State of election markets: 352 Days

Bookmark and Share

I cut the Republican chart down to five candidates this week; four of them have a non-negligible chance of winning the nomination and, because many consider him the front-runner, Ben Carson. On the Democratic side of the election, Hillary Clinton went from dominate to nearly unbeatable as polls showed her insurmountable lead over Bernie Sanders growing. The attacks on Paris dominated political news in the past week; the effect on the markets is weakened by continued uncertainty of their eventual impact on the political scene.

Two very different views of the 2016 GOP primary

Bookmark and Share

The above link is to a story I wrote for NBC's new website: Data Points

State of election markets: 359 Days

Bookmark and Share

On a personal note, let me share my sympathy to the people of Paris in the aftermath of this devastating terrorist attack ...

Both parties debated this week and there was not much to show for it in the markets. The Republican debate was a draw for the major candidates; there was no meaningful impact on the Republican voters. The Democratic debate, at 9 PM ET on Saturday night, was designed to have no one watch, and it was the lowest rated debate of the season by far (half the next lowest rated debate). For those who watched, Hillary Clinton came in with a massive lead and nothing happened to shake that.

Marco Rubio, a distant third in the polls and a strong first in the market for the Republican nomination, had a solid debate on October 10. First, he stayed very focused on replying to all questions with snippets of his stump speech, regardless of the nature of the question. Thus, he was both passionate and made no mistakes. Fox News was happy to not challenge the candidates to answer their questions directly, after the blowback from the previous CNBC debate. Second, no attacks from other candidates stuck on him.

State of election markets: 365 Days or 1 Year!

Bookmark and Share

Today begins the one year countdown to Election Day 2016. Serious candidates have already come and gone (looking at you Scott Walker and Joe Biden), but while the Democratic side is basically wrapped up, the Republican side is still in a tight battle.

The top contenders for the Republican and Democratic nomination stayed stable this week. Marco Rubio continues to consolidate Republican establishment support, while Hillary Clinton, thanks to a limited debate schedule, basically walks away with the Democratic nomination.

The most interesting movement of the week was from Ben Carson, who went from unlikely to really unlikely on the strength of questions about his resume. There was no smoking gun; it is unlikely that any individual discrepancy will sink his candidacy. Instead, there is concern about both the confluence of questions and about what else the public does not know about the un-vetted candidate.

State of election markets: 373 Days

Bookmark and Share

The Republican primary got another jolt this week with Wednesday, October 28’s debate: Marco Rubio won and Jeb Bush lost. Rubio won because he beat up Bush, and they are the only two viable establishment candidates left in the race. Rubio beat up Bush by dominating him on his prepared offensive about Rubio not doing his job as a senator (in Rubio’s defense, running for president is a full-time job and pretty much every candidate sucks at his day job while doing it; I am looking you Chris Christie). This was not about substance or policy, but about personalities and debating ability. Rubio looked more comfortable and confident, and on Friday, October 30, Rubio was rewarded with Paul Singer’s money.

State of election markets: 380 Days

Bookmark and Share

Hillary Clinton followed up a strong debate with the other Democratic candidates, last week on October 13, with strong debate with the Select Committee on Benghazi, this week on October 22. Consequently, she has moved from really likely to almost certainly the Democratic nominee for president. Meanwhile, in the fight for the Republican nomination Jeb Bush downsized his payroll by 40% on October 23, but he was in a freefall starting October 17 as he struggled with questions tying him to his brother, George W. Bush. Equally important is that Donald Trump refuses to go away, increasing the probability that the Republican establishment coalesces around an establishment candidate soon; and, Marco Rubio has similar establishment positions and is now perceived to be more electable than Bush.

State of election markets: 387 Days

Bookmark and Share

The biggest news this week was the Democratic debate held on Tuesday, October 13. Hillary Clinton expanded her lead in the Democratic primary both by looking strong herself and her strength dampening the spirts of Joe Biden supporters. On the Republican side Marco Rubio continued to hold tight and slightly surpass Jeb Bush at the top, while Ben Carson jockeys with Donald Trump in the second tier.

State of election markets: 394 Days

Bookmark and Share

The market was pretty calm this week with Jeb Bush continuing to hold off Marco Rubio as the most likely candidate. His polling numbers look good, but his funding is still lagging; with several month left until the first voting, a poll of money is a little more important than the poll of the people. In the lower tiers, Carly Fiorina continued to cool off a bit with a small decrease in likelihood of victory, as Donald Trump and Ben Carson refused to budge (too much). But, the most interesting market news did not occur in any market, but in polling. Gallup declared that it would run no horse race polling for the 2016 primary. Polling has officially surrendered to markets!

State of election markets: 401 Days

Bookmark and Share

With no debates there was nothing dramatic this week in the markets, but there was something quite interesting. The top establishment GOP candidates continued to hold onto about 60% of the likelihood of victory, but Jeb Bush ceded a lot of ground to Marco Rubio.

State of election markets: 408 Days

Bookmark and Share

The previous week was punctuated by Scott Walker dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination on Monday, September 21 and Marco Rubio taking up all of his likelihood for victory (and some).

The key date is Wednesday, September 16, which was the second presidential debate for the GOP. Walker never got his voice and he consequently dropped out of the race the following Monday. Rubio, who like Walker is an establishment conservative, began taking some of Walker’s likelihood right after the debate, but he really scaled upwards after Walker formally dropped out. Much of this is anticipation of him taking his: money, endorsements, and voters.