Archive for the 'Donald Trump' Category


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


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


After a terrible week for the White House Trump drops to just a 61% chance in the WH2020 nomination betting

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

While we have been almost totally focused on Brexit in the UK in Washington things are getting even worse for the president who is facing a whole series of probes relating to the 2016 campaign.

This week his former attorney, Mike Cohen, was sentenced to 3 years for his part including campaign finance violations by seeking to arrange payoffs to women that Trump was said to have been associated with. Cohen has also gone public in his attacks on Trump’s approach.

Also under investigation and might also be heading for jail is the president’s former campaign head and now we have a new development relating to his inauguration in January 2017. This is from ProPublica:

“When it came out this year that President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised and spent unprecedented amounts, people wondered where all that money went.

It turns out one beneficiary was Trump himself.

The inauguration paid the Trump Organization for rooms, meals and event space at the company’s Washington hotel, according to interviews as well as internal emails and receipts reviewed by WNYC and ProPublica…”

One of the events took place at the Trump Hotel and the question is whether Trump’s inaugural committee, which had been fundraising, were charged more than the going rate. The question that is being asked is whether donors giving money in return for possible political favours and whether foreign funds are involved.

I’ve got a long-standing bet, a lay on Betfair down to 1.41, that Trump won’t be the nominee. That’s now moved out to 1.61 and I’m not planning to close it down.

Meanwhile there’s almost a story a day coming out about the Muellar probe and at some stage, surely, the Republican party establishment is going to ask whether Trump is more trouble than he’s worth. Trump himself might decide to call it as day after WH2016 and he doesn’t appear to have a healthy life-style.

Mike Smithson


On the eve of the critical Mississippi senate election Trump’s approval ratings plummet

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Meanwhile the Mueller investigation gets closer

Tomorrow sees the final chapter in this year’s midterms with the runoff for the Senatorial place in Mississippi. Today the president is attending two mass rallies in different parts of the state in the hope of shoring up his core vote ahead of the election.

This is one that Republicans should really hold. It is in a solid “red state” and the expectation is that the party will be able to see off a hugely determined campaign by the Democrats. The current split in the Senate is 52 to 47 and if the pundits are right tomorrow should see that increase to 53 seats.

In the meantime a big shadow is hanging over the White House as the investigation into possible links between his WH2016 campaign and Russia. More indictments are expected by the day and this is getting very close to the incumbent and or members of his family.

He has reacted with anger and aggression taking on a Bush Supreme Court appointee who is now the Chief Justice.

All this might have driven the big drop in his approval ratings from Gallup. As the chart shows he’s now at just 38% approval with 60% disapproval number. Although his base remains loyal Trump needs much more than that.

Mike Smithson


I just wonder if Trump could decide to call it a day and quit

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Just be thankful you don’t work in the West Wing

Away from Brexit for a moment and things do not appear to be happy in the White House. This from the excellent Political Wire

For weeks this fall, an ebullient President Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6. With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment.”

“Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials.”

There’s a similar picture in the latest Vanity Fair by Gabriel Sherman under the heading “INSANITY,” “FURIOUS,” “ON HIS OWN”: TRUMP’S POST-MIDTERMS BLUES ARE VEXING HIS STAFF AND ROILING THE WHITE HOUSE.

“Last Tuesday, he was in high spirits as he watched election returns come in with about a hundred friends at the White House. Trump told people that his barnstorming rally schedule had mobilized his base and held Republican losses to historical lows, while increasing Republican gains in the Senate. “He really thought he won the midterms,” a prominent Republican who spoke with Trump said..

..But by Wednesday, after hours of commentary about the suburbs’ distaste for him and with seat after undecided House seat slipping toward the Democrats, his mood slid, too, hitting bottom in a bizarre and combative press conference. “He was furious about the narrative. He said, ‘Look, I went to all these states and now people are saying Trump lost the election,’”

Meanwhile the outstanding counts continue and the Democrats increase their stranglehold on the incoming House of Representatives. A total of maybe 40 net gains is being talked about and in the new year Trump’s administration could face a whole range of investigations with subpoena powers.

The last thing that Trump and his family want is to be probed and I just wonder whether he might call it a day. I’ve had a little flutter on Betfair at 55/1 that Trump will be out this year.

Mike Smithson


Trump slips in the WH2020 betting after his party’s midterms performance

Monday, November 12th, 2018

It is now the nearly week since the US midterm elections and still we have to wait for a final outcome. There are two big state results to be completed both of which are on a knife edge.

There is a strong argument for saying that the midterm performances 2 years before a presidential election are not a good pointer to the outcome. There are certainly a number of precedents to support that position.

    What makes the 2018 elections different is the exceptionally high turnout getting closer to what would you’d expect from a presidential election. About 114m votes were cast this year, which is much closer to the WH2016 total of 137m than the 2014 midterm total of 82m

Thus on the figures we have at the moment it looks as though the overall turnout last Tuesday will be about 48.5%. This compares with the turnout of 35% at the 2014 midterm elections.

The reason of course is the presence of Mr Trump as president and the fact that he is an extraordinary polarising figure. The surveys showed that about two-thirds of voters last week said Trump played a big part in there choice both for the Republicans and against the party.

A real worry for the Republicans now is that the Democrats had significant victories in Wisconsin Michigan and Pennsylvania three big states that if 2018 can be replicated at WH2020 would see Trump lose.

As the chart shows the President has edged down in the betting but he’s still a 35% chance to win WH2020.

Mike Smithson


After Tuesday Trump surely has less than a 69% chance of being the Republican WH2020 nominee

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

The value bet is that he won’t

A number of US commentators are taking the view that the order in which results came in on Tuesday evening is giving a distorted picture of what happened. The early news about the races in Ohio and Florida dominated the initial thinking and overshadowed what is now clear was in fact a big success for the Democrats. The party looks set to make more House gains than at any Midterms since Watergate.

The latest house seat calculations put the party on 230+ and there are good prospects that that will be exceeded. There’s also a strong chance that the Arizona senate election might produce a victory for the Democrats and now Florida is in doubt.

    That Trump’s administration is going to be much more accountable to Congress is going make things much less comfortable 2 years for the incumbent and his style of government.

He made the election a referendum on himself and the voters gave their verdict which was not good however he tries to spin it. The big question now is how the Republican party establishment see him and whether the view takes hold that having him at the top of the ticket in 2020 might produce more negative results for the party than having a different candidate.

On top of that we do not know how Trump is going to cope with the extra detailed scrutiny and whether he might just feel the time is right to call it a day and not to put himself forward again. We must never forget that Trump is quite old, 72, and does not give the impression of having a lifestyle that ensures longevity. Health could well be a major problem.

With long-term positions on the Betfair Exchange I like to go with ones where there could be a fair degree of movement. One of those, I would suggest, is on the Republican nomination for 2020.

My best price secured yesterday afternoon, layng Trump at 1.38, suggests that Trump has a 72% chance of being nominated which I believe is far too high which is why I’m reinvesting part of my midterm winnings by laying Trump on the nomination market. The Betfair price has now edged to 1.45 – a 68% chance.

Bets, as I always say, are not predictions but assessments of value. My guess is that this price will bob up and down quite a lot in the next 2 years and there will be plenty of time to cash out at a reasonable profit if that seems the best option.

Mike Smithson