With so many Republicans vying for position ahead of the primaries rich donors are awaiting a clear front runner before gambling on a White House winner
The race for the White House in 2016 is already underway. It might be taking a back seat at present to the preparations for Christmas and the squabbles about the budget, but it remains in the back of every politician’s mind, and will stay there for the next two years. With President Obama having had his two bites at the cherry and Joe Biden a little too long in the tooth for the top job the Democrats are scurrying to find a successor with the ever present Hillary Clinton gambling news of her running will scare off opponents in her own party.
However whilst the Democrats have the incumbency of the President and a defacto candidate all ready to rock and roll, the Republicans are still reeling from having lost so badly in 2012 and despite their landslide in the mid-terms many of the party leadership worry that this won’t translate into such a majority come the Presidential ballot. The Republicans have no shortage of candidates, and indeed perhaps that’s part of the problem, it has become very difficult to predict whom stands the best chance, and political donors are gamblers just like the rest of us.
Betting On Politics In The US
• Republican & Democrat Nomination odds
• Big donors holding off donating
• Candidates seeking backing for primaries
Donations to political campaigns are rarely free of strings, with the major contributors insisting on certain positions or attitudes of the candidates to whom they donate. This then creates a competition between the candidates to gain the funds required for a run from the same few ultra-rich donors, and the competition is already fierce. Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie are all still in the mix to run, and all need the money to do so. The fact none of them stand out from the field has led many richer donors to delay doing so .
In 2012 the Republican primaries were a bloodbath that saw costly infighting have a negative impact on the party’s image as a whole, and many donors are looking to avoid funding that sort of unproductive political back-stabbing, awaiting a clearer candidate to emerge from the likely two dozen various hopefuls that will finally toss their hat into the ring. They are also aware that donating to conflicting campaigns within the same party is tantamount to burning money for no return.
Super-PACs Support GOP Candidates
It is also interesting to note that Sheldon Adelson, casino owner and massive contributor to the Republican party, has shelved plans to be as generous as he has been in past elections, instead opting to set up his own Super-PAC to influence races rather than simply giving his money to candidates, some of whom, he discovered, were wasting much of it. Having donated nearly $100,000,000 dollars to independent groups that supported GOP candidates last election, it would seem the gambling mogul wants a far more direct influence on where the money goes in 2016.
With his own agenda firmly behind banning online casinos in the US (because they compete with his brick-&-mortar casinos) Mr. Adelson is likely to do all he can to have the gratitude of the next President, but after the spectacular failure of Romney to secure victory it would seem the decision on whom to back is very much on the back burner till a clearer candidate becomes visible. There’s much talk about Jeb Bush who is yet to announce, indeed there’s somewhat of a chicken-and-egg issue no whereby donors want a clear candidate, and candidates want unequivocal fiscal support from donors and neither is making the first move.
This gives Hillary and the Democrats a massive advantage as Ron Weiser, a former RNC finance chairman makes clear. “There will be a coalition of people who are going to really focus on making sure the Democratic candidate is not able to take a huge advantage. If Hillary is the Democratic candidate, she will be in a position of being able to define the leading Republican candidate long before it’s clear who has won. The same must be done to Hillary in order to be sure she doesn’t gain an advantage.” Whether that knowledge will translate into an actual negation of her leading status is another matter, especially if the finance isn’t there.
The likely candidates are already beginning fund raising, a process that got underway almost as soon as the mid-terms were done, but the lack of enthusiastic support has left many campaigns stilted and uncertain, hamstrung by the reticence of traditional avenues of fiscal support. Republic politics seems to have become the big gamble, and whilst US gambling laws entitle people to bet on a long-shot there don’t seem to be any takers amongst the usual collection of millionaires and vested interests. For the rest of us, we perhaps don’t have to stake quite so much.
Reality Of Politics On TV
Betting on politics has always had a slightly odd feel to it, a little like betting on human suffering, but in this modern age of the 24 hour news cycle and blanket media monitoring of everything a candidate does and says, even when they’re unaware of being on camera or mic, alongside the all seeing eyes of the internet and social media, the ability to keep up with the ongoing political shenanigans has turned it into a sporting event in which various people attempt to win a race by making the fewest number of mistakes in public, and these days it only takes one to count you out of the race.
In fact politics has become entirely akin to reality television. This entertainment form been irritating us all for nearly a couple of decades with shows like Big Brother and Survivor attempting to show us the gritty interaction between real people in frankly quite unreal situations. Be they trapped in a house, stuck on an island or shoved up the jungle these ghastly people do all they can to garner attention and publicity, seeking approval for their every action and desperately trying to hide all their flaws and mistakes from the glare of the cameras’ attention. At the end of the overly lengthy series there’s always a winner that at fifty percent of the viewers wished had drowned on day three, and we’re then stuck with them wittering on as if their victory entitled them to our attention, respect or adulation.
The parallels are unmistakeable. The only real differences being the contestants on reality TV get far more public support and votes than any politician, and politicians end up making decisions that effect the rest of us – and tend not to release formulaic pop records. Gambling on who’ll win a TV show that is under the influence of the program’s producers is a mug’s game, but politics has no overarching control and lurches wherever it may whilst we all look on. This makes it a superb two-year long game with plenty of betting opportunities along the way, and the bookies know it.
When it comes to the Republican Nomination you can find 3/1 on Jeb Bush, 4/1 on Marco Rubio and 5/1 on Rand Paul with Chris Christie just off at 6/1 with the rest of the field trailing out to Donald Trump on 150/1…….which is amazingly short odds given his actual chances. The Democratic nomination is a
little more clear cut with Hillary on 2/5 and the nearest competitor, Elizabeth Warren only just ahead of Joe Biden on 8/1. Joe himself is holding at 10/1 and thus it goes on till Michelle Obama on 100/1. Which pair will joust it out for the top job in 2016? You’ll have to place your bets and wait to find out like the rest of us.