My debate predictions are that Monday night football will have its lowest ratings ever. In America, you’re not allowed to bet on the presidential elections. If you could, just imagine all of the different betting and prop bets that would be wagered. Anyone who claims he can predict the course of events tonight is betting against himself. Just look at wunderkind Nate Silver, who gave Trump a 3 percent chance of winning. He now has him at 48 percent, because here is the thing: how do you bet against someone who bets everything on himself? This is a novel and radical idea to Washington insiders, and the vast array of dim pundits. One is a candidate who goes all in on a daily basis, and the other is a candidate who lives in a constant state of hedge.
So here is my fun list of prop bets over and under, and all of that jazz. Who is taller? Donald with his regular height, or Hillary with her stepstool? Does Hillary fall off her stepstool? If she has a coughing attack, does it last for over two minutes? If she has a coughing fit, does Mr. Trump a) hand her a Luden’s b) call paramedics to the stage, or c) say: “yeah, she’s healthy?” How many times does Hillary cackle? Obviously, we can’t bet on the overall winner because, according to the media, Hillary will always be the obvious winner.
Whoever raises their voice is quite possibly the most interesting prop bet. That will be the real decider. Can Hillary bait Donald into a fight, or will Donald remain calm? Will his answers will be so vague that Hillary will just lose it? We already know Hillary doesn’t realize or understand why she isn’t up 50 points. Maybe Donald should just ask her on national TV why it is that she doesn’t think she is. There is no right answer to that question without offending at least half of the viewers watching at home. Let’s be honest with ourselves: if we were betting on who’s more knowledgeable on domestic and foreign policy, and on social studies questions, of course Donald will lose. So it’s a good thing most people aren’t tuning in for policy.
This debate isn’t for the 90 percent decided, it’s the 8 to 10 percent who are either undecided or too scared to say they support Trump. This debate is his to show not that he is “a great bet,” but that he’s “a safe bet.” Can you imagine how many voters would be swayed toward Trump if he acknowledged that, of course, Hillary has been more deeply involved in politics and policymaking? How has any of that ever helped us? Simply say: “Look at the world, and so much for all your knowledge and experience.” If Hillary has a coughing fit, or has to use the facilities, that’s just an added bonus for Mr. Trump.
So here is my bet. Most people won’t be watching to hear anything of substance. Most will be watching to see what color condiment Hillary will be dressed as tonight. Will she be dressed like Dr. Evil or like a Teletubby? Whether or not Donald loses it, or remains calm, or how many times he fights, not with Hillary, but with the moderators, or whether he will just be deemed a “sexist” on Tuesday morning, or a “racist” for arguing with Lester Holt, remains to be seen. Yeah, the bets and the odds are stacked against Mr. Trump. It’s him, center stage, not just against Hillary, but also against our state-run media. But how do you bet against a man who always bets on himself and whose life has been defined as one big all in?
So, yes we have some fun prop bets on this debate. Who will smirk more? Who will cough more? How many times will Donald Trump say “Islamic terrorism,” and how many times Hillary won’t? I’m betting on Mr. Trump’s humility, and his ability to not get baited, and his ability to humanize himself to the undecideds. It’s a long shot, I know, but I, for one, am not betting against him. This is an election of risks and we are a nation of risk takers, at least we were. So, why start betting safely now? My only humble prediction is that this will obviously be the highest rated debate of all time. I know, a bold prediction. Yeah, Mr. Trump has been awful for politics.
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