Sportsbook Posts Odds on Identity of Anonymous New York Times Op-ed Writer Inside Trump White House

Sep 06, 2018 11:57 AM EDT

Aug. 14, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Vice President Mike Pence speaks during the America First Tax Cuts to Put America First event at The Westin. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

  • The New York Times published an op-ed Wednesday titled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration," which is written by an anonymous senior official.
  • Oddsmaker has released odds on the identity of the writer, with Vice President Mike Pence the most likely candidate (60% implied probability, -150 betting odds).

On Wednesday, the New York Times published an op-ed entitled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration.”

It is reportedly written by a senior official in the Trump White House, and the Times has stated it indeed knows who the author is but will not disclose the writer’s identity.

The lede of the piece:

“I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

President Trump was not happy about the piece, calling it “gutless,” and has already called on the Times to publicly identify the author of the piece.

Who is the author of the Trump New York Times op-ed?

(A note before diving into more detail: Clearly, by looking at the cumulative probabilities, you can tell this is a novelty prop with the odds heavily tilted in the sportsbook’s favor.)

The field has the highest implied probability at 75% (-300 odds), with Vice President Mike Pence right behind at 60% (-150 odds).

Twitter analysts immediately identified Pence as the frontrunner, largely due to the use of the word “lodestar” in the piece, which is defined as “one that serves as an inspiration, model or guide.”

It’s not a very common word, but apparently Pence has a history of using it:

The senior officials with the next-best odds are U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (33.3% probability), along with Mike Pompeo (U.S. Secretary of State), Steven Mnuchin (U.S. Secretary of the Treasury), and John Kelly (White House Chief of Staff), all of whom have an implied probability of 20%.

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