President Donald Trump Impeachment Odds Shorten Amid Government Shutdown, Bettors Say No SOTU Speech

Posted on: January 18, 2019, 09:07h. 

Last updated on: January 18, 2019, 09:08h.

The odds of President Donald Trump being impeached in 2019 are shortening, as the US government shutdown continues and controversies continue to plague his administration. 

Donald Trump impeachment odds shutdown
Impeachment odds on President Donald Trump are shortening. (Image: Win McNamee/Getty), the online betting exchange that facilitates the buying and selling of political outcomes, has a market asking, “Will Donald Trump be impeached by year-end 2019?” “Yes” shares are currently trading at 47 cents, and “no” shares at 54 cents. 

Prior to the US government shutting down on December 21, those “yes” shares were trading at 40 cents. Trading volume has been very active, with more than 10,000 shares bought and sold on January 17, the market’s second busiest day.

Trump and Congress failed to agree on an appropriations bill last month to fund the federal government. The president is demanding $5.6 billion in government money to build the US-Mexico border wall, but the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is refusing. 

Impeachment Proceedings

The US Constitution allows Congress to remove a president from office if the commander in chief has committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Impeachment has only occurred three times in US history – Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1999, and Richard Nixon in 1974. 

The House of Representatives needs only a simple majority to impeach a president. That doesn’t remove the president from office – but acts as an indictment. 

If the House approves impeachment, the process moves to the Senate where the chief justice of the Supreme Court would oversee a trial. Appointed House members serve as the prosecutors, and the president brings his own attorneys for defense. The Senate acts as the jury. 

If two-thirds of the Senate votes guilty, the president is removed and the vice president becomes commander in chief. 

Trump Odds

PredictIt bettors aren’t only putting money on the president’s impeachment odds. Numerous markets present various betting opportunities for those who believe they can accurately predict the US political arena. 

Trump is scheduled to deliver the State of the Union address later this month, but due to the government shutdown, the odds of it happening before a joint session of Congress – as is customary – are becoming long. 

The market asking, “SOTU to joint session on 1/29?” has “yes” shares at 22 cents, and “no” shares at 78 cents. The odds of the president addressing Congress in the House chamber have nosedived over the last week, as tensions between Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) continue to sour. 

Bettors do believe that Trump and North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un will meet for a second time. The market asking, “Second Trump-Kim meeting by 3/31?” has “yes” shares at 56 cents. 

As for the 2020 election, Trump remains the favorite at 29 cents. US Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is currently next at 14 cents. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is third at 13 cents. 

O’Rourke had emerged as a Democratic favorite, but recent comments regarding the Constitution have somewhat calmed excitement. When asked about the country’s founding document, O’Rourke responded, “I think that’s the question of the moment: does this still work?”