Politics Betting: Is Kanye West's presidential run a lifeline for Trump?

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Is Kanye heading for the west wing?
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Kanye West broke the internet by announcing his presidential run on Saturday night and the early signs are that bettors think it's a boost for Trump and blow for Biden, reports Max Liu...

"West tweeted late on Independence Day that he was running for president in this year's US election - a move which sent his odds tumbling to [120.00] from [1000.00]."

At the time of writing (9am, Sunday) Joe Biden [1.79] was still the clear favourite on the Exchange to win this year's US presidential election. His odds, however, were on the drift and the reason appeared to be the rapper Kanye West's entry into the race for the White House.

The price on Donald Trump winning a second term, meanwhile, came in to [2.6] - a 38% chance - which was their shortest since 20 June.

West tweeted late on Independence Day that he was running for president - a move which sent his odds tumbling to [120.00] from [1000.00]:

Trump's campaign has been in the mire for weeks and, earlier in the day polling gave him an approval rating of just 41.5% - his lowest since Feb 2019 - and he was rated the least likely incumbent in US presidential election betting history to retain the White House at odds of [2.88].

But the immediate reaction to West's announcement indicates that his run for president would help Trump and hinder Biden. That could be based on the assumption that a high profile campaign from West would take black American votes away from Biden.

In 2016, 89% of black American voters backed Hillary Clinton. West didn't get involved in that election but has since been vocal in his support for Trump, meeting with Trump shortly after his victory in 2016 and visiting him at the White House to discuss prison reform in 2018.

Biden is popular among black American voters and it was arguably their willingness to vote for him in the southern primaries that revived his campaign to win the Democratic nomination. In November, however, West urged black Americans: "Own your power. Your power is not to just vote Democrat for the rest of our lives."

Yeezy does it - don't overestimate West's influence

Last night West picked up an immediate endorsement from his friend the billionaire Elon Musk who tweeted: "You have my full support." That lead to speculation that we could see a West-Musk ticket.

West previously said he planned to run for president in 2024 and Trump tipped him as a potential future leader. Now West appears to have brought forward his bid for the White House.

We should be circumspect about its long term impact on the race: firstly, it's not even clear if West has yet filed the official paperwork required to stand as an independent.

Secondly, his influence could well be overstated. Why would anybody follow his voting advice or be prepared to vote for him? Voters don't simply listen to what their favourite celebrities say and carry out their wishes in the polling booth.

If they did then everyone from Beyonce to Bruce Springsteen would have delivered a Clinton landslide last time out. Admittedly, those celebrities weren't on the ballot but the point is that voters know what's at stake in elections - especially this one - and won't be easily swayed.

Still, the early signs are that bettors think West running for president is good news for Trump.

Support for Scottish independence surges

A new poll by Panelbase says support for independence has surged during the pandemic and 54% of Scots would now vote for their country to leave the UK.

NicolaSturgeonSmiling1280.jpg

The 54 to 46 in favour of independence is almost an exact reversal of the outcome of the 2014 referendum which saw Scots reject going it alone by 55 to 45. Generally speaking, support for independence has grown in the intervening years, with Brexit and more recently the Scottish government's decisive response to covid-19 strengthening the case for independence.

The new poll shows a five-point increase in backing for independence, with a five-point fall in support for the union since the same firm surveyed voters in March.

The problem for the SNP will be in persuading the UK government to let them hold another referendum. The betting reflects that, with no referendum before 2025 at [1.53] on the Exchange.

2020 US Presidential Election: USA - Presidential Election 2020 (Next President)

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Tuesday 3 November, 11.00am

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