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2020 Democratic Primary Odds: Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris Lead Field

Jan 21, 2019 2:00 PM EST
Credit:

USA TODAY NETWORK. Pictured: (left) Kamala Harris, (right) Beto O’Rourke.

  • Over the last couple of weeks, several candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard, have announced their candidacy for the 2020 presidential race.
  • The betting markets currently have Beto O'Rourke (20.5% average odds) and California Senator Kamala Harris (18.7%) as the frontrunners to win the 2020 Democratic primary race.

It’s officially 2019, which means the world of politics will now turn its eyes on the 2020 Presidential race.

It’s very rare for an incumbent president to be successfully challenged in his party’s own primary, so it’s no surprise to see President Donald Trump with an implied probability of around 80% to be the Republican’s nominee again.

The Democratic primary, as expected, is much more contested. Over the past week, several candidates such as Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro have officially thrown their hats into the ring. Others such as Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are expected to follow suit soon.

So what do the betting markets say about this race? Let’s take a look.

Note: The numbers below are a candidate’s implied probability to win.

2020 Democratic Primary Odds

Based on the average implied probabilities from three marketplaces –, PredictIt and Smarkets — Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris currently lead the field with 20.5% and 18.7% average odds, respectively. Three others — Joe Biden (15.2%), Bernie Sanders (11.6%) and Elizabeth Warren (10.4%) — are in the double digits.

O’Rourke and Harris have not yet officially announced their candidacies, although it’s reported Harris will next Monday. O’Rourke, who is coming off a tight loss to Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race, has remained very active on social media and is expected by most analysts to eventually run given his rise to stardom over the past year.

Warren was the first high-profile candidate to announce her candidacy, while Castro, former Obama cabinet member, and current U.S. representative from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, have followed suit.

George H. W. Bush was the last former House member to serve as president, although he also held higher offices such as Ambassador to the U.N. and Vice President.

The 2016 Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, has made no indication of running again, yet there are set odds for her in the betting markets at around 4.1% to win the nomination. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is also listed in the markets with around 3.4% implied odds to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

The markets will certainly substantially shift over the next two years, especially as candidates announce or bow out of the race. We’ll make sure to keep you updated on how bettors are weighing in on this important race.

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