Analysing the mid-terms, I argued that Donald Trump will not be re-elected and that there was a good chance he wouldn’t even be on the ballot. Today let’s consider who will take him, or a Republican replacement, on in the 2020 US Presidential Election.
Huge field expected for Democrat primary
2020 will see a Democrat primary like never before. Anybody with even vague White House ambitions will be excited following the best Democrat mid-terms results since Watergate. With Trump engulfed in one scandal after another, possibly facing impeachment, there has never been a better time to be the Democrat Nominee.
The politics may be in total contrast to what we saw in the explosive 2016 Republican primary but the dynamics similar. Then, 18 candidates produced an anarchic process that required the TV companies to show an ‘undercard’ debate preceding the main event. The resulting circus produced unpredictability, constant drama and defeat for mainstream politicians.
Kamala Harris remains in pole position
A case could be made for at least 15 candidates. CNN’s Harry Enten listed his current top-ten rankings plus three wildcards and that didn’t cover the field by any means. His number one is also top rated on Betfair – California Senator Kamala Harris is available to back at 9.4 to be Next President and [6.0] for Democrat Nominee.
Harris was actually the first bet I advised on this market at 15.0 last October but I’ve since laid the stake back. Assuming she runs, her chance is obvious. The California primary is much earlier than usual in the next cycle and whoever wins it will be front-runner.
Harris will continue to get much exposure scrutinising Trump via her role on the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is a strong inclination among Democrats to pick a woman. She’s in pole position but that is reflected in short odds and there will be plenty of other women involved. For example Enten rates Elizabeth Warren 18.5 second and Amy Klobuchar 40.0 fourth. At the same odds, Tulsi Gabbard 32.0 and Kirsten Gillibrand 40.0 are attracting support.
High-ranking Democrats lack an obvious star
Consider the dynamics of a crowded field. The effect of 18 candidates on the Republicans produced Trump. A star, rather than a predictable, boring politician. Somebody whose noise and ability to game the media drowned out all others and serious policy debate.
Everyone may be wiser to the latter effect now but the first remains fundamental. To get a hearing, candidates will need to fast develop a public profile and name recognition, plus resources to get their message across. It isn’t obvious that any of those aforementioned names will be up to that task, or able to differentiate themselves from the pack.