The pundits can say whatever they want. The campaigns can peddle their spin. The polls…well, they are what they are.
But if you want the best predictions about what’s going to happen with the 2020 Democratic presidential race, turn to the guys whose livelihoods depend on getting as close to the mark as possible: The bookmakers. They may or may not have a vested interest in who wins the primaries, politically speaking, but they definitely have an interest in setting the odds right. And so you can always count on the betting sites to give you a pretty good gauge of where we are.
Warning: If you’re reading this, and your name is Joe Biden, you might want to brace yourself.
In a piece on the election this week, Bookies.com wrote: “The fastest riser is a candidate who did not even run in New Hampshire or in the Iowa caucus: Michael Bloomberg. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s odds are in free-fall after his dreadful fifth-place showing in New Hampshire.”
Indeed, the two have largely switched places from November, when few betting sites gave the former New York mayor a prayer of winning the nomination. But after four solid months of spamming the airwaves with endless advertisements, Bloomberg is now seen as having a 33.4% chance of taking home the big prize at the end.
“Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, shortens to +450 and is closing on Sanders fast. Skipping the first two states was an unconventional strategy, one which has never worked before, but it’s hard to imagine a way it could’ve worked out better for Bloomberg thanks to chaos in Iowa and a tighter vote than expected in New Hampshire,” Bookies.com explained.
According to betting site averages, Bernie Sanders is out in front with a 40.3% chance of winning the nomination. He’s closely followed by Bloomberg in second, Pete Buttigieg in third (12.4%), and then, oof, the man once seen as the uncrowned king of the 2020 primaries: Joe Biden with a meager 9.8% chance of winning. That’s down from 53% in October.
“The shocking fall of presumed front-runner Biden, now +3000, continues. He is fifth in pledged delegates following the first two contests. Polls indicated he was strongly in contention in New Hampshire until he suddenly wasn’t. Nevada and especially the South Carolina primary (Feb. 29) are critical given Biden’s longstanding fundraising problems, which were masked until recently by his standing in the polls,” Bookies.com wrote.
This is a Jeb-like decline for the former vice president, who was once seen by many pundits as the sure successor to President Donald Trump. Apparently, if you yell at enough people at town halls and tell them to go “vote for someone else,” it turns out that they do just that!
Speaking of Trump, he’s a -170 favorite to win re-election. Just saying…