Media Touts Trump's Worst Week Ever, But What Does Data Say About Impeachment?

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Posted: Jun 22, 2018 12:54 PM
Media Touts Trump's Worst Week Ever, But What Does Data Say About Impeachment?

While the mainstream media is obsessed with Trump’s immigration policies, and the financial media is obsessed with the escalating trade war with China, the political betting markets think Trump’s doing great.

On PredictWise, which tracks the probability of an event based on betting markets and other information, Trump's impeachment/resignation is now the least likely it has ever been. Trump is now at a 73% probability of finishing his first term. Surprising, I know, considering that the media says this is the worst week of his presidency. And while it’s certainly been bad for Trump’s approval ratings and the Dow, the political markets are increasingly skeptical of the Mueller investigation.

This is the leakiest administration in modern memory. Everything of note that’s happened to Trump was leaked, both before and after his inauguration. If there were some grand collusion conspiracy, we would’ve already heard about it. Arguments from silence are weak, I know, but with an administration with this loose a lid on things, you do have to wonder. So far, the picture that we’ve been able to cobble together is that while there might have been a willingness to collude, borne partially out of the Trump campaign’s incompetence, there is no reason to think he actually colluded.

The media is aware of this, which is why they’ve shifted their focus away from “collusion” and towards immigration and trade. Unfortunately for them, the markets are signaling that as bad as those two things might be for Trump, they’re not going to get him impeached.

The public has generally lost faith in the impartiality of the Mueller probe. Those in support of Trump regard Mueller as a partisan deep-state hack, and those opposed to Trump regard Mueller as an American hero taking down a tyrant. The rest of us generally regard his investigation as somewhat biased against Trump but not totally corrupt.

Just so we’re clear, “collusion” is not a crime, and “impeachment” is not a legal procedure. Impeachment is a political procedure, done in the House. The Democrats are relying on there being a case that Trump has abused the office to the extent that they can justify impeaching him. The problem is, they need to have a majority in the House to do so. And over the past 3 months, the probability of Democrats taking the House in 2018 has dropped from 72% to 62%.

But that’s just to impeach Trump; they need to convict him in the Senate to remove him from office. To do that, they need a 2/3rds majority. And the probability of Republicans keeping the Senate is, interestingly, almost exactly the same as the probability of Trump finishing his first term – 75%. 3 months ago, it was 64%.

So, in essence, in order to convict Trump, the Democrats need to take the House (because you’ll never get House Republicans to vote to impeach) and either take the Senate or convince a large number of Senate Republicans to vote to convict. Given how the majority of Americans - 53% - now distrust Mueller, it’s looking less and less likely every day that the media will get its wish and see Trump removed.