How To Bet On The Trump Impeachment Odds

The Trump impeachment odds are highly topical and can be viewed in real time, through the Betfair Exchange.

With just over a year until the 2020 election, Donald Trump is in turmoil. Since Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry, the President has been beset by even more scandal than usual.

His chance of re-election is falling, from 50% to 42% to be Next President but that market is merely one way to exploit the unfolding drama on the Betfair Exchange.


The Odds

First, impeachment is a [1.4] chance. To land, this bet requires the House of Representatives passing one article of impeachment. Note Trump does not need to be removed from office – that would come later in the process.

Democrats currently hold a majority in the House so would surely muster the 218 votes to pass it. Having started the process, to not finish it would be extremely humiliating and empower Trump’s re-election bid. The only way I can see this bet losing would be for Trump to leave office before such a vote was taken.

Early removal from office via whatever means is still rated unlikely – a 20% chance at odds of [5.0]. To remove Trump via impeachment would require two-thirds of Senators convicting him after a trial in the Senate. Depending which party gets to set the rules – to be determined by a vote – that trial could be over quickly or drag on to damaging effect.


Will Trump Resign?

This is an important distinction. It remains very hard to see 23 Republican Senators convicting their president. Trump’s base remains loyal. However, a few more weeks of this terrible news cycle, which would be elevated in the case of a Senate trial, and vulnerable incumbents may start to panic. Most notably Senate leader Mitch McConnell is facing a serious challenge in Kentucky.

Pressure could, theoretically at least, be brought to bear. The case of the last president to leave office early – Richard Nixon – is pertinent. ‘Tricky Dicky’ never faced the Senate trial – he resigned, handing power to his Vice President Gerald Ford, and duly received a pardon.

Whether he listens or not, Trump must be receiving similar legal advice. As Robert Mueller made clear, he is not immune from prosecution after leaving office. Asides from the particular allegations that led to impeachment, dozens of criminal and congressional investigations are ongoing, for which Trump could yet be liable. The implications of the Russia investigation have not fully played out yet – Roger Stone’s trial in November will likely release information from redacted sections of the Mueller Report.


Bet against Trump

Assuming Trump doesn’t resign, he will face a primary challenge. So far Bill Weld, Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford have entered the fray, although none seem realistic alternatives. Rather, they are ‘stalking horses’, whose role is to unsettle the favourite and pave the way for a heavyweight alternative.

If you want to bet on Trump for an early exit, laying [1.28] to be the Republican Nominee represents better value than the same odds about leaving office early. He does not need to be removed from office or resign for the latter bet to win. This time last year, I predicted on these pages that Trump would withdraw from 2020 and would spend his last year doing rallies. I stand by that.

That remains the best way to bet against Trump. His 2020 odds are based on two misconceptions. First in cumulative terms, the odds about him clearing all these hurdles amounts to higher. If we take the 1.25 for the nomination, then reinvest the returns on the general election, I’m near certain the double would pay more than [2.42].


Approval Ratings

Why? Because ever since 2016, Trump’s numerical achievement has been overstated. That historic upset was a statistical fluke that involved losing the popular vote by nearly 3M, and wafer-thin victories in key swing states. Trump won a 3% lower share than his party did in the same day’s House vote whereas Clinton fared better than her party.  I’ve long believed that a different Republican would have fared better than Trump.

He prevailed because Clinton was a poor, damaged candidate – worsened by the e-mail investigation and a Russian-backed smear campaign – who couldn’t get the Democrat vote out like her predecessor. Turnout has since exploded on the Left in reaction to Trump, particularly among the young and minority voters that she couldn’t inspire. They won the mid-terms with their best result since Watergate and are well ahead on the generic ballot.

Plus Trump’s approval fell in all those key states almost immediately upon taking office and remains in the trough. Polls have him losing to all the leading Democrat candidates. In the latest Quinnipac survey, he trails Elizabeth Warren 49-41. Opinion is entrenched on either side, with over 50% consistently saying they definitely won’t vote Trump.


Summary

There is no reason to think these entrenched polling trends will change. There is no improved narrative on the horizon. Tariffs and bailouts for farmers have ruined his economic message and many experts are predicting a recession. Even if he survives impeachment, it is hard to see how Trump won’t be trailing any Democrat opponent significantly, and therefore bigger odds than [2.42] next summer.

In addition to laying him at [2.4], it is worth considering alternative Republican candidates at big odds. The following quartet are at least worth a trade, given the uncertainty – Nikki Haley at [55.0], Ben Sasse [200.0], Mitt Romney [200.0] and Marco Rubio [800.0].


Betting Strategy

 BACK – YES – Will Trump be Impeached in his 1st Term

 LAY – Trump – Presidential Election 2020 Republican Nominee


About the Author

Paul Krishnamurty, aka The Political Gambler, has been betting on elections for over a decade. A politics graduate from the University of Hull, he also works as the chief political analyst for Betfair UK.

As you’ll soon see, his pieces are researched and full of opinion.


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