Although it is far away, the race for the 2024 Republican nomination is already informally underway, with politicians of all ideological bents trying to position themselves as the logical successor to the GOP of Trump. In the case of the former President, he’s arguing for the continuation of the GOP’s current trajectory. At this early juncture, Republican odds have taken a surprising turn.
The question of who they’ll pick is one of the more interesting parlor games at this point, and obviously, we can bet on it at PredictIt, so let’s walk through it.
PredictIt Odds To Win 2024 Republican Presidential Nomination
|Nominee||PredictIt Price||Equivalent Odds|
|Donald Trump Jr.||$0.03||+3233|
*odds as of July 12, 2021
You can’t start this conversation anywhere but the former resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and so the question becomes will Trump win the nomination again. He opened as the favorite among Republicans in 2024 election odds, but that has changed at PredictIt. He is no longer the favorite to win the nomination at that exchange.
The question of Trump is really two questions – what are the chances he runs again, and then if he runs again, will he win a GOP primary?
The first question is harder to peg, in my view, than the second. The first one is fairly straightforward if you take his words at face value. If you listen to him right now, he’s running. If he is in control, he will run for the nomination, and if he runs, he is undoubtedly the favorite for the nomination. Trading at the 26 cents he is right now on PredictIt, that would be a very attractive price. That is the equivalent of a sports bet at roughly +285 odds. In other words, a $100 winning bet would profit $285 and return $385 total.
The question of whether Trump would win a nomination is fairly robust, and also easy – why would voters choose a Trump-style candidate who isn’t Donald Trump when Donald Trump is on the ballot? Early polls, for whatever they’re worth, show no substantial movement away from the former President and no candidate who can credibly challenge the President with a distinct power base. So the question becomes whether or not Trump will run.
Betting on questions of legality and health are generally awkward, but it is the case that Trump would be 77 years old when he would launch a Presidential campaign in 2023 and 78 by inauguration day. He’s old, not in particularly good health, and he could – either by choice or lack of physical ability – decline a run on health grounds, opening the door for a Trumpian continuity candidate.
The other question is whether various investigations into him or his businesses could land him in prison, but while that is possible, it is not exactly likely – and most people talking about it are, to be frank, wishcasting liberals who want to see a man they hate make a perp walk.
The Governor of Florida, DeSantis is now the favorite in Republican odds for 2024, with a 28 cent price on PredictIt. That is the equivalent of a sports bet at roughly +257 odds. In other words, a $100 winning bet would profit $257 and return $357 total.
Those odds reflect his status as both a favorite if Trump were not to run again and some amount of equity on the proposition that he could beat Trump even if both ran. DeSantis has gotten credit on the right for how he never instituted the more restrictive COVID lockdowns in 2020 and how he has handled his state generally. His willingness to engage with the cultural issues on the rise in conservative circles – like passing a bill to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools – has earned him this favorite status.
The case for DeSantis if Trump doesn’t run makes a lot of sense. He’s Trumpian, he can read the base, and he would presumably be the candidate of organized Trumpworld if the former President doesn’t run again.
That said, he also has Kamala Harris Syndrome, which is to say there is a huge risk that he’s peaking too soon and that the increased attention and scrutiny on him now will put a target, and a microscope, on every decision he makes and has made in the past. Harris was similar in the 2020 cycle – a fresh faced elected official who met all the on-paper criteria for being a strong candidate who ended up crashing when the stage was the brightest. It’s a real risk for DeSantis.
The Rest Of The Field
After those two, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of names, with Nikki Haley, Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo eating up room on the odds board without having a realistic path to victory. All three have theoretical appeal in a GOP primary, but none of them have anything resembling majority appeal, and no path to it. Pence and Haley will be hurt by their brief dalliances with criticizing Trump, and Pompeo’s highest elected official was a former member of the House. None of them are serious contenders.
If you’re looking for contenders from way down the Republican odds board, Ted Cruz (5 cents; +1900 equivalent), Josh Hawley (4 cents; +2400 equivalent), and Tucker Carlson (4 cents) all present potential bets worth making. None of them have any chance if Trump runs and is a credible candidate, but all three represent candidates worth watching – all three have credibility with the GOP base, with Cruz and Hawley having voted to object to the Biden victory in the morning of January 7th, and Carlson using his prime time Fox perch to rile up conservatives. If there is going to be a candidate from the relative longshots who finds a way to get to the top, those three represent the best chance of it happening.
For those who may be hoping that Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney could find a path on a more moderate ticket, those dreams should be dashed. Romney’s votes to convict the President twice rule him out of winning this Republican primary altogether, and Rubio is actually even less likely to win. Rubio is too moderate for the base of the party but he isn’t actually a moderate – he said in his 2016 run that he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would repeal the decision to legalize gay marriage, for one thing – and so he is a man without a base, in a sense.
Final Thoughts on Republican Odds
All in all, the biggest threat to Trump not being the nominee in 2024 isn’t another candidate, but time itself. If he isn’t the nominee, it is unlikely to be because he ran a credible campaign and lost, but more likely to be because either health concerns or legal liability kept him out of the race. While both of those concerns are valid things to concern prospective Trump bettors, it is hard to say that those make it so anybody, even Ron DeSantis, should be considered a favorite in Republican odds over the former President.