Betfair signals have contrasted negative polling for Donald Trump but in the wake of nationwide protests, Joe Biden has traded at odds-on to win the presidency...
"Expect some speculative gambles between now and November about alternative Republicans...The most obvious, and electable, alternative is Nikki Haley."
After several days of protest at police brutality and racism, bettors are delivering a clear verdict on Donald Trump's crisis management. Whereas the signals from Betfair markets had offered a contrast to the incumbent's terrible polls, they are now beginning to follow suit.
Biden matched at lowest odds yet
At 1.9520/21, the former Vice President hit his lowest odds yet on the exchange this morning in response to an avalanche of money. Over £1M was placed on Biden yesterday via more than a thousand bets. A £130,000 bet at 1.071/14 for the Democratic Nomination was the biggest bet placed on any US election market yet in this cycle.
It comes in the wake of an extraordinary few days, which early polling signals suggest are disastrous for Trump. As Americans watch footage of peaceful protesters and journalists being attacked by police, the president's polls are moving from troubling to catastrophic.
Polls point to massive defeat for Trump
The highly rated ABC/WAPO survey recorded Biden 10% ahead at the weekend. Worse has followed since. Last night's Ipsos/Reuters survey had Trump's approval at just 39%, compared to an atrocious 57% disapproval. He trails 37/47 to Biden for the presidency.
new Reuters/Ipsos polling:? John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) June 2, 2020
approve of Trump job performance: 39%
disapprove his handling of protests: 55%
The significance of these numbers is that Trump is losing his own, normally loyal, supporters. As I've argued constantly since 2016, to win again he needs to win new voters - an extremely tall order given record strong disapprovals. Even that famous fence-sitter Nate Silver observed how bad these numbers are yesterday.
Trump's disapproval rating has been on the rise again, now up to 54%. There were some presidents with lower approval ratings to this point in their first terms, but no president had a higher *disapproval* rating than Trump now has.https://t.co/Vfmzd6B2ps pic.twitter.com/X3qpeAwoAe? Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) June 2, 2020
More specific to the crisis, Monday's Morning Consult poll was equally dire - trailing Biden on every measure. Voters say they are more likely to vote for Biden by 45/31 as a result of the crisis, whilst he led by 12% for the presidency and by double-digits to handle Covid-19 and police reform. Again, Trump's approvals were down at a meagre 40%.
There is further evidence of revolt within Republican ranks. Last night saw several primaries, including a surprisingly good performance from no-hoper challenger Bill Weld, while 'white supremacist' Congressman Steve King was humiliated in his Iowa district.
So there are primaries tonight. And in Indiana, @realDonaldTrump is losing ten percent of his primary vote to @GovBillWeld, who cannot possibly win.? Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 2, 2020
Ten percent of Indiana *republican primary* voters are protest voting against Trump.
He's going to lose YUGE in November. https://t.co/5cQyjxKjNR
It is extremely late in the day to start thinking of switching, but I do wonder whether there could be some drama within Republican ranks. As national trends stand, they are on course for an absolute drubbing in November. They could well lose the Senate. That would not only mean a gamechanging tranche of Democrat policies and changes to voting rights, but criminal investigations.
Could the GOP dump Trump?
It has long been a surprise to me that Republicans couldn't foresee the looming disaster, but it seems Trump has seized total control of the party apparatus. If they did want to remove him, the means to do so aren't obvious.
Nevertheless as I wrote recently, numerous Trump scandals are coming to a head this summer. We await the Supreme Court ruling on whether Trump can block his bank and accountants from complying with House subpoenas for his records. His Attorney General Bill Barr is also asking the court to block the release of the full Mueller Report.
There has been a general assumption that the Supreme Court will do Trump's bidding. However he was on the wrong side of a ruling regarding the reopening of churches last weekend. And Republicans that control the Senate Intelligence Committee didn't whitewash Russia's interference in the 2016 election, as Trump wants.
SCOTUS ruling could change everything
None of this is cutting through whilst America deals with two huge crises simultaneously. However were the Supreme Court ruling on Deutsche Bank to go against Trump, events could move very quickly. Were Fox News to turn against him, for example, I think the president would be gone within days.
From the moment Trump entered politics, I've been waiting for that moment when his madcap regime falls apart. Obviously, in vain. However I must reiterate that, just because we cannot know the exact moment when something becomes unsustainable, that doesn't stop it being so.
Expect gambles on GOP alternatives
I don't recommend laying the 1.11/10 that Trump is the Republican Nominee. That will be settled by the end of August. I do, however, expect some speculative gambles between now and November about alternative Republicans for the presidency.
We've already seen with the Democrats, via huge gambles on Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo, that punters love a conspiracy theory. I expect we will see similar about Vice President Mike Pence and others. The most obvious, and electable, alternative is Nikki Haley. Their odds could well fall significantly from 85.084/1 and 140.0139/1 respectively.
As for others, Ted Cruz has potential at 1000.0 on the grounds that his ambition hasn't dimmed since 2016. Ben Sasse was a sometimes Trump-critic who was on my radar earlier and he was particularly condemnatory and cutting yesterday.
This statement, from @BenSasse is very good. It condemns police injustice AND rioting, loudly and clearly. It respects the constitutional right to peaceful protest. It also rightly condemns the president's shameful photo op yesterday. pic.twitter.com/vmnJAiYLiU? David French (@DavidAFrench) June 2, 2020
As for the main contest, my long-term advice still stands. Biden is on course for a huge win and tremendous value in a market that affords the incumbent way too much respect.