I wanted to wait until after the second Presidential debate to do an odds update, but in light of what occurred this weekend, it is imperative that I update my readers now. Two things happened: one, Wikileaks released a series of transcripts Hillary Clinton gave at paid speeches, notably to Wall Street banks, and two, a video was released from 2005, with both video and audio of a private conversation between Trump and Billy Bush, a TV host, discussing Trump’s interactions with women as a result of being a celebrity. Given the timing of the Wikileaks release, I initially presumed that the video was leaked to push that story out of the headlines, but I had no idea that the impact of either one could be so important to the oddsmakers.
Unsurprisingly, the election odds were on the move, but I had no idea the move could be this significant. A lot of the release amounts to what I believe were already well known facts about both candidates, but the impact on the odds was obviously very lopsided. In light of the significance of the odds being repriced, it is time to revisit Betfair, ahead of the second debate, and see how the odds have moved as a result of the leaks.
As of 10/8/2016, 3:17 PM Eastern, the odds were as seen below:
Again, I’ll put the numbers in percentage terms of chance to win the election, to simplify. All percentages are approximates, with priors coming from odds at 9/28/2016 at 11:26AM Eastern:
- Hillary Clinton: 78.4% (prior: 68.0%)
- Donald Trump: 17.5% (prior: 30.3%)
- Mike Pence: 1.25% (prior: below 0.1%)
After looking at the new odds, I asked myself the question: in light of the leaks and leaked video released last night, does Trump still have a chance to win the election? Below are my observations:
Someone I know who is in media explained it very well to me; the fact that Trump’s leak was on camera makes it damning. He pointed out the example of Ray Rice, and how no one cared about his assault until they saw the video, and he told me, “the power of video is amazing”. And indeed it is: Republicans everywhere who previously endorsed Trump were forced to pull their endorsement, notably those who are Evangelical Christians. Every politician in the state of Utah pulled their support, as well as nearly all Republicans who are in tight races themselves. They are all rushing to cover their own asses in the event of what they now expect to be a Trump loss.
No one cares about Hillary’s leaks, for the same reason that Trump’s are so prevalent: there is no video or audio leak from them. I think this is a perfectly timed leak from the Hillary campaign; not only was it done in the pivotal time period right before the election, the leak itself has almost entirely muted out the Wikileaks release from Hillary’s paid speeches. The transcripts from the above link on ZeroHedge were unsurprising, but they certainly should have renewed doubts that Hillary will lead for anyone besides her beneficiaries who have contributed to the Clinton Foundation and/or her campaign.
I am once again astounded by the stupidity and gullibility of the American Electorate. It’s not like the release of Trump’s video should be particularly surprising to anyone – he has always been brash and offensive towards women, even in his own television shows. To be fair, Hillary’s releases shouldn’t be surprising to anyone either; we all know by now that she kowtows to Wall Street and her corporate contributors. However, Hillary’s transcripts are far more relevant to who this country plans on electing President. They show someone who is keen to be subservient to those who have paid well, and those who pay well have a direct impact on how policy is shaped, notably in the financial sector. Hillary has given who knows how many paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, who supports her so adamantly that Goldman employees who contribute to Trump’s campaign are fired. And now everyone is following the bait of a video, which has nothing to do with the leadership of this country, and using it to lambaste the candidate as unqualified. It truly shows that Americans don’t really care about the issues, just appearances.
Someone, possibly Jeff Bezos, is going to get their asses sued big time over this Trump video leak. Matt Forney, who did an excellent job of breaking down the duplicity of Hillary’s treatment of the public vs. that of her donors, pointed me to Charles C. Johnson’s analysis of the leaks. Notably, he stated the following:
An 11-year-old selectively edited secret recording of Donald J. Trump speaking to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush has been released in violation of the law by
The Washington PostAmazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ blog.
Secret recordings without consent are totally illegal in the state of California, where the video was filmed.
California is a “two-party consent” state which means all parties on a recording must consent to being recorded.
There is no indication the consent of Mr. Trump was given to the recording and publishing of this tape.
The byline of the Washington Post piece says it was written by David A. Fahrenthold, a noted anti-Trumper who previously wrote about Donald Trump without disclosing that his wife worked for a non-profit run by a Mexican president and funded by George Soros and the Clinton Foundation.
Chuck stated it perfectly: this was an illegally recorded and released video, that was also selectively edited. Obviously, it was done so by Hillary supporters, as WaPo would never have released this video if the obtained clip came from a private Hillary speech to Goldman Sachs. Yet, no one at WaPo seems to care about Forney’s analysis of Hillary’s duplicity, they just care that they heard Trump speaking about women in the exact same way that Hillary’s husband did when he was with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office backroom.
I know there’s a small chance of it, but Pence isn’t replacing Trump. Trump has already told the Wall Street Journal there’s “zero chance he’ll quit”. You should know Trump is enough of an egomaniac to stay in no matter what by now, and the party cannot force him out at this point as is. I think Pence’s odds increase is just people buying lottery tickets, hoping further leaks force Trump out.
Trump could still win the election, but his chances to win could be insurmountable as a result of this leak. As my friend stated, the power of video is damning. I think perhaps the only shot Trump has to win is to totally pull out the stops in the next two debates and get Hillary in a “gotcha” moment that he can play on repeat in commercials until election day. He will need to be the reckless, brash candidate that won him the Republican nomination in the first place, and not be afraid to mention the Clinton Foundation and the many Hillary scandals. It will be tougher to do so in the second debate, with known Trump hater and MSM employee Anderson Cooper moderating, but he might have an easier time in debate three with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday moderating. He also needs to be prepared to deflect the coming criticism of the video release with the actions of Bill Clinton, and possibly even quote some things he has said to Trump. And honestly, I’m not sure if he’s ready to do that. Because…
…there is a chance that Trump is a paid plant of the Clintons, meant to sabotage the election for the Republicans, or maybe he just never wanted to win in the first place. I know, it sounds crazy, but I mentioned this months ago in a comment discussion with Manuel Pfister on a recent post at SDT. Its not like we know the inner workings of the Trump businesses, or who he owes money to, or what the hell is even in those tax returns. Some think losing could be bad for his brand, but I’m inclined to disagree. Win or lose, he has a successful Presidential campaign to build his brand and possibly more TV appearances from, his name will continue to be in the news, and I think his business dealings will only increase. Most importantly, Trump himself has stated that “Bill Clinton has said far worse” on the “golf course”, which I think embodies his relationship with the Clintons. While I think the idea of Trump working with the Clintons is unlikely, the possibility cannot be dismissed.