Bookmakers have shortened their odds on Donald Trump becoming the next American president. Just two weeks ago, it seemed as though the wheels had completely come off the Trump train, and a victory for the real-estate mogul seemed impossible.
Always quick to spot a good publicity angle, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was even paying out on Hillary Clinton early. The bookie paid out more than $1 million in bets on a Clinton victory, declaring that Trump’s chances of winning were as “patchy as his tan.”
But now the bookies think he has a shot again: a 22.2 percent shot, to be precise, as William Hill has cut odds on Trump to 7/2 (-350). It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign has been negatively impacted by revelations from WikiLeaks, muckraking from Project Veritas, and Obamacare price hikes. Those scandals have seen her odds adjusted from 1/9 to 1/5. That’s from a 90 percent favorite to an 82 percent favorite.
“Despite being written off by much of the media and by many pollsters, there is still considerable betting support for Donald Trump,” William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe.
Professor Picks Trump
One statistician, in particular, believes that Trump is a good bet. Professor Helmut Norpoth, of New York’s SUNY Stony Brook University, has developed a model that has, retroactively, correctly predicted every single US presidential election since 1912, apart from 2000, when it foresaw an Al Gore victory.
Of course, many Gore die-hards believe he did win that election, which, incidentally, was the closest in history.
“I think he was the strongest candidate in the primaries and that he will prevail,” Norpoth told the New York Post. “The model predicted a Trump win in February and nothing has changed since then. Whatever happens in the real world doesn’t affect the model.”
Silver for Clinton
But Nate Silver, who knows a thing or two about predicting elections, has Clinton all the way. The baseball statistician turned political forecaster successfully called 49 out of 50 US states in the 2008 presidential election. Writing in FiveThirtyEight this week, he acknowledged that Trump may have clawed back some votes, but not enough to make a difference.
“Our model thinks Donald Trump has probably narrowed his deficit against Clinton slightly, but the difference is modest enough that we’ve wanted to change our answer with every new round of polls,” wrote Silver. “And in general, we’re reluctant to proclaim any turnaround in the race while we still have to squint to see a shift.”