Most amateur political junkies are familiar with the term “convention bump” – the concept that a presidential candidate gets a little ‘bump’ in the polls after voters have spent the better part of a week marinating in non-stop, well-orchestrated praise for said candidate.

There’s even a fancy looking “convention-bump model” developed by one Jim Campbell that looks to predict the popular vote based on the candidates’ standing in polls before and after the conventions#:


The past few elections may have seen their impact diminished – blame changes in convention scheduling, an increase in political polarization, and a general shift from “event television” to social media – but the convention bump remains a very real polling phenomenon. Earning its due place in the political hot take machine each election season#, pundits love to wonder just how poorly a candidate can do and still get that slight uptick in the polls.

Because, believe it or not, even Donald J. Trump – even after the plagiarism scandal, even after the Cruz non-endorsement – has seen his Presidential stock rise during the four days of the Republican National Convention…


These few points may not mean much in the long run when it comes to Trump’s overall chance to win the presidency (Goldwater, Mondale, Dole, and Gore all had bigger bumps than their competitors), but this noted convention bump of his is nevertheless incredibly significant for one very specific demographic of the population…


In the two weeks leading up the convention, Trump’s odds had decayed from +200 (2-to-1 odds) to +280 (2.8-to-1 odds); while Clinton saw her odds of winning the election go from -340 (you’d have to bet $340 to win $100) to -240 (you’d only have to bet $240 to win $100) – meaning this little convention bump of Trump’s has created what gamblers call “value.”

And value, my friends, means opportunity.

Not to get too in the weeds, but betting odds are derived by “the house” (i.e. the casino, your bookie Steve). Now, the goal of the house is to get equal action (i.e. the # of bets) on each side of the bet, since they both take a cut of each bet made and don’t want to get burned by one specific outcome. However, that also means sometimes the odds they post don’t accurately reflect the probability of a certain outcome happening.

Think of a team like the Green Bay Packers…


Because SO many people love rooting for them, Vegas likes to shift the odds of Packers games not to reflect their actual chance of winning a game, but to try to balance out the irrationally heavy number of bets on the boys from Green Bay.

In other words, there is “value” in betting against the Packers – the same kind of value that will be created the minute Trump, to thunderous applause, steps off stage after his speech at the RNC tonight.

The big question for the general election is whether Trump can break the high-30s/low-40s ceiling he’s found himself hardheadedly butting up against, but tonight the answer is simple:

$100 on Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Bet with your conscience.