One of the frustrations for people like me who love to bet on political outcomes has been the suspension by Betfair of its £100m next president market following the hospitalisation of Trump. Given that we are just four weeks and one day away from the election I think the firm is being over-cautious.
I can see the argument that we could be betting on whether Trump survives but, as someone who for a time worked for the firm, I think it is mis-reading the situation. Of all the 74 year old overweight Americans who have contracted the infection in the US Trump, surely, is getting the best medical care.
What has most driven the market elsewhere, I’d suggest, is not whether he survives but the fact that Trump had widely proclaimed that COVID19 was a hoax. This looks set to make the election even more about the pandemic and causes dozens of clips of his previous comments to be repeatedly broadcast.
Trump made a political decision months ago on his administration’s response to COVID19 which with the benefit of hindsight doesn’t look good. Only last Tuesday in the first TV debate he sought to belittle Biden for wearing masks.
The smaller Smarkets and Betdaq betting exchanges remain open and I feature the former’s chart above.