“ The betting markets now give Trump a 27% chance of beating Joe Biden and being reinstalled as president in January 2025. ”
Who thinks Donald Trump’s indictment is going to help his presidential campaign?
Bookies and gamblers, that’s who. The former president’s odds have shortened in the betting on the 2024 race since he broke the news in late March that he was about to be arrested.
Trump is expected to surrender to authorities on Tuesday in Manhattan for his arraignment and mug shot. The bookies, meanwhile, were giving him close to a 50% shot of becoming the Republican presidential nominee in 2024 — and better than a 25% chance of actually retaking the White House.
Trump vs. Biden — again
Before last week’s indictment was announced, bookies were giving Trump a 36% chance of winning the GOP nomination, trailing Repubican Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who had a 44% chance. Now those numbers are exactly reversed. Other Republican presidential “contenders,” such as former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and former vice-president Mike Pence, are in single digits.
Meanwhile the betting markets now give Trump a 27% chance of beating Joe Biden and becoming president for a second time in January 2025. (Biden is favored in the betting to retain the presidency, with a 41% chance.)
These were the numbers at Predictit.org, an online betting site. They were much the same at the much bigger, if more distant, professional bookmakers in London. Professional gambling on elections, including U.S. elections, is legal in Britain but not in the U.S. (Predictit enjoys an exemption as a niche site with limited stakes.)
Trump has surged in the betting even though 58% of respondents told a Quinnipiac poll that they think criminal charges should disqualify him from the presidency.
“ Gamblers know the media can’t resist lavishing Trump with vast amounts of free publicity, even while denouncing him. ”
But as the huckster from Queens knows, no publicity is bad publicity. The first poll taken in the wake of the indictment has his lead over DeSantis among likely Republican voters widening to 26 points, 57% to 31%.
Gamblers know that the media can’t resist lavishing Trump with vast amounts of free publicity, even while denouncing him. After the 2016 election, studies found that the media had given Trump somewhere between $2 billion and $5 billion in free publicity.
They are doing so again. Viewers and voters are being treated to endless, breathless coverage of Trump’s uneventful journey from Florida to New York, where even pictures of his plane parked on the tarmac was garnished with the inevitable chyron, “BREAKING NEWS.”
Trump rode that into the White House in 2016 and who is to say it can’t happen again? The media, like junkies, cannot escape their fix. Trump is great for ratings. DeSantis? Yawn.