Donald Trump will resign the United States presidency before his first term is up — at least, that what bookmakers in Las Vegas and London believe. They believe it to be such a strong possibility that the bookies have narrowed the odds on Trump failing to make it through four years in the White House. What once seemed like a long shot bet now appears to be a wager hardly worth making, due to a low potential payout.
The odds also cover the possibility that Trump will be removed from office through the impeachment process. But with Republicans in control of both the United States House of Representatives and the Senate, even starting an impeachment proceeding, much less obtaining the Senate votes necessary to convict and remove the president from office, seems extremely unlikely.
To send articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, a simple majority of House members must vote to do so. That means, 218 votes must go in favor of impeachment. But Republicans currently hold 239 House seats to only 193 for Democrats. In other words, even if every Democrat voted to impeach, at least 25 Republicans would need to join them in order for the Senate even to initiate an impeachment trial.
While Republicans hold just 52 of the 100 Senate seats, giving them a far narrower majority, to convict and remove a president through impeachment requires at least 67 votes, a two-thirds “supermajority.” That means at least 15 Republicans would need to vote in favor of removing Trump from office even of every Democrat plus the two independent senators voted to convict.
That leaves resignation as the most likely way the 70-year-old Trump could leave office before his four-year term expires — other than his death, which is not included in the oddsmakers’ calculations. In fact, should Trump simply die before his four years are up, all bets with legitimate bookmakers would be canceled.
The last, first and to date, only U.S. president to resign was Richard M. Nixon, the 37th of the now 45 presidents to serve. Nixon stepped down on August 9, 1974, to avoid impeachment over his role in the Watergate scandal, which involved the bugging of the Democratic National Committee offices and a subsequent cover-up by Nixon and his White House staff.
Two presidents have faced impeachment: 17th President Andrew Johnson in 1868, and 130 years later, 47th President Bill Clinton in 1998. But neither was convicted and forced to leave the presidency before their respective terms were up.
Following the November 8, 2016, presidential election, Ladbrokes saw Trump as a 3-1 favorite to stay in the Oval Office through his four-year term. But the betting house has since reduced those odds to almost even money — odds of 11-10 — that Trump will resign of be impeached and convicted before his term is up.
The Irish betting firm Paddy Power sees slightly better chances for Trump, and somewhat more tempting odds for bettors, seeing Trump at 15-8 to resign and 4-1 to be successfully impeached. That is, bettors who put down $15 on Trump to resign will win eight bucks if, in fact, Trump quits.
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The Las Vegas legal oddsmaker Bovada will pay $180 on a $100 bet if Trump resigns or is convicted after impeachment during his four-year term. Those are odds of slightly less than 2-1 against his resignation or removal through impeachement.
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