The Candidates’ Market Report
The nation has spent three years living in a state of hypertension. The now-debunked Russiagate saw voters convinced that a foreign power was working hand in hand with Donald Trump, then there was the Stormy Daniels scandal (headed by the now-convicted Michael Avenatti), then came the impeachment, closely followed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Finally, we have riots on the streets and calls to abolish the police force. Only one thing has remained constant throughout this turmoil: President Trump’s approval ratings.
Despite poll after poll and most major betting odds giving Joe Biden the lead, the president’s job approval numbers have not really changed. While anti-Trump sentiment appears to be hardening in blue states, his support in the rest of the country is exactly where it was two years ago.
This Week’s Major Players
- Donald Trump – 48% ( + 2% )
- Congress – 17% ( – 2% )
What the Gamblers Say
As with most things, if you follow the money, you can’t go too far wrong. This is a selection of the odds for key races and events.
Democratic Party Nominee:
- Joe Biden – 1/33
- Hillary Clinton – 12/1
- Michelle Obama – 33/1
- Bernie Sanders – 50/1
- Andrew Cuomo – 66/1
- Kamala Harris – 100/1
The Democratic Party leadership has hitched its horse to the Biden bandwagon and must now cling on for dear life. Whatever happens next, it appears too late to stop the train. This comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
The plus side for the Democrat faithful is that all question of a late-showing contender is gone, and the party apparatus can work as one. Team Biden doesn’t have to compete for dollars with like-minded donors, and it can finally start targeting the swing states.
The negatives, however, are numerous. Biden can’t be trusted to give a good showing in a presidential debate. He also can’t be trusted to do any live interviews without them becoming instant memes. But perhaps his biggest problem is that he has spent decades in the Swamp and is trying to reinvent himself as a change agent. Republican voters don’t buy it, and neither do many Democrats.
Biden’s Running Mate:
- Kamala Harris – 11/10
- Val Demings – 4/1
- Elizabeth Warren – 17/2
- Keisha Lance Bottoms – 11/1
- Michelle Obama – 11/1
- Amy Klobuchar – 12/1
- Stacey Abrams – 12/1
- Gretchen Whitmer – 16/1
Swing State Odds
Certain states hold the keys to power in 2020. The following are the ones that President Trump needs to do well in if he intends to serve another four years. As Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner puts it:
“Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin – he must win Florida and two of the others to squeak by. In fact, if he wins the 27 other states he won in ’16, he could win just one of Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin and still win with exactly 270 electoral votes. On the other hand, Virginia and Colorado will be telling – both swing states Trump lost in ’16. A true bellwether is probably Minnesota, which he lost narrowly and is going after hard this time. Through all of this COVID stuff, I will stick with my prediction of 350 electoral votes or more, at least for now.”
The odds of each party winning the following states:
- Florida: Democrats – 4/6; Republicans – 11/10
- Arizona: Democrats – 4/7; Republicans – 5/4
- Michigan: Democrats – 1/3; Republicans – 2/1
- Wisconsin: Democrats – 4/7; Republicans – 5/4
- Joe Biden – 8/11
- Donald Trump – 5/4
- Hillary Clinton – 50/1
- Mike Pence – 50/1
- Bernie Sanders – 100/1
- Andrew Cuomo – 100/1
- Michelle Obama – 150/1
This is the second week that Joe Biden has led President Trump in the betting markets. Although the race is close and could swing back easily, there are a couple of important elements at play that need to be considered.
First, all the upheaval in the country, the riots, the protesting, is focusing anger at the president. Biden, safely cocooned in Delaware and not an elected politician, can avoid these slings and arrows of outrageous fortune while playing armchair quarterback. For Team Biden, the most sensible option right now is to keep its man under lock and key and hope he doesn’t get hold of an internet-capable device.
Second, five months is a long, long time in politics. During the last five months, Americans have seen the impeachment come and go, the COVID-19 pandemic rise and fall, and are now left witnessing the destructive power of the mob. The fact is that these riots can’t last a full five months, and if they do, it will be state leaders and politicians who catch the blame for not ending them. If the violence disappears, many voters may see this as due to a strong Trump response pushing law and order. Whether it is true or not doesn’t really matter.
Trump has pitched his tent on getting the riots under control while the left pushes empathy and solidarity with those who burn businesses. As with all things political, optics rather than actions are what count most.
Donald Trump and the Electoral College:
Number of Electoral College votes awarded to Trump:
- 251 – 269 = 10/3
- 270 – 275 = 6/1
- 276 – 280 = 7/1
- 281 – 290 = 10/1
- 291 – 300 = 14/1
- 301 – 315 = 16/1
- 316 – 330 = 20/1
- 331 – 350 = 25/1
Make sure to check back next week for all the numbers that count.
Read more from Mark Angelides.