I don’t know why a bookie would ever risk paying out on a contest before it’s happened, even when the odds almost prohibitively favor one side. I assume there’s an advertising calculation involved. The payout on Clinton might be small enough and the risk of an upset forcing a second payout on Trump tiny enough that the free publicity they get from doing this early ends up drumming up extra business, which nets a profit.
Anyway, Paddy Power says the writing’s on the wall:
Paddy Power says Clinton has an 85.7% — odds of 2/11 — chance of winning the election, a figure that it believes amounts to a “done deal.” It says the chance of a victory for Republican candidate Donald Trump is 18.2% — odds of 9/2. The percentages added together exceed 100% because the numbers account for any profits accumulated by Paddy Power…
Paddy Power said if it is wrong, and Trump wins, it will “trigger the biggest political payout in bookmaking history. It did not specify what the amount would be.
Lewis Davey, a representative from the firm, told USA TODAY in emailed comments that “we’re in the business of making predictions and in this instance we’ve seen sufficient evidence to be confident enough to declare Hillary the winner … If Trump wins we’ll be paying a double payout and left with some seriously expensive egg on our faces.”
Three polls out this morning suggest the bookie doesn’t have much to worry about. Bloomberg has the national race 47/38 in the four-way contest. Less than a month ago, shortly before the first debate, they had Trump ahead 43/41. The election has swung 11 points in three weeks. The jawdropper: If you believe this data, Clinton now leads not just with women but with men.
After trailing among men throughout the summer, Clinton is now winning 46 percent of their support in a hypothetical two-way race, compared to 44 percent for Trump. She’s ahead among women by 17 points and has a 1-point edge among white women, 46 percent to 45 percent…
Among those with no college degree, her edge is 48 percent to 44 percent, erasing Trump’s 8-point advantage in September. Among whites with college degrees—a longtime Republican stronghold—she expanded her lead to 13 points.
Remember, men and whites with college degrees are traditionally Republican voting blocs. Trump’s path to 270 this year was to hold onto higher-educated whites while turning out less-educated whites at historic proportions. That doesn’t appear to be happening. Also noteworthy: Clinton’s favorable rating has been nearly as miserable as Trump’s at various points this summer and fall, but not in this poll. She’s still viewed more unfavorably than favorably, but the difference is only five points. (For Trump, it’s 25.) It may be that, as voters begin to reconcile themselves to the likelihood of a Clinton presidency, she’s starting to get a “honeymoon period” popularity boost even before the votes are counted. Or, it could be that she’s benefiting from the same dynamic as Obama as his job approval numbers rise — namely, the contrast in tone between Trump and his Democratic antagonists is making the latter seem more “statesmanlike” to some undecided voters.
Another national poll this morning comes from PRRI. The trendline speaks for itself.
Same story as the Bloomberg poll. The race was a toss-up in the days before the first debate on September 26th and it’s been a catastrophe ever since, thanks to Trump’s poor performance at the debate, the “Access Hollywood” tape, the sexual-assault allegations, and, I’d guess, the constant complaints about “rigging.” Clinton leads big among women in this poll (very big, at 26 points) and also leads narrowly here among men (44/40). After trailing Trump among independents for much of the race, she’s turned that around (46/30), a trend seen in other polls recently. Trump leads big among whites without a college degree, of course, but Clinton’s advantage among college-educated white almost completely erases it. He’s up 50/30 with less-educated whites; she’s up 53/34 among white college grads. With whites divided, the candidate of white identity politics has no path.
One last poll, this time at the state level. Hoo boy:
That’s a 43/38 lead among leaners — in Arizona. I’ve written more than once about that state in the last few days so I won’t belabor it. Suffice it to say, this is why Clinton’s dropping $2 million on ads there and sending A-list surrogates like Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders to hit the trail. Unlike Texas, this state really is in play. In fact, if you account for pollster “house effects,” Clinton has led seven of the nine polls taken in Arizona since the first presidential debate. In three of those polls, her adjusted lead is four points or better. And as noted yesterday, the Trump campaign doesn’t seem to be spending much to defend the state. Why not, I’ll leave you to speculate.
In light of all of that, with a piano falling on them from the top of the ticket, it’s borderline miraculous that GOP incumbents like Rubio, Toomey, and Ayotte still stand a real chance of holding their seats. There’s a lot that goes into that — Hillary’s a terrible candidate who inspires little partisan loyalty, many of the Democratic Senate challengers this year are themselves terrible candidates, and the near-certainty of Democrats holding the White House may be encouraging voters to think harder about ticket-splitting than they otherwise would. Still, though, right now Clinton’s on track for a bigger blowout than Obama won in 2008 — and there’s still an outside chance that the GOP will have a Senate majority. Amazing.