Former VP Joe Biden Emerges From Democratic Debates as Betting Frontrunner, Sen. Kamala Harris Odds Drop

Posted on: August 1, 2019, 07:42h. 

Last updated on: August 1, 2019, 08:52h.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has emerged as the betting favorite following the second round of Democratic debates featuring 20 White House hopefuls. The debates, which ran Tuesday and Wednesday, featured several instances where the presidential candidates took part in heated exchanges.

Joe Biden 2020 odds Democratic debate
Joe Biden, gesturing toward US Sen. Kamala Harris, weathered a storm directed his way at the second Democratic debate, and the sun is now shining on him securing his party’s 2020 ticket. (Image: Scott Olson/Getty)

The second night featured Biden, as well as another frontrunner – US Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California). The man who was next in line of succession for eight years under President Barack Obama was continually pressured to defend his decades-old record in Washington.

Biden saw it coming. As he greeted Harris on stage, he could be heard saying, “Go easy on me kid.” Harris and US Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) – both more than two decades his junior – attacked the 76-year-old on working with segregationists in the 1970s, and his record on crime.

But like then-candidate Donald Trump four years ago, the person being attacked is typically who the contenders see as the best way to improve their standing. It didn’t necessarily work.

PredictIt bettors – those willing to put money on who they think will earn the Democratic nomination – saw Biden only improve his odds during the debate. His shares are trading at 26 cents this morning, up from 23 cents prior to the debates.

Harris Stock Drops

Each correct PredictIt share is redeemed at $1. If Biden indeed emerges to face Trump, the presumptive Republican candidate, bettors who buy at 26 cents will net 74 cents.

Harris was the aggressor last night, repeatedly challenging Biden’s history. “Had those segregationists had their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate, Cory Booker would not be a member of the United States Senate, and Barack Obama would not have been in a position to nominate,” Harris said.

Biden answered, “We’re talking about things that occurred a long, long time ago. Everybody’s talking about how terrible I am on these issues. Barack Obama knew who I was.”

Harris’ attack didn’t convince political bettors that she’s the person to take on Trump. Her PredictIt shares dropped from 24 cents prior to the debates – which had her the frontrunner – to 17 cents today.

US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is at 22 cents, US Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) at 14 cents, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounding out the top five at 10 cents. The 37-year-old Buttigieg would easily become the youngest US president if elected. The current record is held by Theodore Roosevelt (42 years, 322 days).

Odds Check

Political betting markets were more accurate than the polls in 2016. And they currently say Trump is the favorite to win in 2020.

William Hill has the commander-in-chief at 10/11 (-110) to be reelected. A $100 bet would net $90.91. The odds imply a chance of 52.38 percent.

Biden is next at 7/1, Warren at 15/2, Harris at 11/2, and Sanders and Buttigieg at 12/1. A few notable longshots include former first lady Michelle Obama (150/1), former first lady and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (200/1), and Oprah Winfrey (250/1).

Trump gave his recap of the debates on Twitter: “The people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great!”