Super Tuesday Betting Preview & Picks: Maine

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday
On March 3, 16 jurisdictions – 14 states, American Samoa, and Democrats Abroad — will hold their primaries to decide which Democratic candidates will receive a portion of their pledged delegates. By the end of Super Tuesday, roughly 60% of the total number of pledged delegates will be allocated, giving us a clearer picture of the eventual nominee. This post is one in a series of articles previewing each state, the demographic makeup of the electorate, the most recent political betting odds, and our favorite picks.
Candidate To Win Maine Primary (BetWay)
Joe Biden +1200
Bernie Sanders -2000
Michael Bloomberg +5000
Elizabeth Warren +4000
Maine Primary Stats
Date: 3/3/2020
Pledged Delegates Available: 24
Superdelegates: 8

538 State Primary/Caucus Poll Totals (updated 3/1/2020):

  • Sanders (33%)
  • Biden (21%)
  • Warren (17%)
  • Klobuchar (6%)
  • Bloomberg (19%)
  • Gabbard (2%)

Voter Demographics (from Ballotpedia.org):

  • Female: 51.1%
  • White: 95%
  • Black/African American: 1.1%
  • Hispanic/ Latino: 1.5%
  • Asian: 1.1%
  • Persons Below Poverty Level: 16.6% (US 11.3%)
  • College Graduation Rate: 29% (US 29.8%)

Election Betting Update

Update 1 (2/29/20):
On Saturday, February 29, Joe Biden handily won the South Carolina primary with roughly 48.4% of the vote, winning him 35 pledged delegates. Bernie Sanders finished in second place with 19.9% and 13 delegates. Nobody else met the required 15% threshold; thus, only Sanders and Biden won any national delegates. Tom Steyer dropped out of the race on the night of the South Carolina primaries despite finishing in third place with 11.3% of the vote.

Joe Biden’s considerable margin of victory has put him in the lead in terms of the overall popular vote (though Bernie still has more delegates), inspiring talks of a comeback, with many in the media now considering the former VP the favorite to win the nomination again. This momentum shift dramatically changes the overall outlook of the race as well as the conditions in several close Super Tuesday races. For that reason, I’ve adjusted some of my thoughts and picks accordingly.

Update 2 (3/1/20):
Pete Buttigieg announced that he’d be dropping out of the race on Sunday, March 1, 2020. His absence will play a significant role in Super Tuesday betting. By all accounts, his departure from the race was coordinated by the DNC and his campaign to boost Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren this week.

The party wants Amy Klobuchar to stay in until after Super Tuesday, in order to split the delegate haul for Minnesota with Bernie Sanders, who’s slated to win her home state. She will likely announce the suspension of her campaign on Tuesday night or Wednesday. These coordinated moves show a united moderate front, all working together against Sen. Sanders. This reality must be taken into account when wagering from here on out.

Additionally, the former Mayor’s removal from the field has increased the odds of a contested convention. While Sanders is still the favorite to win a majority of the pledged delegates, FiveThirtyEight places the likelihood of him doing so at 23% (down from 28%).

Meanwhile, the probability of a contested convention goes up from 59% to 64%. In many districts, candidates like Bloomberg and Warren have been hovering just a few points shy of the 15% threshold to win a portion of the delegates.

Even if Buttigieg’s supporters were divided equally – which they will not be – that 2-3% bump provided to those candidates will negatively impact Bernie Sanders, who is already viable in most areas – and will thus, only see a meager improvement in earned delegates, while only a few points can’t raise others to viability.

Things to Consider

1) In 2016, Bernie Won Every County in Maine.

Bernie Sanders is a –2000 betting favorite to win the Maine primary this year. He also won here in 2016, when he bested Hillary Clinton when the state held caucuses instead. In that electoral contest, Bernie won every county in the state, receiving over 64% of the vote. However, the victory only produced 16 delegates to Clinton’s nine.

Nevertheless, such a decisive victory speaks to Sanders’s popularity in Maine, which neighbors the Senator’s home state of Vermont. Nate Silver’s projections are giving him a 71% chance of repeating as the winner and expecting Bernie to take somewhere between 9 and 14 pledged delegates.

