Trump's Reelection Betting Odds Improve as His Poll Numbers Drop

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The US mainstream media still doesn’t understand the deal with President Donald Trump as it relates to his favorable/unfavorable ratings.  They fixate on the ‘unfavorable’ number which is among the highest in Presidential history.  Based on the average polling at the Real Clear Politics website his disapproval ratings currently stand at at 52.7%.  These are high, to be sure, but well off the highest of his presidential tenure (58.1% in mid-December 2017).  They’re also in line with the range that we have seen since his inauguration with his ‘disapproval’ ratings vacillating between 44% and 58.1%.

What’s more  significant, however, is the consistency of his ‘approval’ ratings.  His ‘approval’ number at Real Clear Politics is currently 43.6%.  This is somewhat lower than his all time high ‘approval’ number (46% in early February 2017) but well above the low mark of his presidency (37% in mid December 2017).  The important thing here is the relatively narrow band within which his approval ratings have moved (9 percentage points).


Simply put, Trump enjoys a stable ‘core constituency’ that doesn’t care about whatever his political opponents are ‘outraged’ about on a given day.  His disapproval numbers are more fluid but they tend to go up when the left gets some kind of ‘traction’ with their never relenting tirade against Trump.  When that happens, less motivated ‘true believers’ come in off the sidelines to rail against Trump but leave once an issue starts to lose momentum.  These tendencies are very likely to continue throughout his tenure in office.  Since nothing has served to significantly erode his support base so far it’ll take a monumental crisis—and one that resonates with voters of a conservative ideology—to cut into his ‘approval’ number.

This dynamic indirectly led to an unprecedented occurrence—the President of the United States promoting his betting odds for reelection on Twitter. Last week, an article in Forbes noted that leading offshore sportsbook was seeing a flood of action on Trump to win the 2020 Presidential Election despite his anemic polling numbers.   The article written by Dave Caldwell noted that has continued to move their odds in response to the money being bet on the incumbent. sportsbook brand manager Dave Mason had this observation about the betting odds movement relative to Trump’s polling numbers:

“His poll numbers really don’t slow people from betting on him,” Mason said. “So, lowering the number is more about managing risk. We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what he does, tweet, who he offends, et cetera. Bettors are still pounding him at plus money.”

Trump’s favorable position in the 2020 betting market was noticed by those within his administration including White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, Jr.  Scavino sent out a Tweet linking to a story on Trump’s odds at in the Washington Examiner:

The next day, President Trump retweeted Scavino.

The Trump administration might not be experts on betting odds markets but their key point is valid—their machinations are revelatory in ways that conventional opinion polling is not.

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