Our good friend John Lott just sent us a link to the latest betting odds on next week’s outcome, which has Joe out front by two-to-one odds over Trump.  This prediction isn’t as strong in Joe’s favor as what Nate Silver is saying today, but betting odds aren’t predictive like poll results because people make bets for all kinds of reasons and in many instances bet differently than the way they will vote.

              There’s something else about how odds change on websites where you can bet the outcome of an election or bet on just about anything else. As money flows one way or the other, the odds change. So it’s not like watching a website based on polls where you only can judge the validity of the polls after the vote actually occurs. I can make bets on how much a candidate’s poll numbers change whether the candidate wins or not.

              The problem with betting services that take bets on the outcome of political campaigns is that the money comes from bettors who may or may not really follow the political campaigns. Many people consider themselves to be ‘informed’ bettors – they study things carefully; they check out the stories and the rumors swirling around. After all, they’re not just shooting their mouths off, they’re putting their bucks on the line as well.

              On the other hand, there are plenty of people who make bets without a shred of objective knowledge guiding the decision for how or why they make a particular bet. My grandfather put a dime down on ‘da numbah’ every day and God knows how or why he told Tiny the Bookie to ‘play 365’ instead of ‘366.’

              That being said, right now the interactive map based on betting odds has Joe with 290 electoral votes. Meanwhile, the interactive map at 270towin has Joe with 267 electoral votes with Pennsylvania, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas as toss-ups. But if all 4 EV’s in Maine go for Joe, ditto 2 Nebraska EV’s, then Trump is toast.  Now there’s a good chance that Nebraska might see one EV go to Joe, but there’s also a chance that Maine will split its 4 electoral votes between Joe and Trump. In which case, one of the other swing states has to move from red to blue.

              All of these meanderings, of course, are based on the assumption that we shouldn’t trust any of the polls because of what happened in 2016. But I’m not sure that we need to worry about what happened in 2016, if only because I can’t imagine that Joe and Kam put together a strategy for this year’s race without taking the 2016 debacle into account.

              One major change in this year’s contest is that the wall Trump built in the rust belt is now about as finished as the wall he’s been building to keep all those Mexican ‘rapists’ out. Joe has a 9-point lead in Michigan and a larger lead in Wisconsin. Pull those two states out of the Trump W column, and Joe only needs to beat Trump in one of the other states that Trump flipped in 2016.

              When was the last time that a candidate won the Presidential election with less than 310 electoral votes and a minority of the popular vote? Since the country was comprised of 48 states it has never happened . Not once!

              I thought that Trump ran a brilliant campaign in 2016. He knew exactly where he had to go and what to say to grab the brass ring.  I didn’t like what he said but I was impressed by how he planned and managed the campaign.

              On the other hand, the day after he was inaugurated and began lying about the size of the previous day’s crowd, I started to think that a brain which had functioned so well during the election had now been replaced by a brain that barely functioned at all.

              How could Trump have been so stupid to think he was now heading a new and growing ‘movement’ to make America great again? Just as well, because I’ll jump to one of those betting websites and take the long odds.