Wild Week for Trump Impeachment Odds
After last week’s parabolic surge on chatter of Ukrainian wrongdoing and the proceeding inquiry by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, betting market prices for a first-term Donald Trump impeachment have crescendoed, reaching as high as .72/share (or, roughly, a 72% probability) before settling back towards their current mark of .70. Last week’s question of whether Trump abused presidential powers by seeking Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s assistance in investigating Joe Biden’s son, Hunter; as alleged by a whistleblower; has emboldened Pelosi to seek formal impeachment. Naturally, the white house has denied any claim of wrongdoing.
With Joe Biden being one of Trump’s key rivals in 2020, his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine are of significance; as they could shine a light on the potential conflict of interest in being placed into lucrative positions with entities who, in return, may have sought to curry favorable policy outcomes. Pelosi’s motivations for the proceedings are also transparent, as she has taken a hawkish stance on leveraging congressional power to remove the sitting president.
This recent push cleared the impeachment market’s early 2019 highs, adding more volatility to an already choppy year. Previously, odds had collapsed from a mark of 54% in January; where bettors believed a smoking gun existed from the investigation by former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, into Trump’s alleged role in Russian interference in the 2016 election and subsequent coverup; to a low of 17% in April after the report was released without substantial proof of impeachable misconduct. The odds came rallying back to 41% in late May; on hopes stemming from the belief that this time Mueller’s congressional testimony and the release of an unredacted report would be damning for the President; before collapsing once again to 21% in early September after these events again failed to yield impeachable evidence.
Of course, another area affected by the recent news and impeachment inquiry is the broader 2020 election market. Although Trump’s re-election odds took a mild hit in the saga, he remains the favorite at .40/share. Joe Biden’s role in the Ukrainian matter, on the other hand, has hurt his betting odds for the Democratic Nomination, widening the gap between him and favorite, Elizabeth Warren. On September 25th, Warren’s lead surged to as high as .31 (.51/share vs .20/share for Biden), before Biden closed that gap to .24.
This action to kick off Q4 comes on the heels of what is sure to be an eventful election cycle for political betting. Given such headwinds as the contentious political climate, presidential election, and Augur’s impending update, there’s a strong probability that 2020 will see record volume and open interest.
This week, the team is continuing the downhill push towards v2 with an emphasis on:
- Polishing the onboarding workflow
- Testing the Reporting and Disputing UIs
- Finalizing notifications wiring
- Trading page UI integrations
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