After another bad week for one-time runaway Iowa Caucus favourite Ted Cruz, the betting flip-flop is complete. Donald Trump is now down to 1.6, rated a 63% chance to win the opening stage of the Republican primary process. In the Democrat race, Hillary Clinton is forecast to withstand the Bernie Sanders surge at odds of 1.4 (71%). But can we trust the market signals?
If this were a contest to run a country, state or even a city, previous evidence would overwhelmingly say “Yes”. In every major UK or US election since the advent of Betfair in 2001, the favourite 100 days out in the main market – Next President or Winning Party, for example – has gone on to win.
In fact, these early primaries have proven an absolute nightmare for favourite backers in the last two US election cycles, producing big upsets and some of the most exciting in-running events in the history of political betting.