President Donald Trump is traveling to Las Vegas this week to campaign for several Nevada Republican Party candidates who are embattled in hotly contested elections to be determined in November. But despite the presidential backing, online bettors believe it’s Silver State Democratic candidates who will emerge victorious.
The president is set to deliver his “Make America Great Again!” rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday, September 20, at 7 pm PST. Trump will make his case as to why Nevadans should support Silver State Attorney General Adam Laxalt for governor, reelect Dean Heller to the US Senate, and back Danny Tarkanian for the US House.
Along with rallying the GOP base, the president is expected to address a series of issues, including the escalating trade war with China.
This week, the Trump administration announced it would impose an additional $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese imports. In response, China announced it is considering similar tariffs totaling $60 billion a year on American goods.
Money on Dems
Betting on politics remains banned in the US, but PredictIt is one exception that operates through an educational loophole.
The online exchange allows individuals to buy and sell up to $850 worth of shares of political outcomes. Shares that turn out correct are redeemed at $1 each, while incorrect shares become worthless. And right now, PredictIt users say the smart money is on the Nevada Democrats for the November midterms.
Laxalt is trading at 34 cents to Democrat Steve Sisolak at 70 cents to win the gubernatorial race. Sisolak is the chairman of the Clark County Commission and holds a 6.6 point lead in the Real Clear Politics (RCP) polling average. The two candidates are battling to replace two-term Gov. Brian Sandoval (R).
The PredictIt market asking “Will Dean Heller be reelected to the US Senate?” has “yes” shares trading at just 36 cents. However, the RCP polling average of Heller versus current US Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) gives the Democrat just a 0.7-point advantage.
Tarkanian winning is an even longer proposition for Republicans, as political bettors are trading his chances of becoming a congressman on the cheap at 23 cents.
As for which party will control the Senate after 2018, the Republicans have a strong chance, with shares trading for 72 cents. But bettors believe the Democrats will take the House (“yes” shares, 71 cents).
The 2016 presidential election will be remembered for many reasons, and the realization that polling data cannot be fully trusted is certainly one of them. Hillary Clinton held the lead in nearly every pre-election nationwide poll, and additionally in most swing states.
Though Trump won just 46.1 percent of the popular vote to Clinton’s 48.2 percent, the Republican far surpassed the required 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House with 304.
Some political observers turned to political betting markets as perhaps more reliable data points in predicting election outcomes. The key difference, according to analysts like Fox News’ John Stossel — is that bettors are placing money on who they think will win — not who they want to win.