August 12th, 2020


Super Tuesday Prop Bets On Trump, Delegates And Inevitability

Bill Whalen

By Bill Whalen

Published March 1, 2016

Two things you're going to hear in abundance on Tuesday night: The returns from the various states participating in the mammoth undertaking that is Super Tuesday, and as a result of those results, who has the inside track on becoming America's 45th President.

What the betting experts are thinking, going into this week's big vote (and these change often, so please click on the hyperlink in the next paragraph):

Donald Trump has a 76% chance of securing the Republican nomination, according to Election Betting Odds.

The odds of Hillary Clinton doing the same on the Democratic side? 93.9%.

Where the other candidates stand:

Marco Rubio 18%

Bernie Sanders 4.4%

John Kasich 1.9%

Ted Cruz 1.9%

Ben Carson 0.2.%

As for who'll win in November:

Clinton 60.1%

Trump 26%

Rubio 7.5%

Sanders 2.4%

Cruz 0.8%

Kasich 0.7%

Carson 0.2%

Two others getting odds: Michael Bloomberg 1.3% and Joe Biden 0.8%


As we did prior to the New Hampshire primary, here are some "prop" bets to get you through Tuesday's spectacle:

10. With eleven states yielding results on Tuesday, let's set an over-and-under of 10 - as in: the number of states in which Trump receives the most votes.

If Ted Cruz wins in Texas (where a weekend poll showed him hanging on) but nowhere else, while Marco Rubio comes up empty, it's a push bet. If Cruz and Rubio each claim at least one state, the "under" prevails.

In betting the "over," you're saying Trump runs the table. Think that's possible?

9. We have to adjust the bet for Clinton, given that Bernie Sanders' home state of Vermont goes to the polls (Bernie's leading there comfortably).

So lower Hillary's over-under to 9 - meaning: Sanders has to win somewhere other than Vermont on Tuesday.

The state to watch: Colorado. It's a caucus, not a primary. Sanders has outspent Clinton there, and the electorate differs from the Deep South.

279. 595 Republican delegates are up for grabs in those 11 GOP states (Republicans will also caucus in Colorado, but that has no bearing on how the state allots its 37 delegates).

The question: if Trump wins most if not all of the states, what's his delegate haul? Remember, from here on out for Trump it's all about 1,237 delegates and getting the nomination the first ballot.

Let's set the over-under at 279 delegates, which Nate Silver hypothesizes as a reasonable number for Trump based on the candidate's previous performances.

Another GOP delegate over-under: 164 for Rubio. That's assuming he can clear the 20% delegate threshold in states he doesn't win (which he explains why he's been hopscotching around various Super Tuesday states like Alabama these past few days in hopes of delegate survival).

6. In the rush-to-judgment that is the cable-news trifecta of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, this would be an over-under on the number of different pundits who go on-air Tuesday night and declare the GOP race kaput.

Here's such an example, from CNN's Mel Robbins (a life coach and motivational speaker, which of course makes her an expert on American politics).

A more nuanced way of putting things in perspective: if Trump wins big on Tuesday, it's not over - but it very well could be in two weeks when the roads takes us to Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.

3. The marketplace loves Republican clarity. In theory, a big Trump performance on Super Tuesday would provide exactly that.

CNBC went back and reviewed some past election years.

In 2012, the S&P 500 dropped 2% in the five days leading up to Super Tuesday. After Mitt Romney's solid performance, the markets rose almost 4% in the next week.

Similarly, back in 1996, the S&P 500 dropped 2.9% the week before Super Tuesday. After Bob Dole solidified his hold on the nomination, stocks went up 2.3% the next week.

Two wagers here: (1) does a big Trump win result in a market bounce or drop-off - remember, he's not the same establishment figure as Dole and Romney; (2) if believe that the markets will give Trump a thumbs-up, does it rise over or under 3%, which is roughly the midway point between Dole and Romney.

1. The over-under on the number of international real-estates sites you'll be visiting after watching the frontrunners' victory speeches and fathoming that this is choice America could be facing?

Hillary-Donald. Is it really coming to this?

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Bill Whalen is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he studies and writes on current events and political trends. In citing Whalen as one of its "top-ten" political reporters, The 1992 Media Guide said of his work: “The New York Times could trade six of its political writers for Whalen and still get a bargain.” During those years, Whalen also appeared frequently on C-SPAN, National Public Radio, and CNBC.