2024 US President Odds: Is A Biden Vs. Trump Rematch Inevitable?

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on December 14, 2021
2024 us president odds

With the New York Times reporting that there’s more conversations around the identity of the 2024 Democratic nominee for President, the state of the 2024 US President odds are in flux – which makes it a good time to see where the value can be found.

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2024 US President Odds: Democratic Primary

CandidateDec. 14, 2021 PriceEquivalent Odds
Joe Biden$0.40+150
Kamala Harris$0.23+325
Pete Buttigieg$0.16+525
A. Ocasio-Cortez$0.05+1900
Elizabeth Warren$0.04+2400

*All other candidates $0.03 or less, as of Dec. 14, 2021

Let’s start with the Democratic nominee odds, where Joe Biden is the most likely single nominee, but the market thinks that the field is more likely to be the nominee than Biden. Obviously, there is some downside risk betting on the 79-year-old incumbent with more than 2.5 years until the nominating convention, but if he’s healthy, he’s gonna be the nominee.

Biden is still leading an active schedule as President, and there has been no credible or serious allegation that his age has ever been an impediment to his ability to do the job. Yes, he has gone to his Delaware home on weekends often, but Presidents leaving the White House on weekends is not uncommon. Donald Trump routinely went to Mar-A-Lago, George Bush would go to his ranch in Crawford, and Camp David has been a destination for many past Presidents.

If Biden runs, he will not be credibly or seriously contested for the job. Maybe some crank progressive without an elected position might try and primary him, mostly to raise a national profile and some attention, but that attempt will be thoroughly dismissed by everybody in the Democratic Party. Biden is going to do everything he can to run again.

If he doesn’t run, then the race gets interesting, as the Times reporting focused on. Would Kamala Harris, as the sitting Vice-President, be given an easy ride? If you believe the reporting, no, but I have my doubts.

We’ll start with Pete Buttigieg, the oft-mooted rival to Harris for the next non-Biden nominee role and current Transportation Secretary, whose 2020 Presidential run was a success, if you remember he went from Mayor of South Bend to a member of the U.S. Cabinet in two years.

The reason Pete never got any credible traction for his run was simple – he was unpopular with Black and Hispanic voters, and once the 2020 Primary got away from the white enclaves of Iowa and New Hampshire, his momentum ran out. Are three years as Secretary of Transportation really going to reverse that, especially running against the first Black Vice-President?

Make it even easier, and you remember that Harris chose Buttigieg to do pre and post-debate spin for her one Vice-Presidential debate in 2020, and that the two of them have done their fair share of joint events together this year. Why would two friends run against each other?

Go through the rest of the potential contenders, and you get the same pattern. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be barely eligible to serve as President by election day 2024, so there’s no reason for her to launch a quixotic Presidential campaign that will inevitably lose.

Elizabeth Warren has all of the baggage from her 2020 sparring with Bernie Sanders, and she has limited support with non-white voters. So she’s unlikely to run, if she even considers another bid, and Sherrod Brown won’t give up on his crucial Senate seat to try and win a contested primary.

If Biden runs, he’s the nominee. If he doesn’t, it’s Kamala. Betting on anyone else is the triumph of intrigue over logic.

2024 US President Odds: Republican Primary

CandidateDec. 14, 2021 PriceEquivalent Odds
Donald Trump$0.43+133
Ron DeSantis$0.27+270
Nikki Haley$0.08+1150
Mike Pence$0.06+1567
Tim Scott$0.05+1900

In the GOP Primary, we see a similar dynamic, where the health of an aging occupant of the Oval Office is holding the rest of the field in place.

If Donald Trump runs, he needs to be understood as a heavy favorite in this race. Trump is still adored by overwhelming majorities of Republicans, and every time polls ask a GOP primary question, he is the overwhelming favorite. He is, in some ways, the only thing keeping the GOP united.

Trump manages to have the support of both pro-life cultural conservatives for his successes in putting three anti-Roe Supreme Court justices and the more economically liberal, ex-Democrat Republicans who have switched over in the Midwest and Appalachia, and there’s no evidence any other Republican can put that coalition together.

Ron DeSantis, often named as a leading anti-Trump, has what can be described as Kamala Harris’ 2020 problem, which is she made a lot of sense on paper but couldn’t get ahead of the person in her lane, Joe Biden. In the same way, DeSantis is a logical answer if Trump doesn’t run, but he can’t beat Trump.

In terms of the other rans, Nikki Haley has said way too many anti-Trump things to be considered plausible, Mike Pence is persona non grata with the GOP base for (correctly) enabling the certification of the Presidential election on January 6th, and Tim Scott’s path is non-existent because the average Republican has no idea who he is.

Trump’s gonna run in almost all circumstances, and he’s highly like to win the nomination, and a 42-cent price is fairly absurd.

General Election

CandidateDec. 14, 2021 PriceEquivalent Odds
Donald Trump$0.30+233
Joe Biden$0.25+300
Ron DeSantis$0.22+355
Kamala Harris$0.12+733
Pete Buttigieg$0.08+1150

Democrats should be considered favorites to win the next election, as there is a path for Democrats to win the Electoral College without either Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, both trouble spots for Democrats. The states Hillary Clinton won in defeat, along with Michigan, Arizona and Georgia would be enough electoral votes for Democrats, and all three of those states swung more to Democrats than the nation as a whole.

Republicans would rightly point out that Biden won three states by less than 1%, and if all three of those flipped, they would win the Electoral College. That is true, but not that meaningful.

Democrats will do better in Arizona and Georgia next time than they did last time because of how the suburbs are trending to them, and that should be enough to make them favorites.

In terms of the “Which Candidate” market, shorting DeSantis seems way too easy, as there’s little evidence he has any ability to win a general election. Yes, he won a Florida Governor’s race as an underdog, but the shifts in 2020 make his 2018 victory seem substantially less impressive. If you want to bet the GOP, just bet Trump.

Betting either Democrats to win in the two-way market, or betting both Biden and Harris seems sensible, especially given people are overreacting to 2021 approval ratings in 2024 US President odds.

There’s a lot of time left and Democrats being favorites does not mean they’re locks to win by any means, but betting Democrats here is the logical and sensible move.

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