Betting on politics: the Democratic presidential nomination

With British politics moving at pace, political betting expert Matthew Partridge turns his attentions to the Democrat race for the White House.


Kamala Harris is a frontrunner in the race
(Image credit: 2019 Getty Images)

Events in British politics are moving so quickly any odds I quote could have significantly shifted by the time this column reaches you. So let's shift focus towards the US presidential election of 2020. One of the most interesting markets is the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, which begins with primaries in a year's time and concludes at the convention six months later.

According to Betfair the frontrunners are California senator Kamala Harris (pictured) at 4.7 (21.2%), Beto O'Rouke at 5.1 (19.6%), former vice-president Joe Biden at 6.2 (16.1%), Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren at 14 (7.1%), Vermont independent Bernie Sanders at 18 (5.5%), and New York senator Kristen Gillibrand at 16.5 (6.1%). There is also a long tail of other candidates, including Tulsi Gabbard, Sherrod Brown and Cory Booker. I think you can safely eliminate Sanders, because he is too old,

O' Rouke, because he is inexperienced, and Gillibrand, because she lacks charisma. I'd also throw in Sherrod Brown and Michael Bloomberg as long shots.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE

Get 6 issues free

Sign up to Money Morning

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Don't miss the latest investment and personal finances news, market analysis, plus money-saving tips with our free twice-daily newsletter

Sign up

You can get better overall odds by betting the old-fashioned way with the bookies. I'd take Skybet's 4/1 (20%) on Kamala Harris and 20/1 (4.8%) on Sherrod Brown, along with Betfred's 8/1 (11.1%) on Biden, 12/1 (7.6%) on Warren and 20/1 (4.8%) on Bloomberg. I'd also bet with Skybet. This gives you combined odds of 48.3%. Properly weighted this means £4.13 on Harris, £2.29 on Biden, £1.59 on Warren, and £0.99 each on both Brown and Bloomberg.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri