Saturday, April 2, 2016

The relapse into Trump denialism and the betting markets

If you take a look at PredictWise, you will see that Trump's chances of getting the nomination right now are supposedly 58%, with Cruz sitting at 25%, Kasich at 11%, Paul Ryan at 4%, and Mitt Romney at 1%.

This... makes no sense.  Take a look at the history of those odds.  Immediately after losing the Iowa caucus, Trump's odds plummeted from just over 50% to around 20%.  From losing one contest.  We saw what happened next.

The basic problem was that people overstated the importance of a single loss because Trump denialism requires grasping at any straw available to pretend that Trump's imminent collapse is really about to happen this time.  The previous two winners of the Iowa caucus were Rick Santorum in 2012, and Mike Huckabee in 2008.  Trump's loss there was a blip in his campaign.  And yet, his chances of winning, according to the markets, dropped 30 points.

Now, polls show Cruz pulling ahead in Wisconsin, which is stoking talk about the party establishment stealing the nomination from Trump at the convention.  Clearly, that means Trump's chances at the nomination must have dropped 20 points.

Haven't we learned our lesson?

Trump could still lose.  But let's not overreact to one state again.

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