Let’s take an updated look at the US Presidential Election from a betting markets standpoint and theorize on which way this wacky, almost reality show-like Election in the Fall is going.
Forget What You Thought You Knew About US Politics and the Electorate
Only six months ago it seemed that we were destined for a Jeb Bush-Hillary Clinton election here in the United States, but now, here in February, the political landscape looks very different as the electorate and US populace is fuming about the furthering gap between the Rich and Poor as well as the government’s way-too-cozy relationships with Big Banks, Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. (Have you eaten a Lobbyist today?) Left with only this Anger and one vote in these current Caucuses and Primaries, the Common Man and Woman in America have taken to voicing their displeasure with this current charade by voting for candidates in the Democratic and Republican parties in this coming 58th quadrennial US Presidential Election who looked like they had little chance a half-a-year ago.
And the two surprise candidates who seem to have risen from Doubt and Obscurity to positions where they may actually be running against each other in the Fall are Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders. In our last US Presidential odds assignment here at Sportsbook Review five months ago, West London betting exchange Betfair Sportsbook was offering the Proposition Bet: “Will Donald Trump Run For President in 2016?” with the ‘No’ priced at -350 and the ‘Yes’ at +250 at that time. And and that same time, William Hill had Trump priced at 150/1 (+15,000) odds to become next US President, so, much has changed in perceptions and perceptions of what the voters may do but it’s still a very long way until Election Day on Tuesday, November 8.
Who knows if Trump continues to thrive in the Polls and in the Media part of the Presidential race, but despite showing a brutal honesty and candor seldom if ever seen by day-to-day politicians and spending his own money to fuel his campaign, it seems that Florida junior Senator Marco Rubio may eventually be the candidate the Republican establishment throws its support to—possibly trying to demonize The Donald in the process and making things messier than they are right now—with Trump (+125 to become Republican Nominee, Sky Bet) and Texas junior Senator Ted Cruz (5/1 to become Republican Nominee, Paddy Power) too polarizing and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (6/1 to become Republican Nominee, Ladbrokes) seemingly being pushed aside by The Powers That Be who could feel that Trump and Cruz are bad for their beloved party.
Both Trump and Cruz—who was embarrassingly found last week to have used a softcore porn actress in one of his TV ads—have often come across as mean in recent debates and it seems the Republican party has been grooming Rubio—who could probably deliver the important Swing State of Florida and some of the Hispanic vote—to be “the guy” ever since presumed nominee (a year ago) Jeb Bush has been such a big disappointment. Expect retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (300/1 to become Republican Nominee, bet365) and Ohio Senator John Kasich (25/1 to become Republican Nominee, Totesport) to both drop out of the race in the near future, possibly about the same time Bloomberg announces he’ll be the Independent candidate who actually thinks that he’s the one who can end that 162-year Democrat-Republican stronghold on the White House.
It really seems that few presidential candidates appear “presidential” these days, and that, unfortunately for the Common Man, Polls, Lobbyists and Billions of campaign dollars dictate who gets elected to the theoretical most important job in the world and not the voters as the Founding Fathers intended and as many still pretend.
Odds To Win 2016 US Presidential Election (Highest Available, February 14, 2016)
Hillary Clinton [D] +100 (Bwin)
Donald Trump [R] +400 (William Hill)
Bernie Sanders [D] +750 (Sportingbet)
Marco Rubio [R] +900 (888sport)
Ted Cruz +1600 (Ladbrokes)
Jeb Bush [R] +1700 (888sport)
Michael Bloomberg [I] +2800 (Sportingbet)
John Kasich [R] +5000 (Sportingbet)
Joe Biden [D] +6600 (Sportingbet)
10 Real Things Now That Would Have Looked Funny If You Read Them a Year Ago
1—Jeb Bush is 17/1 to become the next US President on Valentine’s Day 2016.
2—Donald Trump is 4/1 to become the next US President on Valentine’s Day 2016.
3—Hillary Clinton (-120, Gender of Winner, Coral) winning the Democratic nomination for President is not a foregone conclusion in mid-February of 2016.
5—Junior Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has a legitimate shot to become US President.
