2024 Election Odds: Joe Biden No Longer The Favorite To Earn Democratic Nomination

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Written By Evan Scrimshaw | Last Updated
election odds

Kamala Harris became the favorite today in election odds to be the Democratic nomination for President at PredictIt, a legal political betting exchange. Her odds are shortening everywhere else, too.

After a debacle of a Presidential debate, Democrats find themselves having to figure out what to do. Joe Biden looked and sounded old. Now, some senior Democrats want a new nominee, and with four months to the election, there’s around the incumbent President. Oh, and Donald Trump’s still a convicted felon. Presidential election odds are now a mess, but I believe this may create an opportunity.

Be sure to check back leading up to Election Day in November for our Presidential election odds tracking, updated daily.

2024 Election Odds Movement

ZOOM: MARKET:

NAME ODDS PROBABILITY
Donald Trump -145 59%
Joe Biden +285 26%
Kamala Harris +400 20%
Gavin Newsom +1900 5%
Robert Kennedy Jr. +4900 2%
Nikki Haley +9900 1%
Pete Buttigieg +9900 1%
Ron DeSantis +9900 1%
Tim Scott +9900 1%
Vivek Ramaswamy +9900 1%

Implied probabilities are calculated using data offered by PredictIt.
Last Updated: 2024-07-13 03:00:02 PDT.

Presidential Debate Debacle

Joe Biden bombed that debate, and there’s no point pretending he didn’t. Donald Trump didn’t have a good debate either, but focusing on that is just a way to lie to yourself if you’re a Democrat. It’s like U.S. Men’s National Team soccer fans focusing on Mexico also losing in the Group Stage. It’s an effort to distract from the real problem.

Biden looked old, barely coherent, and unable to process or communicate. Unlike the past, where Biden’s stutter has hindered him, this was worse. Biden genuinely seemed unsure of what he even wanted to get across.

Since the debate, a former Democratic Senator, a former House member/2022 Senate candidate, and an Obama-era Cabinet Secretary have all called for Biden to relinquish the nomination.

The majority of polls conducted since Thursday have shown Biden in a weaker position than that poll’s previous baseline. A tactical leak of private Democratic polling shows Biden losing in states like Virginia and New Hampshire after the debate, let alone the core swing states.

Post-debate focus groups showing the debate didn’t move many voters have been mostly confirmed, but given Biden was losing, a draw to slight loss after the debate isn’t good enough. More plainly, Biden doesn’t seem able to run the kind of campaign he will need in order to win again.

Will Joe Biden Remain The Democratic Nominee?

The last incumbent President to not seek re-election for a second term was Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. LBJ ascended to the Presidency after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and was elected by a landslide in 1964. By 1968, his public approval rating was under 40 percent, and there was widespread opposition to the Vietnam War.

What Other Elections Have Taught Us

Today, the path forward for Biden definitely theoretically exists, as modern political history shows, both in America and outside of it. Whether it was the 2016 release of the Access Hollywood tape or Mitt Romney’s debate demolition of Biden’s old boss Barack Obama, big moments have undone itself.

Go abroad, and you’ll be reminded Justin Trudeau had photos dropped of him in Blackface during a campaign he’d subsequently win easily. Boris Johnson had the cops called on him under suspicion of domestic violence in the summer of 2019 before winning the biggest Conservative majority government since 1987 that December. In all these cases, there were pundits lining up to declare their careers over.

Why Biden’s Issue Is Different

The difference is none of those scandals affected the day-to-day ability to do the job. Obama looked aloof and elitist, but Romney’s 47% gaffe and his private equity background were enough to save Democrats. Trump’s graphic words about grasping parts of the female anatomy didn’t change the fact that social conservatives needed to vote for him to stop Hillary Clinton from filling Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat.

Blackface was (shockingly) easy to brush off as a youthful indiscretion in Canada, and in the U.K., Boris’ then-girlfriend stood by him and claimed their fight never crossed a line. In none of these cases did the crisis make people think that these people could fall asleep in the middle of a national crisis.

It seems there is little you can say to reassure enough voters that four more years of Joe Biden doing the job of President of the United States is a good idea. Even Jon Stewart, in his return to The Daily Show, has said Trump’s age (78) and Biden’s age (81) are fair game, and it’s the responsibility of the campaigns to convince voters.

