Who benefits most from Scott Walker’s exit?

Who benefits most from Scott Walker’s exit?

Cruz will last the distance as rivals begin to fall away

Slowly but surely, the Republican field is whittling down towards a more manageable number, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker the latest to accept inevitable defeat. Considering he was second favourite for the nomination just a couple of months ago, this is a particularly significant development.

Indeed Walker was my initial tip when rated a 4% chance for the Presidency, although thankfully I closed that position for a small loss at 3% when his early momentum in Iowa faded. His exit is a direct consequence of the rise of Donald Trump and other outsider candidates, who stole Walker’s populist thunder.

In his statement, Walker called on fellow Republicans to unite around a candidate that can stop Trump, and that looks like the endgame as the race progresses. Unless Trump’s numbers collapse soon, he’ll be still in the race in March, at which stage there will be no more than three or four realistic contenders.

My latest positions have been on non-politicians Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina – speculative bets at big odds, with a view to trading them like stock market positions as their ratings rise. Now we need to get a politician in the book, so the new game is predicting that final group.

Jeb Bush is one of them, but remains a terrible value bet at 2.9. Why a widely known candidate rated below 10% in nationwide polls should be regarded a 35% chance for the nomination remains a mystery.

Bush faces stiff competition for the ‘moderate, adult in the room’ role, particularly from Marco Rubio and John Kasich. Impressive in both debates, with youth on his side, Rubio certainly looks Presidential candidate material. I expect to add him to our portfolio soon.

The best value right now, however, may lie at much bigger odds. Previously, I felt Walker, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz were vying for one spot – as the populist, anti-government, Tea Party candidate (a role currently dominated by outsiders). Christie performed best of this trio in the last debate, and is another very much on my radar.

However at the current odds of 30, Cruz must be backed for the nomination. He’s a Tea Party favourite, backed by a stack of Super PAC money and therefore able to survive the early stages of the race.

That surely amounts to better than a 3% chance for the nomination and the Texas Senator’s ultra-right stance is also well positioned to pick up Trump voters, should the current poll leader implode.

Recommended bet

Back Ted Cruz 5u @ 30 for the Republican Nomination

For my full betting portfolio on the 2016 US Election, click here

Follow me on Twitter @paulmotty

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