Archive for October 29, 2020

Odds on Trump

Posted in Politics with tags , , , on October 29, 2020 by telescoper

I’ve been busy all day on a secret mission (from the safety of my own home) which left me no time to do a proper post, so I’ll just do a quickie to mention the state of play as the US presidential election approaches.

Although Joe Biden seems to be comfortably ahead in terms of the popular vote, the vagaries of the American voting system do not easily translate into the probability of a win. After all, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, and look what good that did her!

I looked at odds checker just now and saw the best Bookies odds are Biden 11/20 on and Trump 15/8 against. That’s uncomfortably close given what an appallingly terrible man the incumbent is, but at least 40% of the American electoral don’t seem to mind having a such an item for a president so there’s a significant chance that he’ll win, especially since his campaign has been deploying extensive spoiling tactics to tilt the vote in his favour.

Yesterday I decided that I would follow my usual betting practice and place a wager on the outcome that I don’t want to happen. I did this in 2016. Then Hunting the best odds I could find were 18-5 against Donald Trump. I put a monkey* on, and walked away with £2300 (being £1800 plus my stake) when Trump won.

I followed the same strategy on the Brexit Referendum Day as I felt it in my bones that Vote Leave was going to win. I ended up depressed but compensated to the tune of £1000.

I’m afraid to say I feel the same way now about the likelihood of a Trump victory. Not very scientific, I know, but there you go. This year the odds are a lot shorter and I think I’ll bet a bit less, but I’ll still go for the compensation strategy.

I have never paid much attention to American politics in the past. It is as incomprehensible to me as British politics must be to them. Gore Vidal summed it up for me:

There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.

Although both parties still represent the moneyed classes more than anyone else, but this time the Republican contender is a corrupt narcissist who has already done untold damage to his country. Americans are free to vote for whomever they wish, of course. I don’t have a say, as I’m a foreigner.

Although I find it deeply depressing that this race is even close, I won’t lose any sleep over the election night. I’ll do what I did on the day of the EU referendum: drink some wine, listen to music and then go to sleep. There’s no point in worrying about things that are out of your hands.

(*monkey = £500)