Monday, November 14, 2016

Ten to One Against the Odds: Cashing in on Trump's Magnificient Victory

I really do not have the money to bet. I do not have any interest in it either. Whatever makes compulsive gamblers want to try their luck against a casino seems to have no hold at all on my otherwise fragile neural-system. Nevertheless, I was pressured into a bet on the presidential election.

After Trump locked up the nomination in July, one of my friends at the gym bet me $100.00 that Trump would lose the election. I do not bet, as a rule, so I turned him down: "I don't have that kind of money."

"I'll bet $100.00 to your $10.00 that he will lose," he replied. I was tired from 20 minutes on the elliptical. I shook his hand and took the bet. I could handle paying him $10.00 if Trump bombed out in November.

At any rate, I showed up at the gym this afternoon and my friend discretely handed me the $100.00 bill posted above. I tried to give him his money back. He refused. "Were you surprised?" I asked. "Oh, yes," he exclaimed.

I suppose I learned a little bit about my own political calculus. This summer, I would have accepted a ten to one odds against bet on Trump. I would have and I did. Based on everything I know about polling and presidential elections, I knew in my heart that Trump's chance of winning was well above 10%.

John C. Drew, Ph.D. is an award-winning political scientist.

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