A maths expert has “finally” found a use for probability and on Tuesday will calculate the odds of Donald Trump being impeached.
Tim Trudgian will use a free public lecture at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus to explain the odds of impeachment using nothing but secondary school mathematics.
It is being hailed as a chance – to paraphrase Trump – to MAKE PROBABILITY GREAT AGAIN, but it is the president’s supporters who may have the last laugh.
Dr Trudgian is an ARC Future Fellow at UNSW Canberra and is in town for La Trobe’s GS Watson Annual Lecture.
He says there are more hits for “Trump impeachment” on Google than there are people in Australia.
Dr Trudgian’s calculations are bound to leave many people disappointed, including those who have sunk money into online betting sites.
“What I hope to show is that it is unlikely, certainly much more unlikely than betting markets suggest,” he said.
Dr Trudgian had come across sites that were offering even bets on an impeachment, but the problem with them was that bookmakers were inflating odds to discourage more people from taking bets.
After all, paying out too many bets one way could bankrupt a bookie.
“So the odds a bookmaker gives are a reflection of the bets people make, not the chances of something happening,” he said.
If you are wondering, the odds of an impeachment are higher than an asteroid strike, but not likely.
“It is maybe more unlikely than people would want to hope. Who could blame them for not liking him, but the odds of Trump going are so remote,” Dr Trudgian said.
Dr Trudgian will reveal his odds on Tuesday and while he concedes they will not be 100 per cent accurate, he is confident they will be in the right ball park.
Calculating the odds would start with the chances of the Democrats regaining either house in Congress.
As it stands, the Republicans appear likely to retain the Senate, so impeachment will come down to who chooses to go against their party.
“What are the odds of any one person saying ‘I am going to burn my party leader; and I am going to go down in history as part of the first Senate ever to impeach our own president’?” Dr Trudgian asked.
“Those odds are pretty low. Once you play around with the numbers, even if you set them quite high, it is exceptionally difficult to work things out in favour of impeachment.”
The hour-long lecture will take place at the Education Lecture Theatre at La Trobe University Bendigo campus on Tuesday from 4.30pm.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.