Trump presidency faces longer odds after Iowa, betting sites say

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up gesture at his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican candidate Donald Trump’s odds at becoming the next president of the United States took a hit following his loss to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the Iowa caucuses, two online betting sites said on Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, both Ladbrokes PLC and Paddy Power Betfair PLC said the real estate tycoon’s odds of winning the November election were now 7/1, compared to 3/1 on Monday. That reduced his chances for victory to 13 percent from 25 percent on Monday.

Cruz won Monday’s Republican Iowa caucuses with 28 percent of the vote compared with 24 percent for Trump, whose aggressive and unorthodox campaign has been marked by unorthodox and controversial stances such as calls to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States or build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has taken over as the favorite to become the Republican nominee after a stronger-than-expected third place finish in the caucuses, Ladbrokes said. His odds for the nomination were 4/5 on Tuesday, giving him a 56 percent chance. Trump’s odds were 11/4, giving him a 27 percent chance.

“This could be the first sign that the Trump bubble is about to burst,” said Matthew Shaddick, head of political odds at Ladbrokes, said in a statement. “The betting is now firmly pointing toward a Clinton-Rubio showdown in November.”

Trump’s odds have improved since he declared his candidacy in June, when they were 100/1, giving him a 1 percent chance, Ladbrokes said.

Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by David Gregorio