Two new anti-Trump bets as his bid stalls

We’ve just had four more results in the Republican Nomination process, with two wins apiece for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. I’ve been tweeting all day about it and will doubtless be writing and talking more as the week goes on. We have a pivotal primary to come on Tuesday, in Michigan.

Coming off the back of such a long day is perhaps not the optimum time to be striking new bets, but I feel it must be done now, because the odds are likelier to move tomorrow when people properly weigh up these results.

In short, they are bad news for Trump, and reiterate a point I’ve been making all week. The dynamics of this election have changed, and he may well have peaked. So I’m having two new bets, laying (opposing) him for the Presidency and for the Michigan Primary, as per these two tweets.

As I argued earlier in the week, Trump’s Super Tuesday results, though reported as sweeping the board, were actually underwhelming. Then followed another vicious TV debate in Michigan, that in my view damaged both Trump and Marco Rubio – whose campaign looks almost dead after a terrible day.

Now we have these four results. Resounding victories for Ted Cruz in Kansas and Maine. The first was predictable, but by a much bigger margin than anybody anticipated. The second far less predictable, coming in a state where Cruz wasn’t generally regarded to be competitive and the Governor had endorsed Trump.

Trump hit back with wins in Louisiana and Kentucky, but the margin and nature of the victories was unconvincing. Both were closer than expected, and notably Trump appears to have relied upon early voters. There seems to be genuine evidence of a late swing against him, towards Cruz.

So the new narrative is a two-horse race, but that could change on Tuesday. The latest Michigan poll puts John Kasich 2% ahead of Trump – suggesting a big turnaround. As I wrote yesterday, Kasich is now well poised for the second half of the race, and the Governor of neighbouring Ohio is typically working hard to secure a key victory in the state. Odds of 1.28 look well worth taking on.

As for the more risky lay, for the presidency, I was in two minds. On the one hand, getting Trump beaten is essential to my book, especially now Cruz is making such progress. Likewise, Kasich is a big position.

In due course, I hope to take some more profit out of Cruz and if he makes progress, Kasich too. But right now I’d much rather be a backer of either. I am highly tempted to lay Trump for the nomination at odds-on, but part of me says adding extra risk to a good position would be unprofessional. Of course Trump could still be the nominee, regardless of my negativity about his chance.

However, whilst I am not prepared to dismiss Trump for the nomination, the presidency seems miles off and I think his odds will lengthen. Check out these latest nationwide unfavourables – minus 33%. I reckon Hillary Clinton, (she with the hardly encouraging -12% favorability), is cheering his bid all the way, regarding Trump as her easiest potential opponent. Critically in both cases, these are candidates whom voters have longstanding, largely fixed, opinions about.

Trump was a 5.1 chance this morning, and the picture looks worse now. If he does win the nomination, I can cover if desired.  I actually think if Trump is the nominee, we’ll see Michael Bloomberg enter and siphon off moderate, free trade Republicans.

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