020. This followed a lot of coverage of her part in fighting against Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

In November 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…

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.”

That was written nearly two years and it has aged well. Harris was only then starting her first term in the US Senate and has made a big mark. She featured a lot three months ago during the process to validate Judge Kavanagh’s appointment to the Supreme Court. This is from The Hill.

“Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will formally announce her bid for the White House on or around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, sources told KCBS Radio, a station in her home state of California.

Harris has long been considered a possible frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination and speculation that she would enter the race continued to mount this week when she launched a book tour and media blitz to promote her memoir that was published Tuesday…”

My reading of her is that she’s better equipped for a battle with Trump than her Senate colleague, Elizabeth Warren, who put her hat into the ring on New Year’s Eve.

Mike Smithson