2016 Presidential Primaries: The Battle for New York

For months, the conventional wisdom has been that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are on a 2016 collision course.

Both candidates have won a majority of primary states for their respective parties (Clinton has won 20 of 37 states so far, Trump has won 21 of 31). In terms of pledged delegates, Clinton holds a lead of 1,310 to 1,094 over Bernie Sanders (2,382 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination). Meanwhile, Trump holds a 755-521 lead over Ted Cruz (1,237 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination).

However, these numbers do not tell the whole story.

While Clinton and Trump remain the front-runners, they have both been trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks.

Sanders has won eight of the last nine primary contests on the Democratic side. He has cut into Clinton’s delegate lead substantially and, as a result, his nomination odds have surged.

Odds to win the Democratic Nomination (BetOnline)

Candidate 4/12/16 4/4/16 3/30/16 3/21/16 3/7/16
Clinton -600 -700 -800 -1000 -1250
Sanders +400 +450 +500 +800 +800

After topping out at -1250 to win the nomination in early March, Clinton’s odds have fallen all the way to -600. Meanwhile, Sanders’s odds have risen from +800 to +400. A similar trend is taking place on the Republican side.

Odds to win the Republican Nomination (BetOnline)

Candidate 4/12/16 4/4/16 3/21/16 3/2/16
Trump -110 -110 -350 -425
Cruz +175 +200 +500 +2000

While Trump remains the favorite to win the nomination, his odds have been tanking (-425 to -110), while Cruz has been surging (+2000 to +175).

The two front-runners have also seen their 2016 odds slip in recent weeks.

Clinton has fallen from -240 to -195 while Trump has gone from +300 to +400. Meanwhile, Sanders has risen from +1200 to +700 while Cruz has skyrocketed from +3300 to +800.

Odds to win the White House (BetOnline)

Candidate 4/12/16 4/4/16 3/21/16
Clinton -195 -200 -240
Trump +400 +450 +300
Sanders +700 +600 +1200
Cruz +800 +1000 +3300

The race now moves to the critically important state of New York, which holds its primary on April 19th.

To no one’s surprise, Trump is a big favorite to win on the Republican side. After all, New York is Trump’s home state. Also, Cruz’s brand of far-right conservatism does not play well in the Empire State. Neither does the fact that Cruz used the term “New York values” to belittle voters at a debate earlier this year.

On the Democratic side, Clinton is a big favorite. This isn’t a shocker. Clinton represented New York for two terms as a Senator and has forged countless alliances with party leaders throughout the state.

Currently, BetOnline lists Trump as a -8000 favorite to win New York (Cruz is +2000). As a result, if you believe Trump is still in line to win the nomination, you may want to put your bet in now as his odds will surely rise following a big victory in New York.

However, if you believe in the overall trendline which shows Trump sinking and Cruz surging and you want to place a bet on Cruz you should probably wait until after the New York primary to do so. Trump is expected to win in a landslide and, as a result, Cruz’s nomination odds will fall. This will provide Cruz bettors an even better number (instead of +175, his nomination odds will likely move to +300 or so following a blowout loss in New York).

Meanwhile, Clinton is -1250 to win New York (Bernie is +700). This makes sense as the latest polls show Clinton up by about 10 points. However, Sanders has been closing the gap more and more each day (months ago the same polls showed Sanders down 30 points or more in New York).

Translation: if you think Bernie can pull it off in New York, you should bet him now because that +700 will likely fall to +600 or +500 in the coming days as he continues to barnstorm the state and spread his progressive message.

Also, if Bernie wins New York it will change the entire trajectory of the race. Sanders is currently +400 to win the nomination and +700 to win the White House. If he can win New York, those numbers will change drastically. Since many of the remaining states that come after New York favor Sanders (most notably California), it’s not unrealistic to think that a win in the Empire State could springboard him to the nomination and even the presidency.

On the flip side, if you still think Clinton is a shoo-in to win the nomination and the presidency, you may want to place a futures bet on her now. If Clinton wins in New York, she will only become more of a favorite.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are you buying the line movement that shows Clinton/Trump falling and Sanders/Cruz rising? Do you think Sanders can pull off the upset in New York and use it as a launching pad to secure the nomination and the White House? Or are you sticking with Clinton to become the next President?

Are you placing a bet on Trump now knowing his odds are sure to skyrocket following a landslide victory in New York? Or are you waiting until after the primary to place a bet on Cruz so you can get a better number?

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Josh Appelbaum

Josh Appelbaum is the Customer Service Manager, Affiliate Manager and Political Expert for Sports Insights. He can be reached at joshua@sportsinsights.com.

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