Ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton is to get the party nomination, with Bernie Sanders still the only realistic-looking contender. The luke-warm feeling and lack of spark in the Hillary 2016 campaign has caused a little run by the punters on Joe Biden to re-enter the race and take the nomination. He has been backed from 40/1 to since the start of January.
IOWA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES
With regard to Monday’s caucuses, Hillary is currently 2/5 to claim the Hawkeye State. She was beaten there by Obama in 2008, and in fact came third – she had to go all out to win New Hampshire in order to stay in the race at all. So, we know Iowa isn’t a natural fit for her. Clinton’s team do not expect a walkover.
The undecided Iowa Democrats have been the source of consternation for the Clinton camp, causing the slide in her polling figures over recent weeks. Approval for both candidates is sky high, so Vermont Senator Sanders is certainly a viable candidate there, should he manage to get his message out louder and prouder than Clinton.
- In terms of the betting, 62% of all stakes so far have been placed on Clinton, at an average price of 4/11.
- Money over the last 48 hours has been overwhelmingly in favour of Clinton – about 94% to 6%.
Astonishing polling figures have seen Trump’s odds on becoming the Republican nominee for 2016 drop to . Most pundits, including this one, predicted that he would have hit some sort of wall and dropped out of the race by now. Perhaps we shouldn’t forget that no votes have yet been cast, and that Trump’s oxygen so far has been his domination of the media. We’re yet to see how his political organisation can hold up in caucuses and primaries, but as far as the betting odds go, he is looking pretty good.
IOWA REPUBLICAN CAUCUSES
The Republican vote in Iowa traditionally requires something quite specific. It prefers Christian conservatives. Mitt Romney and John McCain did not manage to perform well there. It was thought that Ted Cruz was the best fit for the profile, which explains his initial rise to the top of the pack – as short as 1/3 in the betting back in the first week of January. Trump was not thought to be a particularly good fit, what with little religion but money-making and no grass roots political base.
However, polling over the last seven days seems to have blown those pontifications out of the water. Against the odds, it seems that his palm pressing and addresses with church leaders have made an impact.
- The billionaire has been backed from 3/1 in to 1/2 in the betting with Paddy Power. Taking us all by surprise, he is the worst result in the book. Hats off to those punters who got on at 3/1. Trump is 3/1 for the presidency, which is pretty incredible to us.
If Cruz fails to bag this state, the most natural voters he could possibly pitch to, it would be a disastrous start for him.
Marco Rubio has no angle to work in this state. Anyone perceived as an ‘establishment’ (read moderate) candidate is at an automatic disadvantage in Iowa. He can come third and call it a good day’s work, but cannot hope to easily split off and gather a chunk of the evangelical vote.
‘STAND ATHWART HISTORY, YELLING STOP TRUMP?’
Trump’s decision to give the next Fox News debate a swerve has got the other candidates all hot and bothered. But why should Trump care? He’s setting himself up to be the anti-establishment candidate, on the side of blue-collar America. What does it matter if he’s with the other candidates or not? This man knows how to work a media campaign.
But on the topic of alternative candidates comes the interesting news that former NYC mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is considering a third-party run. We know that Bloomberg is worth around 10 times as much as Trump. We also know that he spent $650 million on campaigning across three terms as mayor. An entry by an independent billionaire candidate that does not need to rely on PACs and donations could force Trump to change tack on his money-maker/wealth creator standing.
There’s not much doubt that most GOP grandees have their heads in their hands because of the trajectory of this nomination race.
By-word for officially endorsed Republican opinion, the National Review, has resorted to gathering contributors to list reasons to halt Trump’s progress, describing him as a “menace to American conservatism”. What on earth would William F Buckley Jr make of it?
Some reports, however, conclude that grandees are becoming resigned to the prospect of a Trump nomination.
Perhaps some still believe he is bound to reach the limits of his media dominance approach before he gets to the nomination, and that the voting members will answer the National Review’s cry to “stop Trump”.
Let the voting begin…
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