6—Despite not throwing their hats in the ring, a couple of oddsmakers still have moderately priced numbers posted up for Vice President Joe Biden [D] (66/1, Sportingbet) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg [I] (28/1, Sportingbet) to become the 45th President.
7—No legitimate Independent candidate has really emerged as of yet, although the 73-year-old Michael Bloomberg (28/1 to become Next US President, 888sport) said last month that he is now exploring a bid as an Independent and that he will reveal his decision in March.
The highest odds in European and Offshore sportsbooks—Nevada sportsbooks cannot book US Presidential Elections—posted for an Independent (to become President) on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) are at 28/1 (Marathon).
So if you somehow think the US electorate is mad enough to vote for the first non-Democrat-Republican for President in the country since 13th US President, Whig Millard Fillmore in 1850, then now would be the time to grab the 28/1 odds before they drop if (and when) Bloomberg jumps in. But history (and heavy Donor money and Lobbyists) say we get another Democrat or Republican taking up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC next January. Time is a flat circle.
8—The 2016 US presidential Election could be between a (then) 69-year-old Clinton or a (then) 75-year-old Sanders, a (then) 70-year-old Trump and a (now, Birthday Feb. 14, 1942) 74-year-old Bloomberg. Rubio is 44.
9—Hip Hop star Kanye West still has (stupid) odds of 1,000/1 to become US President (Betway).
10—A Bernie Sanders-Donald Trump election is now probably more of a possibility this coming November than is a Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush one.
Upcoming Scheduled Democratic and Republican Primary Debates
What: Republican Debate
When: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Where: University of Houston, Houston, Texas
Sponsors: CNN/Telemundo/Salem Radio
TV: CNN, Telemundo
Moderators: Wolf Blitzer, Maria Celeste Arrarás, Hugh Hewitt, Dana Bash
What: Republican Debate
When: Thursday, March 3, 2016
Where: Detroit, Michigan
Sponsors: Fox News
TV: Fox News
Moderators: Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace
What: Democratic Debate
When: Sunday, March 6, 2016
Where: Flint, Michigan
What: Democratic Debate
When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Where: Miami, Florida
Sponsors: Univision/Washington Post
What: Republican Debate
When: Wednesday, March 10, 2016
Sponsors: CNN/Salem Radio
Thoughts on Being Able to Bet on US President Elections, Swing States Importance
Here in Las Vegas, some betting circles think there will someday be betting on US Presidential Elections and that the betting handle could dwarf the Super Bowl’s, but for me that’s all just speculation on something that will probably never happen, especially putting it into the larger context that Nevada and Louisiana are the only two US that allow legal casino-style gambling right now and that the Silver State is the only one with sportsbooks and how long it took the Nevada Gaming Control Board to actually allow betting on the Super Bowl MVP within the state. Betting on sporting events is one thing, but there’s a distinct line between being able to bet on Presidential Elections, Awards and Reality Shows and other things where public voting often dictates the winner or someone knows the winner ahead of time.
It seems being able to bet on these events would be tantamount to betting about popularity polls and wagering on the Denver Broncos to beat the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl or Liverpool to beat Aston Villa in the English Premier League doesn’t seem slimy, whereas betting on a US Presidential candidate seems a bit untoward and would likely skew the potential gambler toward pulling more to win his or her (little, likely limited-amount) bet than for what (or who) may actually be better for the country as a whole and that individual bettor’s Future.
After all, Being Right is what it’s all about in the US these days, right? Anyway, the serious thought here is that times are changing quickly and that people are seriously Mad enough to actually vote the Sanders (+350 to become Democratic nominee, Betfred) into the White House. It seems whichever candidate comes across as the least in-grained in the current system—meaning Sanders and Trump—will probably do well in the Fall but it’s also to remember that a Caucus in Iowa and a Primary in Lily-White New Hampshire do not really reveal the feelings of an ever-changing nation which will be of a Hispanic majority in the not-so-distant Future and will also possibly all be engaged to their SmartPhones by then. ‘Til Death do you part.