2) Maine switched from a caucus to a primary this year.

While it shouldn’t disrupt Bernie’s progress in Maine, it is noteworthy that they’ve switched from holding caucuses to the primary format. Caucuses often benefit candidates with well-organized, enthusiastic, grassroots movements. Nobody in the Democratic primaries has a larger, more passionate coalition than Sanders.

Still, you never know how these changes will impact the outcome. Maybe the more straightforward electoral format will attract older voters – who are less likely to dedicate the time required to caucus vs. casting a standard ballot and have generally rejected Bernie as a demographic.

3) There hasn’t been much polling done.

Major pundits and election experts are all predicting a strong win for Sanders in Maine – but they’re primary doing so without any up-to-date poll numbers. The most recent survey was conducted on February 13, before Nevada and back when Pete Buttigieg was expected to finish second. Before that poll, the latest data was collected in October!

So, while I tend to trust that Sanders will once again win Maine, it’s not a certain as some pundits proclaim. If Buttigieg’s 16% from mid-February mostly goes to moderates, who knows, we may see an upset here on Super Tuesday!

4) Joe Biden hasn’t visited the Super Tuesday states in over a month.

After disappointing performances in the first three states, Joe Biden needed South Carolina to give his campaign life. Thus, his team dedicated all their resources on the “First in the South” primary, while ignoring all of the Super Tuesday states. The campaign simply didn’t have the money to look that far in advance.

Now, we will see if a lack of organizing and campaign stops in states like Maine will hurt him. If not, will the substantial margin of victory in South Carolina and the subsequent media attention do enough to continue propelling the surging former VP? I tend to think that between Biden’s lack of attention, and the proximity to Bernie’s home state. Sen. Sanders will easily come away with the most delegates.

Whatever the case, Maine has the third-fewest delegates to offer in the whole country, so it’s a somewhat insignificant win.

Prediction and Best Value Bets

BetOnline Maine Primary Odds

  • MatchupOdds
  • Bernie Sanders-1000
  • Field (any other candidate)+500

While BetWay lists Bernie Sanders as a –2000 favorite in Maine, BetOnline will let you take the Senator against the field at –1000 odds. Once you’re dealing with candidates that are favored by such large numbers, finding betting value can be challenging.

I’m not entirely against taking the field at +500. Sure, all signs point to Bernie running away with Maine – but what if the format change changes voter turnout in a significant way? Also, how do we know where Pete Buttigieg’s supporters will go?

I think FiveThirtyEight predicting four candidates to finish above the 15% viability threshold is absurd — especially Mike Bloomberg getting 19% of the vote. In Maine, I see Warren and Sanders splitting most of Buttigieg’s former supporters, with Biden getting a decent percentage as well.

My Finishing Order:
1) Bernie Sanders
2) Elizabeth Warren
3) Joe Biden
4) Michael Bloomberg
I’d consider betting the field at +500. Don’t stake too much, but if Sanders has a 71% likelihood of winning, that means there’s a 29% chance he’ll lose. +500 odds have an implied probability of 16.67% — anytime the real probability is higher than the implied value, that wager has value. If you bet on the Maine primary, the smart money is on the field!
To Win Maine Primary
The Field
+500

Super Tuesday States / Betting Previews:

  • American Samoa (Coming Soon)
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Democrats Abroad (Coming Soon)
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota (Coming Soon)
  • North Carolina (Coming Soon)
  • Oklahoma (Coming Soon)
  • Tennessee (Coming Soon)
  • Texas (Coming Soon)
  • Utah (Coming Soon)
  • Vermont (Coming Soon)
  • Virginia (Coming Soon)
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Will Cormier / Author

Will Cormier is a sports and political betting writer living in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. When he’s not wandering around the streets of the Arts District aimlessly, a lifetime of pessimism and paranoia has made Will perfectly suited for handicapping politics. Cormier tries to analyze current events as objectively as possible – a strategy that often enrages loyalists on both the right and the left. When he’s not covering major upcoming elections, Will enjoys writing about basketball, football, and MMA from a betting perspective. He also loves dogs, ice cream sundaes, the movie “Stomp the Yard,” and long walks on the beach.