What the “experts” deemed a debate disaster hasn’t done him any harm
It’s now a week and a half on from the first Republican nominee debate of the 2016 campaign – an event that delivered for Fox News its biggest audience of all time. Normally at this stage in a White House very few people are concerned with the minutiae of nomination battles and TV debate audiences are measured in hundreds of thousands not tens of millions.
The reason, of course, why things are different this time is the presence in the line-up of the billionaire property developer turned TV super-star, Donald Trump. For him the normal rules don’t apply.
- The latest polling for Fox news just published has Trump 25, Carson 12, Cruz 10, Bush 9, Walker/Huckabee 6, Fiorina 5.
The big loser here is the betting favourite, Jeb Bush. Two weeks ago the Fox poll had him in second place 11 points behind Trump. Now the brother of the former president is 16 points adrift in fourth place.
In another poll from Iowa, the first state with its famous caucuses to make a decision on presidential contenders, Trump was on 22% with Bush on just 5%.
Just contrast the polling with the betting where Bush remains a very strong favourite. Overnight on Betfair he was a 42% chance compared with 7.4% for Trump.
My reading is that the Bush Betfair price is far too tight and I’m laying him. Meanwhile overnight I’ve started to back Trump. My hope is that the former will weaken and the latter price will harden. As regular PBers will know I look for trading gains and these are not predictions. Bets are all about value.
The main challenge for White House contenders at this stage is securing donor support for whom polling like this can be very influential. Trump doesn’t have that problem – he’s self funding his campaign.