The rest of the world has become accustomed to watching the American electoral process. And betting on it, even while the practice is not legal in the United States.
While millions hunkered around televisions on Tuesday night to assess how their political preferences had been blended into the red, blue, liberal, conservative, Democratic and Republican slurry that is modern American politics, European bookmakers were eying results, as usual, like a sport. A sport whose outcome is of greater global importance than Brentford at Queens Park Rangers, certainly, but competitions require odds, after all. And President Donald Trump is a constant source of speculation for bettors.
And so it would appear that Trump is becoming a favorite again, particularly regarding whether he will face impeachment proceedings after the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives with 27 pickups for a 220-193 advantage.
Paddy Power sportsbook, likely acknowledging the excruciating mechanics of impeaching and removing a president, especially when his party controls on chamber of Congress had updated its odds of Trump being impeached in his first term to even on Wednesday with a “no” changing to 8/11.
Trump already had a firewall in the Senate, and Republicans picked up at least two additional Senate seats to burnish its advantage to 51-45. A recount may be required in Florida between Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson and former governor Rick Scott, whose lead is less than the .5-percent threshold needed for certification.
The Paddy Power impeachment odds, once at 10-1, had fallen to 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon, hours before polls closed. Even on Tuesday, though, Paddy Power had Trump as the favorite for re-election in 2020 (6/4).
Paddy Power is currently offering 13/8 odds that Trump will be impeached in 2019 and 14/1 in 2020. An aggregation of multiple sites at Oddschecker.com had the first-term impeachment odds at 5/4.
Impeachment and actual removal from office are different matters, however. The House of Representatives can begin impeachment proceedings with a majority vote, but two-thirds of the Senate must follow convict on counts of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” That’s highly unlikely with Republicans having added to their majority in the Senate, even with potential indictments and results from the FBI investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller presumably forthcoming now that the election has concluded.
What if Trump just resigned? Odds are 1/5 at Paddy Power for “no” and 3/1 “yes.” Odds are listed at 1/3 that he will complete his first term and 21/10 that he will not.
Of course, Paddy Power is also offering 20-1 odds that Trump will announce that alien life forms exist and 7-1 on withdrawing the U.S. from the United Nations.
Betting markets discovered a new champion in Texas on Tuesday night as Beto O’Rourke became the second-most popular choice as the 2020 Democratic presidential challenger after his surprisingly strong showing, but ultimate defeat in attempting to dislodge Republican incumbent senator Ted Cruz. On Wednesday morning, the charismatic O’Rourke, who produced the most heartening state-wide results in Texas in generations by drawing 48.3 percent of the vote had odds as short as 5/2 at William Hill and 8-1 available at 888Sport.
We just want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible. Everyone who made us feel hopeful, everyone who inspired us. Everyone who became the most amazing campaign we could have ever hoped to belong to. Grateful that we got to do this with you. We love you. Goodnight! pic.twitter.com/1j6JnhtP0f— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 7, 2018
Paddy Power had Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 7/1 and Elizabeth Warren, (D-Mass.) at 9/1 as most likely Democratic presidential nominees.
Speculating on Trump's prognosis in office, even as a source of wagering or statistical analysis has been a curiosity since his victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Trump struck a convoluted tone on Wednesday, at times advocating cooperation with House Democrats, then threatening them if they chose to exert subpeona power to look into his financial dealings or conduct regarding interaction with Russia before the 2016 election. He said in a Tweet: "If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level,” he wrote. “Two can play that game!”