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Response to iluvtennis (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2019, 05:15 PM

10. Situation was hardly the same

Clinton was impeached midway through his second term. Impeachment finished in February 1999. There was plenty of time for dozens of variables to intervene before the 2000 election. And the out party historically has an edge after 8 years of its opponent holding the White House.

IMO, impeachment this time was viable from mid 2017 through early 2018. You can get a sense of the mood of the moment by those Tom Steyer commercials and when they appeared. That was late 2017, if I remember correctly. Trump's approval was in the 35-37% range consensus with some numbers dipping into the low 30s. If Democrats held the House at that point the nation would have been accepting of impeachment proceedings.

Much earlier in 2017 Nate Silver wrote a lengthy article about potential impeachment, noting the odds on Betfair and elsewhere. That link is here: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/chance-donald-trump-impeached/

Silver wrote: "But people putting money on the line are taking impeachment seriously. According to the prediction market Betfair, the chance that Trump will fail to serve out his four-year term is about 50 percent (!). There’s even a 20 to 25 percent probability (!!) that Trump doesn’t finish out 2017 in office, these bettors reckon."

As I was posting here and elsewhere, those odds were nonsense. Even gamblers have a tendency to overreact to day to day crap and ignore the big picture. I made money on those 2017 markets at the time. I also have futures that Trump will serve out his full term. But Nate's quote gives an indication of what the thinking was. The current odds on Predictit are 76/24 No regarding impeachment during this term, and 90/10 that Trump will be president at the end of 2019. I still think those are bad odds but they are not as ridiculous as the 2017 versions, when the GOP held the House.

If we impeach now, the timetable gets too close to 2020 and also the Democratic debates beginning this summer. Anything said has potential repercussions next year. Very risky to possibly hand an incumbent additional advantages. Obviously we are running against the same guy who would be impeached, and not a protege like 2000, when Clinton would have cruised to a third term if allowed.

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