In just under three weeks on June 22, Democratic voters will go to the polls in New York City to select their candidate for a suite of offices, including, and most notably, the Mayor’s office. It has presented quite the opportunity to make some money by betting on NYC mayor odds.
With the New York City GOP in a remarkable state of disrepair – holding just three of the 51 City Council seats – the Democratic primary is the de facto election, and the race has generated lots of buzz. Here are the current prices on each candidate at PredictIt, as of Wednesday, June 2.
PredictIt NYC Mayor Odds
|All Other Candidates||$0.01|
Betting Guide For NYC Mayor Odds
New York City is one of 20 American cities using Ranked-Choice Voting. It isn’t necessarily about who gets the most first-place votes, but who has the most votes at the end of a multistage count.
If a candidate receives more than 50% of 1st-choice votes, they are the winner. If no candidate earns more than 50% of 1st-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds.
At the end of each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated. If you ranked that candidate 1st, your vote will go to the next highest ranked candidate on your ballot. This process will continue until there are two candidates left. The candidate with the most votes wins.
The election has been a volatile one, with a large number of candidates and the lack of a field-clearing favorite, but there is starting to be some clarity about the state of the race.
The race was originally supposed to come down to former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang versus City Comptroller Scott Stringer, but various misconduct allegations against Stringer led to an exodus of endorsements against him, and he has now joined the third tier of candidates whose only role in determining the winner will be in who their voters prefer on the ranked-choice ballot.
The race is coming down to three at this point, and it would be wrong to start with anybody other than Andrew Yang, who has long been the favorite in this race. Per both the polling and PredictIt odds, Yang has been the favorite for the vast majority of this race, peaking in the 70-cent range around May 1st. In sports betting, that would have been the equivalent of -233 on the moneyline.
Yang rose on favorability and name recognition gained from his quixotic Presidential campaign. For a long time, he was the most serious contender in NYC mayor odds, with a double-digit polling lead on initial preferences that would not be run down in subsequent rounds of polling. His PredictIt price reflected the growing consensus that the anti-Yang forces were going to be unable to beat him.
Now, Yang sits as the second favorite at 34 cents (implied price of +194), a fall mirrored in his position in the polls. Recent polls have shown him either in second place, or in one poll, third.
Yang’s main rival is Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and leading African-American candidate in the race, who managed to find an opening after the Stringer campaign imploded.
Three recent polls – from Change Research, Public Opinion Strategies, and the second-to-last Emerson College poll – have Adams either beating Yang or tied with him after preferences. That combined with Yang’s downward trend is why Adams is now the PredictIt favorite at 40 cents (implied price of +150).
That said, it isn’t as simple as that, because you’ll notice that those two candidates are both substantially below 50 cents in this ranked-choice election, leaving room for a third candidate. That’s where the third member of the ‘Big Three’ comes in.
Kathryn Garcia, the former Commissioner of the Sanitation Department, is running as the candidate of managerial experience and competence.
She was a low-polling candidate in the race until she received the New York Times endorsement. While that was not necessarily worth a ton in the abstract, it was a necessary boost to Garcia’s previously low-key campaign. It gave voters who previously knew little about her a reason to check out her beliefs more thoroughly.
The most recent Emerson College poll has her leading, both on initial preferences and after the distribution, but that poll was questioned for its accuracy by a member of another campaign and was fairly small, in terms of its sample. Nonetheless, for a candidate who was mired in the ‘and everyone else’ category of the race, that poll launched her firmly into the top three, even if that poll might have overstated her support. On PredictIt, she is available at 22 cents (implied price of +355).
Of the others, only Maya Wiley seems like she could make a run up the board, with a narrow path available to her if she can get progressives behind her. Other than that outside shot, it’s a three-person race.
Where’s The Value?
All three of these candidates have a plausible case to victory, and an even more plausible case for why they will lose. That’s why this is still an open race with less than three weeks to go. That said, I find the cases against Garcia and Yang more appealing.
Garcia has the NYT endorsement, yes, but she is also a relative unknown as a former city official. She is the candidate for a very specific kind of New Yorker – posh white social liberals who pine for the fourth term of Michael Bloomberg. In a majority non-white primary electorate, the collection of lawyers, bankers, and doctors who would love a tax cut but vote Democratic isn’t enough. Also, her position as a frontrunner has been in one poll by one pollster, which should lead to caution.
Yang’s harder to pin down. His support is down, and down a lot, from the beginning of the race, and he is flirting with third place now, which is never a good sign. Yang’s campaign has finally started to face the sustained pressure that many expected it to face as voting begins, and it seems to be working. He’s down across every poll, and frankly the only reason he’s even still a co-frontrunner is (basically) because of his name. If we didn’t know it was Andrew Yang – if this was some random City Council member with the same polling, and not a former Presidential candidate – we would be rightly saying this campaign is a tire fire that should be abandoned.
Both Yang and Garcia could win, but their PredictIt prices overstate their chances – in Yang’s case especially. Adams’ 40-cent price in NYC mayor odds implies that the field is more likely to win than him. While that might have been true weeks ago, Primary Day is three weeks away, and his most credible contender is stuck in neutral.