Political Odds - Presidential Betting Update


The Democratic National Convention has ended and with both parties’ conventions over, the campaign season has officially begun. Over the next 100 days, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will barnstorm across the country in hopes of winning the Presidency and will try to raise as much money as possible to flood the airwaves with advertising. Clinton has a pretty big head start on Trump, but the Republican nominee is finally starting to make a push for donors.

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To Win the Presidency

Hillary Clinton -299

Donald Trump +234


Much was made about Donald Trump’s post-convention bounce evening up the race between he and Hillary Clinton. Trump moved from three or four points behind Clinton in the national polls to essentially even, after the Republican National Convention ended, setting off panic among Democrats.

However, after some missteps on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, the Democrats finished strong with great speeches from Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and Barack Obama, before Clinton closed out the convention Thursday. Early returns suggest that her boost from the DNC will be larger than Trump’s from the RNC, and this means that she will be in a better position against Trump than she was prior to the conventions. With less than 100 days before the election, Trump needs to close the gap however he continues to fail to do that.


The most stirring speech from a person not involved in the world of politics came from Khizr Khan. Khan touched on the sentiments of many first and second generation immigrants to the United States, when he shared how his son died in Iraq, fighting for the US. He spoke about how he and his family are Muslims and that some of Trump’s more extreme proposals when it comes to immigrants are unconstitutional.

Trump has bungled his response to this, and criticized Khan in spite of many of his advisors letting him know he should just take his lumps and let the story blow over. Republicans like John McCain have criticized Trump’s reply to Khan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement that praised Khan and indirectly criticized Trump by saying, “A travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values.” This further highlights the difficulties that Trump has had in uniting the Republican base, and underscores what he’ll need to do to win in November.


Thankfully for Trump, in America the popular vote isn’t what matters, but the electoral college. Of the 50 states, about 40 of them are considered very partial to one of the parties and the rest are seen as swing states. The swing states are the most hotly contested. Many of them have huge electoral bounties and the opportunity to swing a candidate’s fortunes.

At this point, Trump’s campaign seems set to focus on some of the swing states that have traditionally been the keys for a Republican presidency. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida will be the biggest battlegrounds this election, and Trump will likely focus even more on the two northern states. Since 1964, whoever has won Ohio has won the presidency and while Pennsylvania has backed the Democrats the last six elections, the demographics favor Trump much more than Florida does. Florida will be an extremely difficult state for Trump to win, with its non-white population; he will concentrate his efforts in the northern half of the state.


Trump has not fared well fundraising thus far, despite claims that he has been doing great on the fundraising circuit. He is well behind the amount raised at this point in the campaign by Mitt Romney in 2012, and has failed to win the support of the Koch brothers, the biggest Republican donors over the last few elections.

Meanwhile, Clinton has been picking up major donor after major donor with both Mark Cuban and Warren Buffett publicly endorsing her in recent weeks. Both Cuban and Buffett are billionaires with a world of business experience and give Clinton even more star power with her campaign.


Clinton is still in a much better position than the odds indicate. Many are concerned because the predictive models that worked so well in prognosticating the last two elections show a more even race, but they fail to realize that there isn’t much weight assigned to things 100 days out. Clinton is more likely to win 350 electoral votes than to lose the election and it hasn’t been reflected in the odds yet.

Political Odds: Hillary Clinton to become the POTUS at -299

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