[ Question ]

Will Donald Trump complete his first term?

by Annapurna1 min read9th Jan 20213 comments

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PredictIt has the "yes" at 0.80 cents: https://www.predictit.org/markets/detail/5158/Will-Donald-Trump-complete-his-first-term

Polymarket has the "yes" at 0.85 cents: https://polymarket.com/market/will-trump-complete-his-first-term

My intuition is telling me that there's an odds mis-pricing going on and there is a +EV bet to be made.

What do you think?

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Just based on the very short timeframe involved, it's hard for me to see that there's much chance that Trump will get removed from office. The House democrats sound reasonably serious about impeachment but there's essentially no time for a trial in the Senate, which is still controlled by Republicans. Almost zero chance of removal by impeachment.

(Predictit has "The Senate convicts Trump in his first term" at 8 cents so if you agree with me there's a sell opportunity there.)

The 25th amendment route is one that Pence and the Cabinet are going to strongly disprefer, so that seems like it will only happen in the case that Trump does something really egregious -- which again seems unlikely especially if there's a credible threat that removal could actually happen. Lots of angry social media posts, if he can find a place to post them, seems assured, but taking actions that would result in removal? What would those even be? Unless he's legitimately having a mental breakdown, and I see no particular evidence of that, this seems like a few percent at most to me.

That leaves resignation. Here I have trouble estimating probabilities. The persistent rumor is that he will resign and have Pence pardon him, but it's not clear that Pence will be willing to. But maybe resignation would avoid impeachment or removal and maybe there's a deal being made, so it seems like there should be at least a few percent chance of this happening.

Also it's strange that the odds of impeachment and the odds of completing his time in office are so similar. 

Aside from the pure arbitrage play of selling polymarket and buying predictit, I would probably just bet that nothing happens, since there's always a large chance that everything is just noise. Congress is in recess right now. So the predictit market seems like a buy to me.

Great answer. Thank you. 

I hadn't really thought about Trump resigning, but I don't believe the odds of that happening are anywhere near 20%. 

2Dagon16dThe question of self-pardon being upheld vs the likelihood that he can resign and get Pence to pardon him is key. 20% seems high, but he's notoriously hard to predict.