Even those willing to walk over glass to stop Trump find it hard to defend letting someone serve as President as an 86-year-old. This is why Democrats are gripped with the question of replacing Biden, and 2024 election odds are seeing sharp movement in multiple markets.

Can Biden Be Replaced?

Sure, he can if he chooses to step aside.

If that happens, a lot of the talk about potential replacements misses the point. If Joe Biden is not the nominee, I believe it will be Kamala Harris. CNN released a poll on Tuesday showing Biden down six points to Trump. That said, Kamala is down two, the best of any named candidate. It seems those betting on Democratic nomination election odds over the past few days understand this.

Gavin Newsom polls as badly as Biden and is seemingly only believed to be a serious contender because coastal elites know his name. He underran Hillary’s margin by six in the blue wave year of 2018, and his non-existent campaign in 2022 allowed Republicans to win the House. Newsom is a terrible electoral performer. He won’t be the nominee.

Gretchen Whitmer makes slightly more sense in that she’s a swing-state governor who has won by double digits twice. However, she ran against two horrible GOP nominees, and the Michigan Republican party is about as competent as a Gregg Berhalter USMNT soccer attack these days. She polls worse than Biden nationally, which could be noise, but “great electoral performer in a state where the opposition is a mess” also described Ron DeSantis. His national run was a joke.

The other reason Kamala will be the nominee is simple – Black voters won’t tolerate another option. Skipping Kamala for a white nominee would be (correctly) seen as a slap in the face to the African-American community. It would be another example of Democrats wanting Black votes and not really caring about the community. At a time when culturally conservative Black voters are a big concern for the Democratic Party, skipping the Black Vice President would go over like a lead balloon.

Will Kamala Harris Get The Democratic Nomination For President?

Will it be Kamala Harris? I think so.

Biden is facing a tough spiral. He is being attacked by insufficiently cogent Carl Bernstein on CNN with hits about private moments, and staffers are leaking that Biden is only mentally all there until about 4 p.m. every day. These stories aren’t going to stop next week. Jared Golden, one of the most vulnerable House Democrats, wrote an op-ed Tuesday saying Donald Trump will win. This status quo is not tenable.

Hunter Biden wants Joe to drop out. Nancy Pelosi, who Biden has worked with for decades, is starting to give unfriendly quotes, including saying both candidates should take mental fitness tests. Jim Clyburn, who we all have to thank/blame for Biden winning the 2020 nomination, has said he wants Harris if not Biden. This is just not tenable.

Any replacement relies on Biden accepting he should not run for re-election. But at the end of the day, Biden cannot be so vain as to put his ego ahead of the party’s interest in an election where he has said democracy itself is on the ballot.

When Was The Last Brokered Convention?

It is at least worth noting what happens if the Democratic National Convention opens in August without any candidate having enough delegates to become the party’s nominee. A brokered convention takes place when talks and negotiations occur between campaigns and delegates in order to sure up enough votes to become the nominee. Due to the primary elections, it has been a long time since one took place.

The last brokered convention was in 1952 when Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson after three ballots. In 1948, the Republican Party nominated Thomas Dewey. That was the most recent brokered convention for the GOP. Although, the 1976 Republican National Convention came close when it opened contested. President Gerald Ford did do enough, though, to earn the nomination over Ronald Reagan on the first ballot.

2024 Election Odds: Presidential Election

Biden is an underdog to beat Trump, even if he’s the nominee.

Whether Harris would be a favorite or an underdog depends a lot on the circumstances of her theoretical appointment as the nominee. If the party faces a nasty floor fight and open convention in Chicago, she’s an underdog. If she gets the nomination in a well-choreographed coronation, she starts something like 50-50 against Trump.

Presently, there is heavy uncertainty around any projection of how Harris would do. At DraftKings Sportsbook in Ontario, Harris is +1600 to be the next President. I live in Ontario, and I bet this Tuesday night because it’s incredibly off-market. Legal US-based markets have her at the equivalent of +455. 

As of Wednesday morning, Harris is +175 at DK Ontario to be the Democratic nomination, and Democrats are +135 to win the election.

Best of luck navigating 2024 election odds!

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