The first full primary is only a month away
The big political betting story over the next few weeks is going to be the fight for the Republican nomination in the first states to decide. In Iowa, with it caucuses where people vote at precinct meetings it’s looking pretty good for Ted Cruz who is strong favourite.
The second state is New Hampshire, with its full primary, on February 9th and here Donald Trump has been in a strong position for months. A victory would set him up very nicely for the following early states and give his campaign real momentum. A failure might not be fatal but it would be damaging.
A new state survey overnight from PPP polls neatly illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of Trump’s position. The main voting figures wete:
But the pollster followed that up with a series of questions seeking to find out how the vote would split if Trump was only facing two other opponents. The pollster noted:
” In a pared down field of the candidates generally viewed as the top 3 in the overall race Trump would lead Rubio by just 2 points, 36/34, with Cruz back at 19%. And Trump trails Rubio 52/40 and Cruz 46/39 in head to head match ups while leading Bush just 46/45. But as long as Rubio and Christie and Kasich and Bush are all in the race they’re splitting the vote enough to let Trump’s passionate base give him a big lead”
New Hampshire always gets huge media attention and has in the past been the biggest primary betting market with the wonderful ability to spring huge surprises. Many PBers will recall that wonderful betting night in 2008 when Obama, flushed with success in Iowa, went into New Hampshire with big and increasing poll leads. Hillary looked out of it and some backers got her at longer than 100/1.
Yet she secured a storming victory which kept her nomination bid on the road.
Many punters lost a lot of money that night. One friend told me recently that this remains his worst night’s political betting ever.