The Candidates’ Market Report
The speculation in this week’s media is that, as a result of flagging poll numbers, President Trump may just step down before the next election and let someone else take on Joe Biden. Naturally, much of this chatter is coming from those aligned with the political left, but there are also some GOP stalwarts hinting at the same.
Recent polling suggests that Biden is well on his way to a landslide victory in November. Yet, those with a memory capacity longer than the average koi carp remember similar predictions about Hillary Clinton in 2016. Pundits and pollsters, clearly not wishing to be so easily dismissed, have taken to prefacing almost every analysis with the hallowed term: “This is not like 2016.” But do the pollsters protest too much?
An average of all major job approval polls this month hands Trump a 42% rating; not high, but pretty much where he has been since 2018. Keeping in mind that the nation is in serious turmoil right now and just coming out from under the COVID deluge, this suggests that his base is still with him.
This Week’s Major Players
- Donald Trump – 44% ( – 3% )
- Congress – 17% ( + 1% )
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
- Elizabeth Warren – 100/1
Joe Biden remains the firm favorite to face Donald Trump in November, but how do his approval ratings stack up compared with the incumbent’s? An average of all major polls this month gives Biden a 45% job approval figure. This is three points ahead of Trump. But these are national polls from largely left-leaning outlets. Coupled with the fact that most Democrat voters will be voting “against” Trump rather than “for” Biden, the race keeps getting closer.
The contest to snag the VP ticket remains a female-only affair. The top 18 potential picks (according to the betting markets) are all women. In fact, in 19th position, the first male on the list is Alabama Senator Doug Jones. Assuming that Biden makes it to the Big Show, it’s all but a certainty that this will be a mixed ticket.
Kamala Harris remains the favorite to be Robin to Biden’s Batman on 4/5.
Biden’s Running Mate:
- Kamala Harris – 4/5
- Val Demings – 6/1
- Susan Rice – 6/1
- Elizabeth Warren – 12/1
- Keisha Lance Bottoms – 14/1
- Tammy Duckworth – 14/1
- Michelle Obama – 16/1
- Stacey Abrams – 22/1
- Gretchen Whitmer – 25/1
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 – 8/13; Republicans – 6/5
- Arizona: Democrats – 4/7; Republicans – 5/4
- Michigan: Democrats – 1/5; Republicans – 11/4
- Wisconsin: Democrats – 8/15; Republicans – 11/8
- Joe Biden – 4/7
- Donald Trump – 13/8
- Mike Pence – 33/1
- Hillary Clinton – 50/1
- Bernie Sanders – 100/1
- Nikki Haley – 100/1
- Andrew Cuomo – 100/1
- Michelle Obama – 100/1
- Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – 100/1
The presidential race shows Biden to be in a comfortable lead; whether he can remain so as the nation comes out of lockdown and the economy reignites is another matter entirely. A recent poll displays an interesting paradox: When participants were asked who they will vote for, the majority chose Biden, but when the “don’t know” category was removed as an option, the poll swung wildly to Trump’s favor.
The big question is whether the presidential debates will go ahead. The Biden campaign has given an emphatic yes, as has the Trump campaign, but all may not be quite as it seems. A Vanity Fair piece suggested that because President Trump wanted to discuss who the moderator would be, that “the president is making clear that he’s afraid to square off against the presumptive Democratic nominee unless he does so on his terms.” The magazine further stated with incredulity that the president had claimed a town hall debate against Clinton was “rigged.” Former DNC chair Donna Brazile admitted that she passed questions to Clinton ahead of the event and that she regretted doing so. This was a CNN debate.
Is it too much to ask that presidential debates be moderated fairly?
Donald Trump and the Electoral College:
Number of Electoral College votes awarded to Trump:
- 251 – 269 = 12/1
- 270 – 275 = 16/1
- 276 – 280 = 16/1
- 281 – 290 = 14/1
- 291 – 300 = 14/1
- 301 – 315 = 10/1
- 316 – 330 = 10/1
- 331 – 350 = 16/1
Make sure to check back next week for all the numbers that count.
Read more from Mark Angelides.