Betting on politics: who will face Trump in the US election

Matthew Partridge turns his attention across the Atlantic and takes a look at Democratic Party's potential candidates for the US presidential election.

Marianne Williamson © Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Marianne Williamson
(Image credit: Marianne Williamson © Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The fast pace of events in Westminster means that the odds on the various Brexit- and election-related bets are moving very quickly. It therefore makes sense to turn my attention Stateside and take a look at the US presidential election.

While the actual election is still well over a year away, in less than five months the Iowa caucus will take place, the first contest in the cycle of caucuses and primaries that will determine who will face Donald Trump as the Democratic candidate.

Betfair and Smarkets both have online markets on the Iowa caucus, but they aren't liquid enough to be worth betting on, with only £59 and £128 wagered respectively. This leaves bookmakers Ladbrokes, which has Elizabeth Warren as the favourite at 7/4 (36.3%), followed by Joe Biden at 3/1 (25%), Bernie Sanders at 4/1 (20%), Pete Buttigieg at 8/1 (11.1%), Kamala Harris at 10/1 (9%) and Andrew Yang at 16/1 (5.8%). Besides the more mainstream candidates, Ladbrokes is also allowing you to bet on a long tail of also-rans, including new-age guru Marianne Williamson (pictured) at 200/1 (0.5%) though I would not recommend that you take those bets.

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At the moment Warren seems to be surging, reinforced by the fact that Biden's campaign team are now downplaying his chances of winning in Iowa. Still, Biden remains ahead in some polls, so I'd recommend that you bet on Biden, Warren and Harris for combined odds of 70.3%. I'd recommend splitting a hypothetical £10 betting unit by putting £5.16 on Warren, £3.56 on Biden and £1.28 on Harris.

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