Is now the moment to start selling Hillary?

Is now the moment to start selling Hillary?

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    Has the media narrative turned against her?

In little more than seven weeks we’ll have the first phase of the 2008 White House race with the Democratic and Republican caucuses in Iowa. That will be followed days later by the New Hampshire primary. Over the coming weeks there will be a build up of stories and betting activity as both parties start the process of deciding who should be their candidate in the election on the first Tuesday in November.

For months Hillary Clinton has been edging slowly up the betting as poll after poll suggested that she was fast becoming a certainty in her race. But in the past week her campaign has started to look a little vulnerable with a run of critical media coverage.

    That term that we have become so used to in UK politics in relation to Gordon Brown, the media narrative, appears to have turned. The question for gamblers is whether now might be the moment to bet against her?

So often it’s the feeling that campaigns are manipulating events or developments that starts to raise doubts. The above is a story that several papers are covering – an allegation that the Clinton campaign team sought to plant questions at a highly publicised function in Iowa. This is not a big deal in itself – it happens all the time. What is interesting is that the story has, as they say, “legs”.

As the Guardian report says “Any appearance of crowd manipulation is highly sensitive for Clinton, as it plays to her negative image – keenly projected by her Republican opponents – as a robotic politician who will stop at nothing to get her point across.”

Last week the US editor of the Times, Gerard Baker, noted “…everything we’ve all said for the last twelve months, all that prating and polling and pontificating, is going to be eclipsed in the next 60 or 70 days and quite possibly turned completely on its head….The polls are starting to suggest that the snow may have just begun to melt on the high slopes of the Hillary Clinton campaign.”

I’ve now started selling Hillary on the Spreadfair spread market where 10 points will go to the runner-up next November and 25 points to the winner. My £75 trade was at the 13.8 level – a price that assumes that she has almost got the nomination sewn up already. This is giving me two bites at the cherry. For if she fails to get the nomination I win £1035. If she gets the nomination but fails to win the overall race I get £285. If she becomes president I lose £840.

I am in this, though, for the short-term and won’t stick with the contract for long. If the polls continue to tighten as other stories like this one develop then that 13.8 could fall sharply and I’ll be able to get out a profit to pocket immediately.

For more conventional betting options on the race click here.

Mike Smithson

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