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Divergence in Spudland: Polls and Bettors differ on Idaho

We are watching polls AND the betting table. A lot of times, this year, the polls have been so old as to be worthless.

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But we have a divergence to watch.

In Idaho, The Idaho Politics Weekly/Dan Jones poll has Trump way ahead, as of March 6:

Trump—30
Cruz—19
Rubio—15
Kasich—5
Someone else—9
Don’t know—11
Carson—11

Of course, that’s at least 22% that has to go somewhere else. But realistically, last-minute deciders don’t all go the same way, so Trump has the edge.

But here’s the surprising thing: Election Betting Odds says people have money on Cruz to win Idaho.

Again, this is not voting percentage, but probability of the Idaho winner, as of 10 pm, March 7:

Cruz—67.3%
Trump—27.4%
Rubio—3.3%

There are no polls for Mississippi (what’s up with that?), but Election Betting Odds are as follows:

Trump—87.2%
Cruz—12.7%
Rubio—ZERO

Likewise, there are no polls for Hawaii, but Election Betting Odds are as follows:

Rubio—36.8%
Cruz—31.8%
Trump—24.7%
Kasich—6.7%

In Michigan, both the polls and the betting table say it will be a blowout for Trump.

It will be interesting to see how good the bettors are. However, we should consider two things. First, as with all “live” betting, the odds change on a minute-by-minute basis. Second, the number of bettors is fairly “thin,” so if a few people drop some money on a name, the odds could change drastically.

Now, then, this is not exactly equal time, but we do have some Democratic primaries, too, on Tuesday. So, using the same sources as above, here are the polls:

Michigan—Clinton +37%

And the bettors give these odds of winning (probability):

Michigan—Clinton—90.1%
Mississippi—Clinton—99.9%

So. . .the state to watch will be Idaho. The polls show Trump with a lead, but the bettors say it’s more than twice as likely that Cruz will take the state. We’ll keep you posted.

Goethe Behr: Goethe Behr is a Contributing Editor and Moderator at Election Central. He started out posting during the 2008 election, became more active during 2012, and very active in 2016. He has been a political junkie since the 1950s and enjoys adding a historical perspective.