This article first appeared at Betfair Australia’s The Hub, on 2nd February 2021
As one political era ends, a new one begins. Betting on the 2024 US Election is open. If anything like the last two, prepare for fireworks!
Throughout, I’ll be frequently rating the top 10 candidates and identifying any good bets from further down the list.
1: KAMALA HARRIS — $4.80
In a unique scenario, a first-term incumbent president doesn’t start out as favourite. That honour falls to the vice-president. The assumption built into this price is that Joe Biden, who will be 81 during the 2024 campaign, will either leave office early or retire, triggering a seamless transition.
The latter feels highly likely. Biden effectively came out of retirement to challenge Trump. I doubt he would have been the nominee against any other Republican opponent. If he does stand aside and endorse Harris, I expect she’d win any primary in a canter. Combined odds about the pair of them pays $2.80 — sure to be a good position come 2024.
A stand-alone bet, however, makes less appeal. The above scenario involves numerous ifs. If Biden is riding high in the polls, she’ll probably drift in the market.
2: JOE BIDEN — $6.40
Obviously, all the same factors are in play here. $6.40 about somebody who might well not run hardly stands out, 45 months from payday. But the longer he disproves the fears about his age and health, and retains high approval ratings, his odds should shorten. In 2024, the Democrat candidate will probably be odds-on, especially set against Republican chaos.
Running again at 81 is not unimaginable in US politics. Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are both older than Biden. Nevertheless, at this stage, I reckon Harris is likelier to be the candidate. Biden may already have decided and can enjoy governing without having to worry about re-election.
3: DONALD TRUMP — $12.50
Besides the occasional strategic trade or cashout, I’ve never regarded Trump as good value. His fame and fanbase drive his odds down. That still applies.
Based on the opinion of GOP primary voters right now, of course he would win their nomination. But much can, and probably will, change over the next 45 months. Following the Senate trial, Trump will face constant legal and possibly financial problems. A Democrat Congress will investigate and expose the crimes of his administration and the 2016 campaign.
Previously Trump quite brilliantly managed to divert from his wrongdoings, using an easily gamed media, his Twitter bully pulpit and later the office of the presidency. All that has gone. As has his brand as a winner. Whatever happens in the courts, Trump will age and fade in relevance.