Thanks to the never-ending, overwhelming interest in elections, particularly from our betting friends across the pond, the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign is already making waves – one day after the 2018 midterms.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party got a split decision Tuesday, adding seats to the majority in the Senate while losing the majority in the House of Representatives. That will likely make it more difficult for Trump to push his legislative agenda through for the next two years.
But it seemed to help his cause for re-election, according to oddsmakers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“Trump's odds of re-election improved after Tuesday’s midterm elections,” said Matthew Shaddick, head of political betting at Ladbrokes. “The bookies cut his odds from 6/4 to 11/8. Much to the relief of bookies, the Democrats won back the House, but the threatened ‘blue wave’ failed to materialize, and we think the Democrats’ failure in places like Florida augur well for Trump's chances in 2020."
Similarly, Paddy Power tightened Trump slightly, from 13/8 to 6/4.
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“We see (Tuesday) night as overall a positive one for Donald Trump,” Paddy Power political trader David Fleming said. “He lost the House of Representatives, but this was expected, and the Democrats did not make the massive gains that some were expecting. Along with this, the Republicans increased their majority in The Senate.
“If last night was billed as a referendum on how Trump has performed as president, then you would have to say he passed.”
The midterm results also moved the market for Democrats in the presidential race. While Trump is the 11/8 favorite at Ladbrokes, followed not surprisingly by Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris at 8/1, Beto O’Rourke – who lost his Senate bid against Ted Cruz in a closer-than-expected race – jumped from 20/1 to 12/1, becoming the co-third choice, alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
In the bid to be the Democratic presidential nominee, Ladbrokes pegged Harris 5/1, with O’Rourke going from 10/1 to 6/1, joining Warren at that price. However, at Paddy Power, former Vice President Joe Biden actually made the biggest leap, from 14/1 to 5/1, and is the co-favorite along with O’Rourke, who tightened from 10/1.
“Breaking down the Democrat vote, it seemed the more moderate Dem candidates did better than the more left-leaning candidates,” Fleming said. “This leads us to believe that they may look to a more center candidate to take on Trump in 2020. Step forward, former Vice President Joe Biden.”
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And of course, all the above is presuming Trump is still president in 2020, with some House Democrats potentially seeking to have him impeached. Paddy Power moved odds on that prospect from 7/4 to even money.
“Somewhat contradictory (to his re-election odds), the likelihood of Trump being Impeached has increased,” Fleming said. “Seeing as the House has the power to impeach, the Democrats now have the numbers to push it through, if they can find just cause.”
However, one can be impeached by the House and not removed from office, as the Senate ultimately votes on removal – with a two-thirds super-majority required. As such, Ladbrokes’ odds lengthened slightly on whether Trump will be removed from office before his first term ends, going from 2/1 to 9/4.
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.