Features

Betting on politics: A two-way fight

Matthew Partridge weighs the odds on the electoral fight to replace US congressman Tim Murphy.

885-Lamb-634
Conor Lamb could be in with a shout

The Italian election is this weekend, so we will find out if my predictions from last week about the party with the largest number of seats is correct. But this week we'll look at the US.

Last year, Republican congressman Tim Murphy resigned after it emerged that he had not only had an affair, but had also paid for his mistress to have an abortion.On 13 March his successor will be determined by a special election. The contest is really a two-way fight between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb (pictured).

Ladbrokes put Saccone at 1/2 (66%), Lamb at 6/4 (40%) and the Libertarian at 200/1. Normally, this should be an easy call: the 18th district is in a solidly Republican part of Pennsylvania. Of course, with Trump's approval rating stuck at around 40%, and with the Democrats comfortably ahead in the generic ballot, these are not normal times, and the best-known forecasters think the contest will be unusually close.

However, I disagree. All six polls that have been conducted since the start of this year have put Saccone ahead of Lamb, with an average lead of more than five points. Trump has also hinted that he will announce a major tariff increase at a campaign rally Saturday week, which is likely to go down well in an area where the manufacturing industry remains relatively important. While an upset is not completely out of the question, I'm sufficiently confident that Saccone will win to recommend that you bet on him.

Recommended

How the fear of death affects our investment processes
Investment strategy

How the fear of death affects our investment processes

Many of our investment decisions are driven by one simple fact: the knowledge that, one day, we will be dead. Here, in an extract from his new book, J…
2 Jan 2020
The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad
Stockmarkets

The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad

John Stepek takes a look back on which investments did well and which did badly in the decade that’s about to come to an end.
26 Dec 2019
How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again
Economy

Why Wall Street has got the US economy wrong again

The hiring slowdown does not signal recession for the US economy. Growth is just moving down a gear, says Brian Pellegrini.
25 Oct 2019

Most Popular

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?
Gold

Gold and silver have taken a vicious beating – is the bull market over already?

The gold price has tumbled recently, leaving traders nursing losses – just a nasty correction or has the gold bull market run out of steam? Dominic Fr…
12 Aug 2020
No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday
UK Economy

No, the UK did not “plunge” into recession yesterday

That the economy took a massive hit due to Covid-19 should be news to no one, says John Stepek. The real question is what happens now.
13 Aug 2020
Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020