Digression: Betting on Trump Impeachment

This week, Card Player Magazine published an article about the president of the United States, Donald Trump having “a little worse than even odds” to be impeached.

Back in November, Hillary Clinton was the heavy favorite to win the 2016 election, to the point where the Irish betting site Paddy Power decided to pay out their users who bet on Clinton three weeks before the election. 

The odds seemed to fall in line with polling back then, whenever Trump was doing better in the polls, the chance of him becoming president rose according to the betting sites as well. This may seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but please note that during the lead-up to the election, many polling firms chose to oversample Democrats, as pro-Trump commentators pointed out. One of John Podesta’s, the Clinton campaign’s chairman email released by WikiLeaks shows him giving orders to manipulate polling.

Meanwhile alternative sources that were proven to be much more accurate than polling made very different predictions. Political science professor Helmut Norpoth’s model that is based on primary election voting gave a 97.6% chance for a Trump presidency in February. By June, after the primaries the two candidates were chosen the odds went down to 86%, but Trump still was the favorite according to him. The model was tested on elections 1920-2012 and only missed one (1960). Allan Lichtman, a professor of history who was able to correctly predict the outcome of every election since 1984 using a 13-question survey also picked Trump as the winner. So did the AI system MogIA which analyzes more than 20 million data points about social media activity.

Now the British betting site Landbrokes gives a 10/11 odds for President Trump leaving office via impeachment or resignation. This may sound ominous to him, but we should all keep in mind the bookmakers’ history with him. Given the fact that his party, the Republicans are in the majority both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, their voting to impeach him seems way less likely than 10/11.