Archive for the 'WHITE HOUSE RACE' Category


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


Bernie Sanders reported to be struggling to hang on to his WH2016 backers as he ponders WH2020

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Next year 2019 one of the big US events that will dominate political betting will be the fight for the WH2020 Democratic party nomination. The early polling here is really not that useful because it is mostly about name recognition and one of the big names is Bernie Sanders, the socialist from Vermont.

He far exceeded expectations in the Democratic primary battle with Hillary Clinton and the question is whether the 77 year old will throw his hat into the ring. One of his initial problems according to the New York Times is hanging onto to all those who backed him last time. The paper notes:

“Mr. Sanders may have been the runner-up in the last Democratic primary, but instead of expanding his nucleus of support, in the fashion of most repeat candidates, the Vermont senator is struggling to retain even what he garnered two years ago, when he was far less of a political star than he is today.

“It’s not a given that I’m going to support Bernie just because I did before,” said Lucy Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman. “There are going to be plenty of people to look at and to listen to. I’m currently open at this point, and I think the majority of people are.”

As Mr. Sanders considers a second bid for the White House, he and his advisers are grappling with the political reality that he would face a far different electoral landscape than in 2016. Rather than being the only progressive opponent to an establishment-backed front-runner, the Vermont Independent would join what may be the most crowded, fractured and uncertain Democratic primary in the last quarter-century..”

A big driver is that the party desperately wants to win back the White House and get rid of Trump. The question is whether Bernie is seen as the man to do that.

An early battle is already going on with Sander’s people doing their best to undermine Beto O’Rourke who is currently joint favourite in the nomination betting. This is from Jonathan Chait in New York Intelligencer:

“The rise of Beto O’Rourke poses an obvious threat. The Texas congressman has replicated aspects of Sanders’s appeal — his positivity and refusal to accept PAC money — while exceeding it in some ways. Sanders is charismatic in an unconventional way, the slovenly and cranky but somewhat lovable old uncle, while O’Rourke projects a classic handsome, toothy, Kennedy-esque charm that reliably makes Democrats swoon. Hard-core loyalists find the contrast irksome…”

My guess is that Sanders would struggle against O’Rourke and I don’t think the former will succeed but I might be wrong.

I have four or five WH2020 bets all at longish ones my best being 66/1 on Kamala Harris.

Mike Smithson


CNN reveals document on Russian tower deal signed by Trump contradicting what his lawyer’s been saying

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

With the Russian collusion investigation continuing to dominate US politics CNN has revealed overnight a letter of intent signed by Mr Trump in 2015 on the plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

This is significant because it appears to contradict a lot of what Trump has been saying about his Russian links and, indeed, at the weekend the President’s lawyer went on the record asserting that nothing was ever signed.

All this comes as the President is facing ongoing investigations into a whole raft of areas. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three three year imprisonment last week.

    This comes as the Republican party gets ready to hand over control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats following the seat losses in the Midterms last month. This will give the party power to launch investigations with subpoena power into many areas of Trump’s activities. Remember how the Republicans ahead of WH2016 were able to probe Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi role which cast big shadows over her campaign.

My biggest current political bets are that Trump will not be the WH2020 Republican nominee. He was a 73% chance and that has now dropped to 60% on Betfair. At some stage, surely, he’ll be seen as too much of an electoral liability.

Mike Smithson


Beto O’Rourke, third favourite for WH2020, gets closer to putting his hat into the ring

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Is he the white Obama?

The biggest UK political betting market continues to be the US presidential election in 2020 and overnight there have been big developments with Beto O’Rourke saying that he isn’t rulling out a bid.

He had said on repeated occasions that he would not seek the Presidency at the next election but in a town hall meeting last night in his home city of El Paso he suggested that he is now open to a presidential run. This is a significant shift from his remarks on the matter before the midterm elections on November 6th.

He came to prominence during that campaign for his hugely successful fundraising and for running the incumbent Ted Cruz a very close second in a state which has been dominated by the Republicans for decades.

    If the betting is anything to go by then the nomination flight is between O’Rourke and the California senator Kamala Harris who is just favourite at 17% compared with O’Rourke at 15%.

His senate campaign received a huge amount of publicity ahead of November 6th and he became very much a favourite of the liberal left within the party because of the energy of his campaigning and his strong views on healthcare and immigration. The former became the number one issue in the midterms following the efforts by Trump to undermine Obamacare.

Bernie Sanders, the elderly former favourite has now slipped to sixth place in the betting on 6% and Beto backers will surely hoping that the ageing socialist from Vermont and his energetic base will support their man. I know many PBers, including myself, are on the 46 year old Texan at considerably longer odds than you can get now.

There is still an awful long way to go. Generally potential candidates put their hats into the ring in the first half of the year before the presidential election and the action starts the following January.

This latest news will help prospective campaign funders as well as Democratic party campaign professionals who had been waiting on news from O’Rourke before deciding who to back in the primary campaign.

Mike Smithson