US Presidential Elections are all about how a candidate can obtain that majority (270) of the Electoral College’s 538 votes and who can win the various Swing States like Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, maybe Pennsylvania and a few others. It’s all about the Math in the end and for a Republican (or Conservative) to try to win the states of California (55 Electoral votes), Illinois (21) or Massachusetts (12) or for a Democrat to try to win Texas (34 Electoral votes) or any of the South, is almost not even worth the campaign Time and Money anymore. So it’s evolved (or devolved) into a game—only between the Democrats and Republicans, of course—of trying to win a handful of US states that will get extra special attention this election cycle like possibly Pennsylvania (21 Electoral votes), Ohio (20), Florida (27) and Missouri (11).
The Show Me State could end up being really huge come November (22 Electoral College vote swing) and may even elect or next President itself while the GOP (Republicans, ”Grand Old Party”) may do their darndest to get one of the two Sunshine State boys (Bush, Rubio) to be the Nominee to (theoretically) deliver the (now) 27 Electoral College votes there in Florida.
The Future, Bernie Sanders Odds History and a Modern Way of Looking at All This
In the end, the Red States and the Blue States map on the night of Nov. 8 will probably look a lot like it did after the 2012 Election when (Democratic candidate) President Barack Obama won 332 of the votes and (Republican candidate) Mitt Romney finished with 206. With support from Wall Street banks hoping to curry favor with the next potential US president as well as many other donors, Clinton—former US Secretary of State—has been the odds-on favorite pretty much since this market opened up. And with her potential appeal to Women and Hispanic Voters, husband (two-time US President husband, Bill Clinton) and experience as a campaigner and in politics, Chicago (Park Ridge) native Clinton (-400 to become Democratic Nominee, Boylesports) deserves to be where she is in this race right now but it truly feels like the tide may be turning Sanders way and that there actually may be some value on the 74-year-old Sanders (Gender of Winner: Male -111, 888Sport) now with Clinton’s likeability and potential email problems and these polls tell us nothing when compared to the actual votes.
A year ago few had ever heard of Bernie Sanders and the first sportsbook to put US Presidential betting odds up on Sanders (on Nov. 21, 2014) was British operator Ladbrokes who made him 250/1 to become US President. The (Ladbrokes) odds on Sanders slowly shortened (went down) to 100/1 in February last year (2015) and stayed there until the Summer when, like a volcano, the numbers strangely started to bubble (for Sanders backers) in the month of June. Early in the month (down from 100/1), Sanders was priced at 66/1 before moving to 60/1 (June 11) then to 33/1 (June 17) and then to 25/1 (June 29). July saw Sanders odds shrink even more, going from 20/1 to 16/1 to 10/1 in the month before leveling off for awhile. Sanders Presidential odds then drifted (went up) some at most sportsbooks and have slowly come down to the (high) of +750 (Sportingbet) to become the next US President. So here we are.
The Bottom Line is that the voting electorate in the US is much younger and much more cynical than these older candidates actually perceive, as living in a Washington, DC or New York City or a Political Bubble makes most of these politicians unaware of what life in the Real World is like for the rest of us struggling to get by in this nation day-to-day. People are Mad are voting Mad and despite Trump’s ability to connect with so many on so many things usually left unsaid, his brashness may end up scaring too many [R]’s and his own preponderance to talk about how much his Campaign is costing him shows that trying to fit in with the Republican status quo is an impossibility for him and he may (surprisingly) just eventually throw in the towel as the taste of Politics may too bitter and the frustration too much even for the 69-year-old Real Estate mogul.
And America may just not be in the mood to elect another City Slicker like millionaire Trump (New York City), the 68-year-old Clinton (Chicago) or billionaire Bloomberg (New York City) and may end up opting for a simple Vermonter (Sanders) or a Floridian (Rubio). And with the Democrats the favorites (-150, Winning Party, Coral) to return to the White House over the Republicans (+137, Winning Party, William Hill), handicapping these betting markets and these US Presidential Election picks may best be influenced by a line from skit from last night’s (Feb.13) episode of Saturday Night Live: “I like when Bernie yells, but not when Hillary does.”
PRESIDENTIAL FUTURES PICKS: President Winner: Bernie Sanders +750 (SportingBet), Winning Party: Democrats -150 (Totesport), Gender of Winner: Male -111 (888Sport)