Betting on politics: Two Trump-related bets

Rex Tillerson © Getty images
Rex Tillerson: next to go?

Things aren’t going well for Donald Trump. The administration’s rapid staff turnover, dismal poll ratings and the investigation into his relationship with Russia have all shaken confidence in his leadership. Indeed, Vice-President Mike Pence has been forced to deny that he is planning a tilt at the presidency in 2020. It’s therefore unsurprising that you can now get 2.1 on Betfair on Trump leaving office before 2020, which means that the betting markets are only giving him a 47.6% chance of surviving the next two and a half years.

Nonetheless, I’m going to recommend two other Trump-related bets. Paddy Power is offering 3/1 (25%) on a member of Trump’s cabinet leaving before midnight on 31 August. I’m convinced that he won’t want to risk the disruption a firing or resignation would cause, especially so soon after the negative publicity generated by the farcical departure of both Reince Priebus and Anthony Scaramucci (though neither were technically cabinet members). I’m therefore recommending that you take the opposite side of the bet, by backing the next cabinet departure to take place on or after 1 September at 1/5 (83%).

There is an outside chance that all the 15 members of Trump’s cabinet will stay with him for the rest of the term. But it seems unlikely, given that both Barack Obama and George W Bush had two members each depart in their first terms.

So I’d also suggest that you place a bet on Rex Tillerson (11/2), Wilbur Ross (18/1) and Elaine Duke (18/1) as the next to leave Trump’s cabinet. Elaine Duke in particular represents great value because she is only acting homeland security secretary, and Trump is currently searching for a longer-term replacement. I’d therefore suggest that you put £5.94 of a hypothetical £10 betting unit on Tillerson and £2.03 each on Ross and Duke.