Archive for the 'Donald Trump' Category


Trump’s approval now ratings far worse far worse than at the midterms when the Dems gained 41 house seats

Monday, February 4th, 2019


The big political polling numbers that get most attention in US politics are the President’s approval ratings and these are seen to be good predictors of electoral outcome. Thus the 10% approval deficit that Trump had ahead of the November midterms was enough for pundits to predict that the Republicans would lose the House by some margin. That is what happened.

Since then we’ve had the government shutdown when 800k federal employees went without pay for nearly 5 weeks, the threat of the President taking emergency powers to build his wall, and the the attempt to find an agreement before February 15th when the current government funding resolution expires.

The Real Clear Politics polling average, seen in the chart above, shows how damaged the Trump now is in these predictive ratings. He’s now nearly 4 and a half points worse off then he was in November and that doesn’t look good.

Things, of course, can get better and we learnt from 2016 how effective Trump is mobilising his base ahead of an election. There are signs though that his base is narrowing with some polls finding that he’s struggling with working-class white males who have been his biggest supporters.

His re-nomination is far from assured with several leading figures contemplating a run.

On Betfair it’s now just a 30% chance that Trump will be re elected in November next year.

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.



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


Nancy Pelosi 1 Donald Trump 0

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Donald Trump has just announced that the Government shutdown is over. This means that the 800k government workers who have not been paid since before Christmas will now be paid.

He’s agreed a 3 week period and is clearly hoping that he can get agreement on the funding of his wall.

This comes on the day that the shutdown was starting to impact seriously on US civil flights with New York’s Le Guardia airport amongst others being affected.

The shutdown has led to huge drops in Trump’s personal ratings.

The winner is the new Speaker of the House of Representatives – Nancy Pelosi who has been totally resolute in blocking Trump’s demand for funding for the Wall.

Mike Smithson


Trump is clearing the road to his own impeachment

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

‘La Famiglia’by Marf

His shutdown has backfired and he’s vulnerable

For all the attention on Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s campaign and associated activities, the thing that will ultimately do for Trump – or save him – is politics. The latest reports, that Trump directed his lawyer to lie to Congress, are certainly not good news for the embattled president but nor are they catastrophic. For one thing, as he is fond of noting, Michael Cohen is not necessarily a reliable witness (although Trump’s relationship with the truth is hardly straightforward). More importantly though, impeachment is and has always been a political process rather than a legal one – and the politics have favoured him so far.

Trump’s presidency has been all about keeping his base happy and generally he’s done a very good job of that. That has two related effects. Firstly, it all-but assures his renomination, barring accidents; and secondly, it creates a very significant disincentive for Republican senators and congressmen to act against Trump’s interests, for fear of a backlash.

    Take away the support of his base though and he begins to look a lot more vulnerable. And Trump’s problem is that his support is falling and it’s his own fault.

Having taken ownership of the federal shutdown right at the start, the public are taking him at his word. More than half of those polled in nearly all the polls on the shutdown blame the president, against about a third who blame Democrats in Congress, and the figures are, if anything, getting worse for Trump.

Worse, his ratings have taken a hammering with his natural support. His net approval rating in one poll fell by 18 points among suburban men (+12 to -6), 13 points with white evangelicals (+56 to +43), 10 points with Republicans (+83 to +73) and 7 points with non-college white women (+20 to -4). Now, some of those scores still look pretty good – and they are – but they have to be offset against the very large numbers who hate him with a passion.

Given that the Mueller investigation has been going on so long that it’s essentially become background music, the Cohen revelations have probably been treated by those who choose to believe in Trump as a combination of fake news and Deep State conspiracy. It’s Inside-the-Beltway talk. By contrast, the federal shutdown isn’t. Even if it doesn’t affect all that many people directly, it has a big indirect effect and it’s undermining Trump’s reputation as the Great Dealmaker. After all, the government has been in shutdown with workers furloughed for longer under Trump (within just his first two years of presidency), than under Carter, Reagan, Bush-41, Bush-43 and Obama combined.

Will it affect his support enough to cause Democrats to pull the Impeachment trigger? That does depend on whether Mueller can find something of a smoking gun. It also depends on whether they wouldn’t rather run against what ought to be a very beatable incumbent if he can’t rediscover his touch. But some Republican senators are already wavering on the shutdown; the hyper-partisan period of his presidency might already be coming to an end. If Trump’s ratings with his base continue to fall, that will have a knock-on effect on the generic Republican brand, which senators will have to take seriously (and note that the Republicans gained 9 seats in the 2014 senate elections: that’s a very high tidemark to be defending).

