Pence for Republican VP nominee – what are the chances that he won’t be?

Pence for Republican VP nominee – what are the chances that he won’t be?

While there’s been a lot of betting activity on Biden’s VP pick (£1.2m so far matched on Betfair) there’s been much less activity on Mike Pence being on the Republican ticket (just £12k) once again in November. He’s currently at 1.11/1.16 on Betfair which might be value for the lay.

There are a couple of ways that he’s not in the VP slot. First Trump could pull out of the race and there have been some suggestions that this might not happen. Much of the current blitz of Republican anti-Trump advertising appears to be designed to get Trump to stand aside and his poll ratings continue to look awful. So there must be a possibility that he won’t stand again in which case it is hard to see Pence continuing as VP. More likely in that situation would be Pence going for the presidential slot.

Second even if Trump decides to go again could he just conclude that someone else on the ticket in the VP slot might help him more? I’ve been very taken with this article on the Intelligencer by Ed Kilgore headed “Could Dumping Pence Be a Last-Minute Game Changer for Trump?”. He writes

 Trump is in very serious danger of not being reelected. He needs a game changer to reset the race, and a fresh veep is a time-honored way to do that, even if it involves (to quote the words said to John McCain in 2008 about choosing Sarah Palin ) “high risk [and potentially] high reward.” Indeed, if, like Trump, you have no real second-term agenda to tout and no capacity to “pivot to the center” and pursue swing voters via messaging or policies, it’s one of the few cards in the deck. In a podcast at FiveThirtyEight in which Nate Silver, Claire Malone, and Perry Bacon Jr. batted around various emergency steps Team Trump could take to turn it all around, a switch in running mates was the one that made the most sense to them. Second, Trump could perhaps try to blame Pence for his administration’s deadliest and most politically damaging error, its mishandling of COVID-19 .

I don’t think this will happen but it could be a potential game changer that Trump considers deploying. I’m not quite sure there’s value in the betting yet but it could shift and might be worth a punt.

Mike Smithson

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