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57 Senate votes for Donald Trump conviction falls short of required two-thirds

The President has plenty of legal worries, but wagerers don’t think the upper chamber of Congress is one of them.

President Donald J. Trump stops to talk to reporters as he walks to board Marine One and depart from the South Lawn at the White House on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Update February 13th 3:50 p.m.: Donald Trump was not convicted by the United States Senate. The final vote was 57-43 to convict, but two-thirds of all senators were needed so the threshold was 67 votes.

The seven Republican senators that joined all 50 that caucus with the Democrats were

Richard Burr: North Carolina
Bill Cassidy: Louisiana
Susan Collins: Maine
Lisa Murkowski: Alaska
Mitt Romney: Utah
Ben Sasse: Nebraska
Pat Toomey: Pennsylvania

Update February 9th 5:30 p.m.: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump will continue, as after four hours of presentations from both the House managers and President Trump’s legal team, the Senate voted 56-44 that the trial is Constitutional and can go forward.

However the chances of conviction in the Senate remain quite small according to bettors. You can buy a contract to pay you $1 that 67 Senators or more will vote to convict for just .04 on PredictIt.

The most likely outcome is 55 or 56 votes for conviction, which currently sits at .51, up .14 today.

Let us concede that betting markets have been notoriously unreliable in determining political outcomes in the United States during the 2020 election cycle. But there is still some predictive value in how they move, and the question at the forefront now is pretty interesting in terms of historic precedent and wagering value.

Will the United States Senate convict Donald Trump on the impeachment charges? And will he be allowed to run for federal office again?

Bettors at the US-based site PredictIt think there’s a small chance the Senate convicts the 45th President in absentia, but it’s pretty slim.

PredictIt post-Trump odds

Will the Senate convict Donald Trump in Biden’s first 100 days?

Yes: .22
No: .78

Bettors give it somewhere between a +400 and +500 chance that two-thirds of the Senate will vote to convict Trump on the charge of incitement before April 29th.

Perhaps more interesting would be the votes of individual Republican Senators, who might be more predisposed to making a choice based on how they interacted and felt about the January 6th attack on the Capitol, as well as their personal feelings about Trump.

Will Mitch McConnell vote to convict on incitement by Apr. 29?

Yes: .38
No: .62

Will Susan Collins vote to convict on incitement by Apr. 29?

Yes: .71
No: .30

Will John Thune vote to convict on incitement by Apr. 29?

Yes .21
No: .80

Will Mitt Romney vote to convict on incitement by Apr. 29?

Yes: .89
No: .12

If we had to make a choice, the Susan Collins vote would seem to be the best place to put your money. With her re-election just a few months ago to a six-year term, it’s unlikely she’ll face any political pressure. And this is an opportunity for her to send a signal that she wants the former President to learn a lesson for real this time.

The international markets have something to say about this as well, though they seem to be more favorable towards conviction.

Though there’s not quite an arbitrage opportunity when factoring in the American markets, the European side leans more towards conviction. But can the Democrats find 17 Republicans that want to keep Trump from being a factor in their party going forward? And would the resulting primary challenges make it more difficult to win re-election if so?

Right now there aren’t any markets we can find about the Senate just voting to keep Trump from running for federal office again, which might be able to be accomplished with a simple majority vote in both houses of Congress. But the odds there would certainly be more in the favor of Trump being barred, as the threshold could be just a simple majority of both chambers depending on which constitutional scholar you ask.

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