If you would have told me back in August that Donald Trump would still be leading the field in December, I would have been skeptical. The truth is that he still does in fact lead in just about every public opinion poll out there. Still, let me tell you that Trump is not the favorite to win. If you don’t believe me, check out betting markets, where people are putting their hard earned money on who will win the nomination. These are the odds currently at a traditional sportsbook online, bovada:
Rubio being +160 means that if you bet $100 on Rubio to win, you profit $160. This is slightly better than 3/2 odds. I will go through the contenders and tell you if you should buy, sell, or hold:
Rubio– I think Rubio is a buy at +160. Things are running just so well for him. Bush, as the numbers show, has imploded. Thus he has no competition. Scott Walker, the man closest to him in terms of taking the same voter, is out of the race. Kasich is throwing a Hail Mary in New Hampshire.
Rubio is showing to be a great candidate. He is great at debating, he is fresh with new ideas. He makes a great contrast with Trump. Rubio has for months been playing the slow and steady wins the race game, and it slowly is working. He is setting himself up to peak at the right time. He just came in 2nd in the national Quinnipiac poll released earlier this week. I don’t think winning Iowa and South Carolina is beyond his grasp, and doing so would make the race a lot less crazy then everyone has predicted. Even if he does not though, he will get the establishment to rally around him and can grind out a victory as well.
Trump– Sell Trump at 3/1, but only slightly. I now see way for Trump to win the nomination, albeit slight. He would get to the general election and have no chance of winning. The idea that the GOP would nominate a clown like this guy makes me sad about the party. People in a fury do stupid things though, and looking hard at the number, Trump has the highest floor of any of the guys polling right now, and that means something. I don’t see how he falls below 2nd in New Hampshire and that alone makes him a factor.
Cruz– Cruz is a hold a 3/1. I personally don’t like Cruz, but he could be the alternative to Trump if the radicals in the party won’t eat the dog food of Rubio or more moderate candidates then he. I like Cruz has to win Iowa to really have a shot at winning the nomination.
Bush– I would buy Bush stock at 10/1. Bush clearly has fallen, far. His debate skills are horrible, to say the least. His polling in in the tank. The Bush team still has the most money and that does mean something. Do I think Bush will win? No, but 10/1 is an overreaction. I would say 7 or 8 to 1 would be fair.
Carson– I say sell Carson at 12/1. Carson was always a joke, it just took some serious events for that to become clear to the voters. People thought the same of Trump, but at least he has a pulse. I am sure Carson is a nice man, but he just does not fit the timbre of a President, and that got exposed.
Christie– Buy at 20/1. Christie is getting love in the press, but that is because the press has always loved Chris Christie. His style does work well in the New Hampshire though, and with Kasich and Bush fading, Christie could be the dark horse who vastly over performs expectations when the New Hampshire Primary comes around
Kasich– Buy at 25/1. Kasich is fading, but he still has a pulse in NH. This makes him worth more than 25/1. He is now taking the attack Trump strategy, which will probably fail for him but it is fun to watch. Still, if he can hang around till post-Christmas, the voters may wake up and say, “Really? Trump” and he made be able to pull off a win in New Hampshire
Fiorina– Hold at 50/1. I love Carly, she is tough as nails and a great attack dog. I am sure she would hate to hear this, but she would make a great Vice President. For her presidential aspirations though, I think her moment has passed.