Has Trump picked a fight with the wrong man?
After a dramatic, divisive week in the race for the Republican Nomination, there’s no question which candidate has the greatest momentum on Betfair markets. With the race looking ever likelier to be a three-cornered scrap, Donald Trump was matched last night at a new low of 2.44, which equates to a 41% likelihood of heading the GOP ticket in November’s General Election.
However before rushing in, punters should beware recent history in this market. We’ve already seen two similarly short-priced favourites deposed – Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio – and in both 2012 and 2008, the pre-primaries market proved a terrible guide, with a slew of short-lived favourites failing to deliver where it mattered – at the polls.
At the latest Fox Business Network debate, this race entered a new, unpredictable and ultimately dangerous phase. With the main stage now restricted to seven candidates, rivals tore into each other with brutal character assassinations that will have delighted their political opponents.
The upshot is that the war of words between Trump and Ted Cruz – his main rival for the opening Iowa Caucus – stepped up a gear and has intensified since. Their spat threatens to dominate the race, but it remains far too early to dismiss Rubio – who launched his own blistering tirade against Cruz and looks by far the best placed to benefit from the probable demise of Bush and other so-called ‘establishment’ candidates.