This article first appeared at Betfair Australia’s The Hub, on 13th March 2020
Following another slew of victories for Joe Biden on Super Tuesday 2, the Democrat Nomination looks all but finished as a betting heat. The former Vice President is now a mere $1.09 for the nomination and $2.28 for the presidency. Bernie Sanders hasn’t withdrawn just yet and there are plenty of races remaining, including four big ones next week on Super Tuesday 3. I doubt any will be competitive.
The next big market to consider, therefore, is Biden’s choice of running mate. Here’s my analysis of ten candidates that prominent in the betting.
A running mate should ideally balance the ticket. That probably means he’ll pick a woman and a minority would be ideal. No wonder, therefore, that Harris is favourite.
She was early favourite to be the nominee but underperformed. Ill-judged attacks on Biden didn’t help. However, she’s firmly onside now and a prominent surrogate.
Harris is a heavyweight. Formerly Attorney General of California, she’s a strong candidate for that role in a Biden administration. Her odds are prohibitive though and on the downside, her state is already a blue banker, offering little in terms of electoral college advantage. Her past as a prosecutor, particularly regarding sentencing for marijuana use, is also problematic.
If picking a black woman is the plan, I’d prefer to back Abrams. Back at the start of the race, it was strongly rumoured that Biden wanted her early endorsement in exchange for the VP role. Whether true or not, that spoke of her popularity with the Democrat base. She was selected to respond to Trump’s 2019 SOTU address – an impressive accolade.
Abrams’ profile soared after narrowly losing the race for Georgia Governor in a dirty race where voter suppression was rife. The only negative in her case is a lack of governing experience – not ideal given Biden’s age and the inevitable speculation about his health.
Klobuchar’s endorsement was a critical, perfectly timed boost for Biden, enabling him to win her home state of Minnesota. She had beaten him in New Hampshire and they were pursuing the same segment of voters. That is why I’d be surprised to see her become VP.
Electable as she is – I haven’t altered my analysis that she was the most electable Democrat so far as swing, suburban districts are concerned – two white moderates would make an unbalanced ticket. Besides that, this respected, prominent Senator would be perfect for the ‘stand-in President’ role and is certain to be a major player in any Biden administration.
As ever, Hillary has her supporters in the betting. Forget it. No way will he pick such a divisive figure, given the need to win over left-wing critics. In any case, his vastly superior performance in the primaries against Bernie Sanders has seriously undermined her credentials. Never before has it seemed more obvious that her unique failings were the reason behind Trump’s election.
Here’s another leading black female politician, liable to rise up the betting order as she becomes better known. Demings was one of the House managers during Trump’s impeachment trial – an appointment that demonstrates the respect she has among the party leadership. She represents a district in Florida – always among the key swing states.
That electoral angle offers a potential edge over both Harris and Abrams. I’m backing her now at $25.