Place your bets
Who do you think is going to win this year's presidential election in the United States? Will it be Hillary Clinton? Will it be Donald Trump? With only six weeks to go, it's time to place your bets.
Note that I didn't ask you who you wanted to win the election, but who you think will win. Many people have great difficulty separating these two points. They see what they want to see. And they believe that what they want to happen is going to happen.
Take, for example, the first presidential debate on Monday evening. People who support Hillary Clinton (as I do) generally seem to feel that she had the better of that encounter. Trump supporters, on the other hand, tend to think their man was the winner. Surprise, surprise!
Frankly, having watched the whole debate, I didn't think that either candidate was very impressive.
Clinton was more composed and interrupted both her opponent and the moderator less often than Trump did. But she seemed self-satisfied and didn't offer an inspring vision of what she would try to achieve as president. Her main claim for the job seemed to be that she is not Donald Trump.
Trump was relatively restrained for his standards but that's not saying much. As the debate wore on, his normal rude, ego-based approach shone through. And his main claim to be president seemed to be that he hasn't held political office before.
Both candidates landed a few punches but there was no knock-out blow. After an hour and a half, I had to agree with one CNN commentator who described the debate as "a dreadfully horrific, boring and disappointing comment on American democracy".
So what do the opinion polls say? As you can see here, most of the recent polls have put Hillary Clinton in the lead. But Donald Trump has been ahead in a few polls, including the occasional lead in some key marginal states such Florida or Ohio.
An alternative way of assessing what is going to happen is to "follow the money". If people back up their opinions with money, they might be more likely to be telling the truth. This is why some experts believe that the odds offered by bookmakers provide a better guide to likely outcomes than opinion polls.
On this basis, Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favourite to become president (see here). Then again, both the opinion polls and the bookmakers got it spectacularly wrong in the case of Brexit.
Nevertheless, my money is still on Hillary Clinton. Where is yours?
- ‹ previous
- 545 of 545
- next ›