Sunday, 6 September 2020

Trump Support Swamped by Blue Wave

Some proof that there is a god came yesterday when five* boats in a 'Boaters For Trump' Labor Day weekend parade on Lake Travis near Austin, Texas, sank in 'choppy water'. 

Metaphor jokes have been deleted - editorial ruling: too obvious. 

Poseidon, traditionally known as the god of the sea, but also god of water in general, gets the win.

Some unconfirmed reports claimed that when boaters radioed the local Sheriff's Office saying that they needed help and were sinking, the response was "All boats matter". 

I found this first-hand report from one of the boat (the SS Magaritaville) owners. It's a tough watch, and to rub 'salt' into the wound, apparently Jimmy Buffett, no relation to Warren, has asked that the name not be used again on any replacement boat. 

In other Trump news, while his odds on Betfair haven't shifted much, I don't think the reporting of Trump's contempt for the military and religion (he may have a point regarding religion to be honest) this weekend isn't going to win him any new voters and polling next week might well reflect this.

Biden is still available at 1.97, and his polling numbers are looking much stronger than that price would imply when looking at the individual states he needs to win.

With 249 Electoral College votes if there are no upsets on the blue side down to Michigan (which went to Trump narrowly in 2016), then Biden needs to pick up either Pennsylvania (to tie), or Florida for the win. If he loses these two states, he can still win by taking Wisconsin and Arizona. North Carolina is a toss-up state also, and with 15 EC votes may be crucial.

From the Trump perspective, he will have 219 EC votes if he wins all the states where he is currently ahead, meaning he needs 51 more votes to win. Where are they coming from? If we concede Florida to him, he still needs another 22 votes, i.e. Michigan or Pennsylvania plus one of Arizona, Wisconsin, or Minnesota. Or those last three states combined. It's really not looking likely right now, but Trump is available at 2.1 which looks a terrible price to me, but £3,109,940 has already been traded at this level, with another £2 million matched at 2.12. 

There are still two months to go until the election, and an October surprise may yet come along, but it's not clear to me how Trump is going to make up the deficit seen in the fairly consistent poll numbers. Surprises can work both ways, but although Trump's base has been pretty consistent and might not drop much in the event of yet another Trump scandal, I'm not sure what kind of Biden story would win Trump enough new voters to overcome his current position. 

* Post updated to reflect that in fact five boats, not four, sank during this parade.

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