It is now official: Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate in November's General Election. Paul Krishnamurty updates the latest market developments, as support for the outsider grows...
"National polls appear to be closing up in keeping with the historical norm. Bettors will be keenly watching to see if Trump gets a bounce after the convention, as is usually the case."
The most unconventional and unlikely presidential candidate in US history just hit his highest rating yet in the race for the White House. In finally securing the Republican nomination, Donald Trump killed the hopes of numerous detractors and ended one of the most exciting and dramatic races in the history of political betting.
In response, Betfair punters backed the reality TV star into his shortest odds yet to win in November. Though still the outsider, Trump has been backed down to [3.0], equivalent to a 33% chance, before falling back slightly to [3.35] (30%). Hillary Clinton, favourite for this market ever since it opened in 2012, remains strong at [1.45] or 69%.
In keeping with the rest of his short political career, even Trump's coronation as GOP candidate was far from straightforward, right to the last.
A grassroots movement to free the delegates to vote with their consciences, rather than their legal requirement to support their primary winner, was only defeated this week. The scale and noise made in protest at the convention showed just how hard it will be for Trump to unite his party.
Nor has the convention gone down well with either activists or media. Most of the party's biggest hitters stayed away, leaving an eclectic array of speakers. Some, like General Flynn, managed to clear the auditorium. Instead of a well-planned, co-ordinated attack on Clinton, the headlines have been dominated by Trump's wife Melania plagiarising a speech from the current First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Nevertheless, the news is not all bad for Republicans. National polls appear to be closing up in keeping with the historical norm. Bettors will be keenly watching to see if Trump gets a bounce after the convention, as is usually the case.
It is also worth noting that Trump has spent a tiny fraction compared to Clinton and his organisation pales by comparison. If he can attract the mega donors that have so far swerved his controversial campaign and build a competitive ground game, there is scope for significant improvement.
However none of that is going to change my longstanding prediction that Clinton will become President. Trump's unfavourables are simply too bad to turn around, especially with key voter groups such as women or Latinos. Clinton is also a weak, unpopular candidate but less toxic and, critically, less of a risk.
She too has scope for improvement, after a year of terrible headlines regarding her use of a private e-mail server when Secretary of State, and vitriolic abuse from supporters of outsider rival Bernie Sanders.
These kind of problems are part and parcel of the mid-term and primary season. The email scandal is unlikely to be very salient with General Election and parties tend to come together after the primaries. Next week, Clinton gets the chance to dominate headlines, set out her stall and spell out the risks of a Trump presidency to the nation.