If you’ve been reading my prior content, you should already know that I mostly ignore the election pundits and just look at Betfair to determine who has the best chance of winning this year’s election. On the 9/11 anniversary 11 days ago, Hillary had a health episode, and I analyzed whether or not her health really matters by looking at how the money responded to it.
The money has had over a week to digest the effects of Hillary’s health, and Hillary herself has resumed campaigning. It is time for another analysis of the current election odds on Betfair, a fair distance ahead of the first debate on Monday night, 9/26 at 9PM Eastern.
As of 9/22/2016 at 11:26AM 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 9/12/2016 at 11:20AM Eastern:
- Hillary Clinton: 63% (prior: 61%)
- Donald Trump: 32% (prior: 30.5%)
- Joe Biden: 1.56% (prior: 3.7%)
- Bernie Sanders: 1.25% (prior: 3.1%)
- Tim Kaine: 0.29% (prior: 1.1%)
- Gary Johnson: 0.13% (prior: 0.25%)
After looking at the new odds, I asked myself the question: what was the impact of Hillary’s fainting episode on the election odds, and what are the chances for both candidates, heading into the debates? Below are my observations:
If her recent health episode didn’t do it, nothing will; Hillary Clinton isn’t dropping out of the race. Yes, Biden, Sanders, and Kaine are clinging to some small percentage chance of winning the election. However, I think this solely indicative of an extreme outlier, “black swan” scenario occurring to Hillary. Looking at the other potential candidates as a percentage of her own odds, the market thinks there is still a 5% chance Hillary gets replaced. A couple well-informed people have told me some variation of the following: “Hillary Clinton will sooner drop dead than drop out of the race”. I think this is indicative of the market believing there is currently a 5% chance she can’t physically campaign or be President anymore, because that’s what it will take to get Biden or Sanders to replace her.
Though the market has continued to price a small percentage of victory to Biden/Sanders, expect the majority of this to disappear during/after the first debate. It has been the case for months, but now more so than ever. The debates, especially the first one, are of utmost importance. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also because it will be much more difficult to replace Hillary as a candidate after the first one. The voters will simply not accept another candidate sliding into the ballot this close to the election, and if it were to happen, Trump would pounce on it and call the election fraudulent. Barring an asteroid colliding with Earth, the DNC is going to be stuck with Hillary once she steps on the stage for that first debate.
At the moment, Hillary and Trump have split Hillary’s prior health odds loss from the potential replacements. Clearly the market still thinks her health is an issue, as Trump’s odds for election have slowly gained since the incident. I stated the following in my prior article about her health:
If Hillary isn’t replaced, I think only some of the benefits of her health episode will accrue to Trump. The “Never Trump” crowd will still come out for her, but will obviously be less likely to show up and vote for someone they think may not be healthy enough to hold office, not including all her other misgivings.
By resuming the campaign, Hillary has done her best to demonstrate her health isn’t an issue. But, since his odds to win increased so significantly after the episode, Trump can and likely will key in on it during the debates.
Again, Gary Johnson is still not a factor. The last relevant third party candidate was Ross Perot. It will still be interesting to see how Johnson voters would have voted if he were not on the ballot.
I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the election odds on Betfair: before, during, and after the debate. Expect the liquidity in the market there to be quite thin leading into the debate, and the odds to flip-flop back and forth a great deal during the debate. Once the debate is over, I’ll wait 24 hours or so for the market to digest the impact of the debate, before posting a post-debate odds update. Stay tuned, to both FreeMarketShooter and Betfair.
Note: A lot of people, notably Trump supporters, have taken me to task for my prior update on Hillary’s Health, and clearly didn’t bother to read my article on why you should be looking at Betfair in the first place. My article was meant to provide an objective analysis on the impact of Hillary’s health issue on the Presidential election odds, and what the chances of someone actually replacing her really are, and how her health issue impacted her own odds for winning. See the following passage from my article on Betfair below:
Stop listening to pundits like Nate Silver and plenty of others who make ridiculous calls without putting any of their own money on the line. Just look at Betfair and see where people who have a real financial interest in the outcome are pricing the odds.
I agree that the media is in the tank for Hillary, and Trump isn’t getting the coverage he deserves, but I am strictly analyzing the facts, and their impact on each candidates’ chance to win. Currently, Trump’s victory odds stand at ~32% on Betfair, or slightly better than 2-1 on your money. If you are so supremely confident that the bookmakers are wrong and Trump is going to win, you should LOVE the chance to get paid out double what you bet on him. Though US citizens don’t have access to Betfair’s exchange, there are plenty of US sportsbooks that will give you a slightly worse percentage to bet on Trump (and possibly lay off their risk on Betfair’s exchange), notably Bovada, 5Dimes, and GTBets.
Just yesterday, Nate Silver stated that Trump had a 44.5% chance to win, directly contracting the market odds. If he likes Trump at 44.5%, why isn’t he betting on him to win at 32%? Like Nate and the other pundits, it is difficult for me to take your claims seriously if you have no skin in the game. If you think Trump or Hillary’s odds are way off, feel free to post a picture of your betting slip in the comments. I have made several wagers with friends on this election, and I (and in some cases, my betting opponents) use Betfair as a guide for wagering. I will be providing my own opinion on this election, and who I will be voting for, closer to the election date of 11/8/2016.
If you’ve been reading my stuff, it shouldn’t be too difficult to see where I stand.