At present, Trump is 5/4 against with Ladbrokes to be impeached in his first term, and 2/1 to leave office due to impeachment or resignation. I don’t think there’s yet any value in either of those bets. It’s getting closer though.

David Herdson


The weekend polling suggests that Trump is losing voter support in the battle of “The Wall”

Monday, January 14th, 2019

Now he’s in negative territory amongst non-college whites

With the US government shutdown continuing and 800k federal workers not getting their salary cheques on Friday there’s no sign of an end to what is totally dominating US politics. Basically Trump has shut down large parts of the federal government to put pressure on the Democrats to provide funding for a wall along the whole of the Mexican-US border. This was a key Trump WH2016 campaign pledge when he said the Mexicans would pay. That, as you’d expect has not been forthcoming.

The polling suggests that Trump is losing the battle for public support. A Washington Post/ABC News poll on the government shutdown finds 53% saying Trump and the Republicans are to blame with 29% saying the Democrats. Those are not good numbers for the incumbent in the year before a presidential election.

In the US between elections the big polling numbers that matter for a first term President are his approval ratings and these are the ones that get highlighted by the media. So any sizeable shift gets attention.

A new CNN poll has the President’s approval rating at 37% approve to 57% disapprove. Disapproval has risen five points since December, while his approval number has held roughly the same. CNN reports that the detail suggests he’s now struggling with his core base.

“The increase in disapproval for the President comes primarily among whites without college degrees, 45% of whom approve and 47% disapprove, marking the first time his approval rating with this group has been underwater in CNN polling since February 2018. In December, his approval rating with whites who have not received a four-year degree stood at 54%, with 39% disapproving. Among whites who do hold college degrees, Trump’s ratings are largely unchanged in the last month and remain sharply negative — 64% disapprove and 32% approve.”

There’s no sign that either the President or the Democrats are going to give way and at some stage key public services like airport security look set to get hit. Already there are reports of many federal workers calling in sick and you can understand their feelings. It is not their fault that they are having to bear the brunt.

Key to the politics of this are leading Republicans who have largely stuck with their President though there are signs of dissent.

From Trump’s point of view the shutdown does detract attention from the wide range in probes into his dealings and whether there was collusion with Russia.

Mike Smithson


In Jan 2017 Trump had net positive approval ratings in 38 US states – that’s now down to 21

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

US Map showing Trump approval ratings Jan 2017

US Map showing Trump approval ratings Dec 2018

It is a sign of just how long PB has been around that next year’s White House Race will be the 5th that we’ve covered on the site since its foundation in March 2004. These are massive betting events something that is helped by the build-up of primaries towards the nominations of then of course the battle itself.

With just under two years to go well over £2m has been wagered on Betfair’s WH2020 markets alone and on most days the US election markets are biggest in terms of bets laid and bets placed.

One thing we have learned over the years is that a good indicator of the whether a sitting President is going to get re-elected are his approval ratings and here Mr Trump is finding it a struggle. Overnight new polling Morning Consult which reports state by finds all finds President Trump’s net numbers are taking a big tumble.

    Critically the incumbent now has net negative ratings in nine states that were won by him in the 2016 presidential election – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Tonight in an effort to build support for his controversial Mexican Wall project he is making a TV broadcast on why he is keeping the federal government closed in order to get agreement for the $5.8bn required. This is the first time he has resorted to such a move.

In the past when presidents have broadcast to the nation in this way all the networks have cleared their schedules. That might not be the case tonight. As I write just Fox and CNN have said they would be carrying it live.

On Betfair it is now just a 29% chance that he’ll be re-elected at WH2020.

Mike Smithson


As Trump’s troubles mount punters now give him just a 30% chance of being re-elected

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Although it is not two years since Trump was inaugurated as President the focus is starting to be placed on WH2020. The next six months should see contenders starting to throw their hats into the ring all building up to the first primaries in little more than a year.

What’s going to be different about the upcoming battles is that the biggest state of all, California, with by far the biggest number of delegates, will now feature in the first phase of the primary campaign. Its primary has been switched from its regular June slot to March 3rd, 2020 which could give it a bigger impact on nominee choices of the two main parties.

Given early voting then expect a lot of the earlier attention to be on the West Coast rather than Iowa and New Hampshire.

The assumption is that Trump’s base will stick with him but that he needs a much broader range of support to ensure he gets a second term. The chart above shows how the betting has been moving.

We don’t know yet whether there will be a serious challenge to the Republican nomination. A lot depends on how the President comes out of the wide range of investigations that are currently probing a range Trump based activities.

Generally sitting presidents get re-elected. Could Trump be the exception to that rule?

Mike Smithson