As detailed in my latest piece for Politico, the big recent story in betting markets was the dramatic rise and fall of Marco Rubio – based on what amounts, in effect, to very little.
First the markets fell in love with Rubio after his much-vaunted third place in Iowa. Then they started dumping him, literally as he spoke, during a poor debate performance. After finishing a poor fifth in New Hampshire, his rating for the presidency slipped to it’s lowest mark since the summer, at around 9%.
Tonight, they may be on the way back, after some big developments ahead of Saturday’s key primary in South Carolina. The best news is the endorsement from SC Governor Nikki Haley, adding to a stack of key endorsements in the state, including Senator Tim Scott.
While it may not be enough to defy Donald Trump’s massive poll lead in South Carolina, it is expected to put him well clear of his main rivals in the side-race to become the only realistic, mainstream alternative to outsiders Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
Trump had been looking increasingly dominant in polls and stronger than ever after they stood up to real voting patterns in New Hampshire, although a shock poll just out puts Cruz 2% up nationally. I’m extremely sceptical about the latter numbers, despite it massively suiting my position.
Regardless of their increasingly bitter spat, both have their share of enemies and doubters in the Conservative movement. This substantial chunk of GOP voters must surely become inclined to coalesce around one candidate. With the strongest favourability ratings of any GOP candidate, and often portrayed as the most electable, that man will be Rubio.
In the week when his stock was rising, I recommended two positions on Rubio, securing a risk-free bet to win 105 units. Now as mentioned earlier on Twitter, I’ve gone in again, simply repeating the initial bet.
New bet: 25 units @marcorubio for next president @ 8.4. Will blog asap. Haley endorsement critical for SC & momentum/anti-Trump coalition.
— Political Gambler (@paulmotty) February 17, 2016
Now, the Rubio position risks 25 units for a potential 290 units profit. Regardless of the end result, these odds seem likely to shorten further. When they do, expect another cover bet. Keep an eye out for that and updated advice on our Cruz positions soon.