- Donald Trump has climbed to the top of the odds to be named Time Person of the Year
- Trump has vaulted to a +350 favorite after lagging at a distant +800 bet over the summer
- Previous favorite Greta Thunberg has fallen off the board, while Boris Johnson’s rise to power in the UK has lifted him to a +400 second-favorite
As the clock ticks down towards the announcement of who will be named Time Person of the Year for 2019, US President Donald Trump has emerged as the favorite to take home the honor for the second time in four years, rocketing to a short +350 wager in the entertainment odds at sportsbooks.
Odds to Win 2019 Time Person of the Year
|Cast and Creators of Game of Thrones||+500|
|US Women’s National Soccer Team||+900|
Odds taken on Dec. 4
Trump Dominating the News Cycle
Trump has regularly dominated, and dictated, the news cycle in 2019. In addition to an array of controversial policies that include an American withdrawal from the UN Paris Agreement on climate change, an aggressive border strategy, and expanded trade war with China, the president has also become the focus of a Democrat-led impeachment inquiry designed to destabilize his power base ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Tomorrow, Democrats will get THREE constitutional lawyers and Republicans will only get ONE!
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) December 3, 2019
The impeachment hearings ongoing in Washington have captivated American news junkies, spurred a litany of sometimes outrageous tweets and candid statements from the president, and has also boosted Trump from his middling position as a +800 bet back in August.
Trump Leading the Way in Re-election Odds
And despite facing daily accusations of wrongdoing, Trump continues to maintain a steady approval rating of 43%, matching the rating given to Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency. The prospect of impeachment has also failed to shake Trump from his perch atop the odds of winning re-election next November, where he continues to lead the way with average odds of -110.
In Nov '11 Barack Obama's approval rating was 43% (Gallup) and no one in the "unbiased*" press clamored about him being sooo low & unpopular.
Fast forward to Nov '19
The media is now saying #Trump approval is terribly low. What's his approval? 43%…from the same damn poll.
— Tim Nagle (@TimmybearGOP) November 26, 2019
With Trump sucking up so much of the air in the room, those trailing him in the Person of the Year odds face a huge challenge in their bid to sway the Time editors tasked with picking this year’s winner. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sits second to Trump at +400, just ahead of the cast and creators of Game of Thrones at +500, and comedian turned Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at +600.
Greta Off the Board
In addition to Trump’s rapid climb, what is most notable about the latest odds is the absence of climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who led the way as a short -150 favorite back ion late August. The Swedish teen made headlines this year with her silent but persistent solo protests outside Sweden’s legislature, calling on lawmakers to take action on climate change.
— Defend Our Future | #StayHome ?✊?✊?✊ (@DefendOurFuture) November 26, 2019
Thunberg’s efforts quickly made her the darling of the climate change movement, and her arrival in North America for an appearance at the United Nations and subsequent tour of Canada and the United States received substantial media coverage.
However, Thunberg’s now-famous rant at the UN quickly became fodder for memes mocking the 16-year-old, and her subsequent statements condemning free markets and embracing far-left policy proposals has cost her considerable support, diminishing her chances of becoming the youngest person to be named Person of the Year in the 92-year history of the award.
Johnson’s Rise to Power Reflected on Odds
Conversely, Johnson has vaulted to a second favorite after failing to crack the odds board back in August. The 55-year-old shook up British politics after moving into 10 Downing Street in late July, promising to follow through on taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union, with or without an agreement.
— SimpleNews.co.uk (@Simplenewsuk) December 4, 2019
While his efforts to do so by the recent October 31 deadline failed, Johnson’s Conservative Party continues to ride high in the opinion polls ahead of this month’s UK general elections. With a fresh majority in the House of Commons, Johnson would have a freer hand to move forward with Brexit. But timing is not on Johnson’s side, with the British people scheduled to go to the polls on December 12, one day after the planned announcement of this year’s Time Person of the Year.
Cultural Icons GoT, Zelensky Intriguing Dark Horses
The cast and crew of Game of Thrones have earned a spot among the favorites based on the massive success of television show. GoT established itself as a cultural phenomenon during an eight-year run that ended with a series finale in May that smashed viewership records.
#GME | "Think about it – the fictional president, the TV president has become the real president."
Volodymyr Zelensky, a TV star turned politician, has won the Ukrainian election in a landslide victory.
— euronews (@euronews) April 22, 2019
Previously the star of a political satire TV show called Servant of the People, in which he portrayed the president of Ukraine, life imitated art with Zelensky’s stunning election as president in April, taking over 73% of the vote in second-round balloting. However, it wasn’t until later this year that Zelensky became a household name outside Eastern Europe following a conversation with Trump that became the focus of the current impeachment hearings in Washington.
Pick: Donald Trump (+350)