Donald Trump Betting: Will the President Be Forced to Leave Office Early?
Guess what? Donald Trump is in the news. Pretty surprising, right? In the latest of what has been a steady stream of bombshell news reports, it was revealed over the weekend that the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., reportedly held a previously-undisclosed meeting last summer with a lawyer with ties to the Russian government.
As a result, there is now increased pressure on an administration that has found it extremely difficult to move past the Russian issue. These new revelations have once again brought up the idea that Donald Trump may not even finish his first term in office.
Certain bookmakers even have odds regarding whether Trump will last the full four years. Over at Ladbrokes, they have a number of Trump-related specials:
- Odds Trump will not be re-elected as President in 2020 (2/7)
- Odds Trump will serve his full first term (8/11)
- Odds Trump will leave office via impeachment or resignation before end of first term (11/10)
What Did Donald Trump Jr. Do?
The younger Trump reportedly had not previously disclosed the fact that the meeting at Trump Tower in New York City took place at all. Ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and current presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner were also in attendance.
The New York Times reported that a British publicist had emailed Trump Jr. in early June of 2016 and indicated that the Russian lawyer had some compromising information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that may have been of interest to the Trump campaign. The email also explicitly mentioned the Russian government’s efforts to aid the Trump campaign at the expense of the Clinton campaign.
Trump and his associates have continuously and relentlessly attempted to debunk the notion that they were aware of Russia’s attempts to meddle in the American election. The President himself has repeatedly gone on the record saying he is unconvinced that Russia did such a thing, despite a number of American intelligence agencies confirming that Russia tried to influence the election.
These aforementioned emails between Jr. and the British publicist sure make it look as though the Trumps were well aware of Russia’s intentions far before the revelations came to light publicly. The administration has insisted that the senior Trump was not aware that the meeting took place at all, which is beginning to look rather dubious. Donald Trump was in New York City and at Trump Tower the day the meeting took place in the same building.
So, we are hearing renewed calls for Trump to step down. However, we are still also likely a ways off from that actually becoming a realistic possibility.
If Trump Leaves, When Will He Go?
Ladbrokes also has odds on which year Trump will leave office:
- 2017 (5/1)
- 2018 (5/1)
- 2019 (8/1)
- 2020 (16/1)
- 2021 (11/8)
- 2022 (33/1)
- 2023 (40/1)
- 2024 (50/1)
- 2025 or later (8/1)
The site clarifies that if you think Trump will last his full first term before losing a bid for re-election in 2020, then you bet on 2021. If you think Trump lasts two full terms before the mandatory term limit will force him to step down, you take the “2025 or later” option.
Betting on 2017 would seem to be awful value at 5/1. We are already halfway through July, which means there are only a little over five months left in the year. Trump leaving office before the calendar flips to 2018 would likely be the result of some sort of health issue rather than something related to impeachment. That is, of course, unless some earth-shattering new revelations that he cannot possibly recover from come to light in the meantime.
2018 is also at 5/1, but it feels like a far more reasonable bet. One would imagine most of the investigations should wrap-up at some point next year. Obviously, investigations ending doesn’t spell certain doom for Trump’s time in office. It just stands to reason that if there is real dirt to be found on his campaign and administration, things could get dark for him real quick.
2019 is also not a bad play. We have no way of knowing for sure when the investigations will conclude, and perhaps it could take well into 2018. There will be all sorts of legal proceedings that will take place if necessary, which could draw this thing out for a while. The profit potential on 2019 is also a bit more favorable at 8/1. 2020 at 16/1 looks good, too, but that may be stretching it a bit.
2021 is the most likely scenario, as reflected by the betting odds. Trump may well make it through his first term before being replaced in the 2020 election, which would mean he officially leaves office in January of ‘21. The odds get super low after that. If Trump manages to get re-elected in 2020, it seems unlikely that he would suddenly be impeached or forced to resign in 2022 or ‘23.
If this (or any other) scandal is going to catch up with him and end his presidency, it’s almost surely going to happen in either 2018 or 2019. So, those are your two most logical bets.
We can circle back to the aforementioned “Will Trump serve his full first term?” bet. Ladbrokes slapped 8/11 odds on this one, so they don’t seem to be particularly confident that he’s going to be President until early 2021. Clearly, there’s not much value in betting on this.
Odds Trump Will Not Be Re-elected as President in 2020 (2/7)
The book seems to think Trump has a pretty slim chance of being re-elected if he manages to make it through his first term. While it makes sense given Trump’s historically low approval ratings already and the constant controversies that seem to be swirling around his administration of all times, re-election is obviously not impossible.
Trump winning the 2016 election was a huge shock to most. Most news outlets had Hillary Clinton well ahead in most pre-election polls, and it appeared as though Trump’s bizarre campaign wasn’t going to have gained enough steam with voters to carry him over the top. Well, in the end, it did.
It’s also a known fact that Russia helped out with that, and many within the intelligence community have publicly stated that they believe Russia will be trying to screw things up again during the next election cycle. It is currently unknown just how deep the Russian influence ran, or whether their interference was the determining factor in Trump’s surprising victory. Still, if they’re going to be making efforts to assist Trump in his re-election efforts, Trump’s chances of winning again cannot be written off.
We should also factor in the potential that Trump could resign just because he doesn’t like having to do the job. He has said that he already misses the life he had before becoming President running his own company in New York. Do we really believe he wants to keep doing this job that seems to be making him privately miserable? He’s also going to turn 74 in 2020.
So, yes, there is plenty of reason to believe Trump’s chances at re-election are slim.
Will Trump Leave Office via Impeachment or Resignation Before End of First Term? (11/10)
Two of the 45 Presidents in the history of the United States have been impeached. Both Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were impeached by the House of Representatives before later being acquitted by the Senate. As a result, they were allowed to remain in office. Contrary to popular belief, Richard Nixon was not actually impeached. Instead, he is the only person in the history of the American presidency to resign from office. He did so amid the Watergate scandal in August of 1974.
So, no President has ever been impeached and successfully removed from office. Nixon resigned before Congress had the chance to hold impeachment hearings.
Frankly, there’s never been a President in the position Trump currently finds himself. The idea that the sitting President may have worked with a foreign adversary in an attempt to undermine the United States’ election process is certainly a singular notion in American history.
So, there’s really no telling what will happen from this point on. Either Trump colluded with Russia, or he didn’t. There seems to be an awful lot of emerging smoke that indicates he certainly did work with Russia, but a damning, undeniable smoking gun has yet to be unearthed and made public.
It feels like a longshot to suggest at this point that Trump will leave his post disgraced, though we still don’t know all the facts about the matter at hand. It feels unlikely that he will be forced to resign and leave office before the end of his first term, but this constant stream of new evidence means the President is standing on some shaky ground these days.