Betting on politics: Trump’s re-election

Donald Trump © Getty images
Scandals won’t help Donald Trump

Up until a few days ago it looked as if the Mueller investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign had finally run out of steam. Polls suggested that even those who disliked President Donald Trump were getting sick of the whole business.

However, the conviction of Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort for unrelated crimes, in addition to the decision of his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to plead guilty to the violation of campaign finance laws (allegedly at the behest of Trump), has provided a huge boost to those hoping for an early Trump exit.

Betting markets have reacted by sharply shortening the odds on Trump not serving out his full term, with Betfair now quoting odds of 2.82 (35.4%) on him prematurely leaving office, compared with around 20% before the latest developments. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the Manafort verdict, the chances of him leaving this year surged from 5% to 25%, although they have since fallen to 10%.

The key to Trump’s survival will be whether the Republicans in Congress feel that keeping him would damage them more than ditching him. So, as long as he remains popular with the rank and file, he should be safe; I wouldn’t put any money on him leaving early.

Still, this won’t help his re-election chances. Even before the latest developments his approval rating was firmly negative. As a result, I’d advise you to lay Trump’s re-election at 2.82 on Betfair – effectively betting on him not winning in 2020 at 1.55.