The Ukraine controversy has dramatically impacted the gambling world’s perspective on the potential for President Trump’s impeachment. Over the last week, as more details have emerged about Trump allegedly “pressuring” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, bettors are increasingly convinced that House Democrats will move forward with impeachment.
According to Politico, as of Tuesday, 173 House Democrats currently agree with moving forward on impeachment while 62 are not on board, at least yet. NBC News, which reports the same numbers, notes that some Democrats on their list “have called for an impeachment inquiry or hearings, some believe the House Judiciary Committee is already undertaking an inquiry and are supportive of that investigation, while others have gone further and called for drafting articles of impeachment.”
With the momentum building on Capitol Hill, it’s unsurprising that bettors are increasingly willing to put their money on impeachment. Online prediction site PredictIt shows a significant spike over the last week in the potential value of bets that Democrats will pass at least one article of impeachment. Here’s how the site presents the question of Trump’s impeachment:
During Donald Trump’s first term as president of the United States, the full U.S. House of Representatives shall, by simple majority vote, approve or pass one or more articles of impeachment of President Trump. Neither trial nor conviction by the U.S. Senate, nor removal from office, is necessary to cause this market to resolve as Yes.
PredictIt’s decisions and determinations under this rule shall be at PredictIt’s sole discretion and shall be final.
In one week, the value of the bet on the site more than doubled, spiking from 24 cents (which equates to a 24% chance it will happen) on September 17 to 61 cents (or 61% chance) on September 24. Prior to the significant upswing in value, the bet hovered between just 21 to 27 cents. The highest the value reached in the preceding three months was 33 cents on June 26.
Another bet offered on the site is how many impeachment articles will be submitted by March 31, 2021. Currently, the “zero” option is worth 39 cents, while the “5 or more” is worth 38 cents.
As The Daily Wire reported, Democratic presidential candidates are getting fully on board the impeachment train, including the current frontrunner, who happens to be at the center of the Ukraine scandal, Joe Biden.
“He’s going to make the point that Trump’s latest abuses are on top of all of his prior abuses,” a Biden campaign spokesman told the Washington Examiner. “He’s going to call on Trump to comply with all of Congress’ outstanding, lawful requests for information — in the Ukraine matter, and in the other investigations — and if Trump does not comply, Congress has no choice but to impeach.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is even more anxious for impeachment to move forward. “The House must impeach. It must start today,” she tweeted. “By failing to act, Congress is complicit in Trump’s latest attempt to solicit foreign interference to aid him in U.S. elections. Do your constitutional duty and impeach the president.”
Trump, who has maintained his innocence, shook things up even more Tuesday by announcing that he’s authorized the release of the full transcript of the June 25 call with Zelensky that started it all.
“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”