Biden’s Odds of Winning the Democratic Nomination Getting Longer

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Key Points:
  • Joe Biden has been a heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination since just before Super Tuesday in early February.
  • However, over the past week, he’s seen his status as the favored candidate challenged as a new sexual assault allegation, and rising support for NY Governor Andrew Cuomo threatens the former VP’s campaign.
  • Just last week, Biden’s odds of becoming the nominee were listed at –1400; today, that number is down to –550.
Candidate To Win DNC Nomination
Joe Biden -550
Bernie Sanders +1000
Andrew Cuomo +1000
Hillary Clinton +2000
Michelle Obama +5000

Continuing with the trend of being one of the most tumultuous election cycles in American history, this week saw another massive shift in the Democratic primary betting odds. Only five days ago, I wrote an article asking, “ Where in the world is Joe Biden?

At that time, Bovada’s oddsmakers had the former Vice President listed as a –1400 favorite, followed by Hillary Clinton at +1400. Andrew Cuomo and Bernie Sanders were both posted as +2500 underdogs to win the nomination.

A lot can change in a week – especially in the middle of a global pandemic and the subsequent economic recession created in its wake. Throw in an ailing frontrunner that appears to have gone senile (or inflicted by some other form of cognitive decline) and a credible sexual assault allegation, and you have all the ingredients for a major shake-up on the odds board.

Suddenly, Biden’s position on top is much more tenuous, while Sanders and Cuomo look like realistic options.

For political bettors, the goal now is to determine if the political establishment and mainstream media will be able to drag the corpse of Joe Biden to the Democratic convention finish line – where the DNC will undoubtedly replace him with a hand-selected candidate – or if he’ll be overtaken before then.

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Joe Biden’s Coronavirus Failures

Under normal conditions, Biden would have won the nomination already. Following his big win in South Carolina – and with the DNC consolidating the rest of the field behind him heading into Super Tuesday – Joe picked up some serious momentum, sweeping Bernie Sanders in multiple state primaries that were expected to be strongholds for the Vermont Senator.

Quick Aside:
I should mention that statistical analysis of many of the state primaries in which Sanders lost show some extraordinarily disturbing trends. There is a clear pattern of exit polls not matching up with the final tallies – but only in states using electronic ballot counters, and only when there’s no paper trail.

Some pundits have argued that exit polls are notoriously unreliable, but that doesn’t explain why the discrepancies have ALL gone against Bernie Sanders in two straight election cycles.

If this were a case of normal variance, shouldn’t the differences occasionally benefit Sanders? Regardless, none of this will be challenged in any meaningful way – I’m just acknowledging the reality of the situation before discussing the primaries any further.

The coronavirus outbreak threw a massive wrench in the Biden campaign’s plans. A recent Politico article explains:

“The presumed date by which Biden’s delegate nerds predicted Bernie Sanders would be unofficially knocked out of the race has been upended by a series of canceled primaries. Biden had planned to use a predicted victory in Georgia on Tuesday to essentially end the race by declaring that he had achieved ‘an insurmountable delegate lead.’”

To make matters worse, in their hysterical rush to deal a death blow to Sen. Sanders’s candidacy, DNC officials and Biden’s campaign surrogates may have put their most vulnerable supporters in serious danger.

Depending on how the outbreak progresses, their reckless urgency leading up to the March 17 primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois could come back to sink Biden’s chances entirely.

Ignoring the CDC

The coronavirus pandemic was picking up steam in the United States in the days immediately prior to the March 17 contests. On Monday, March 16, the Center for Disease Control shrunk the acceptable size for gatherings from 50 to only ten people. As such, many voices from within the Sanders campaign called to delay the primaries, or at least allow mail-in ballots.

Ohio’s governor did just that – joining Kentucky, Louisiana, and Georgia in postponing their contests by several weeks and allowing for alternative voting methods. However, Arizona, Florida, and Illinois refused to budge under pressure from DNC Chair Tom Perez and other high-ranking Democratic operatives.

Perez even threatened to strip states that complied with the CDC of a large portion of their delegates.

Symone Sanders, a prominent Biden surrogate, even went on CNN and encouraged people to show up to the polls, promising them that it would be safe – a sentiment that was echoed by others, including Biden himself.

Neera Tanden, a prominent Democratic strategist, took it a step further, accusing the Bernie Sanders campaign of voter suppression.

Biden supporters got their desired result on that Tuesday, sweeping Sanders in all three states. Nevertheless, Bernie didn’t drop out as they anticipated – and now, the consequences of their callous actions are coming back to bite them.

Just this week, news broke that two poll workers in Florida have tested positive for coronavirus. We have no way of knowing how many voters with which these volunteers came into contact. But it’s important to remember that all three of these states are current hotbeds for the pandemic, as well as being popular retirement destinations.

The recent news already has people on various social media platforms pointing the finger at Biden and his cronies. I always talk about how difficult it is to change people’s beliefs these days. Political preferences become a part of one’s identity, making elections more of a “team sport” than an objective measure of the candidates.

To convince someone to switch candidates, there usually needs to be a deeply personal reason. If the communities that were coerced into voting against the warning of the CDC are hit especially hard by the virus, and supporters who attended the polls are hospitalized and/or killed in the next month, that’s exactly the kind of thing that could ruin the trust and loyalty voters have shown Biden and the DNC.

The Tara Reade Accusation

Another potential disaster for the frontrunner’s campaign emerged this week when Tara Reade, a former staffer for then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden came forward with her story of being sexually assaulted by the candidate.

I will be posting another in-depth article dealing with this scandal individually, so I won’t go into too much detail here – but the claim is credible, and the way it’s being treated is quite eye-opening. Reade, who alleges she was assaulted by Biden in 1993 tried to reach out to Times Up, – a movement supposedly against sexual harassment – Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, but has been ignored by them all.

Many of the same voices that we shouting “believe women,” when Sen. Warren was accusing Bernie Sanders of making a ridiculous statement about “a woman not being able to become president” in a 2018 dinner conversation (despite him having asked her to run against Hillary in 2016), are now accusing Tara Reade of being a Russian operative, lying to sink Biden’s campaign.

If additional corroborating details continue to come out, this is precisely the kind of story that could force Joe Biden out of the race early – even if he’s ahead on delegates.

Who Benefits?

The Democratic Party has no intention of running Joe Biden against Donald Trump in November. The former Vice President has already shown that he no longer has what it takes to withstand that kind of campaign. All that matters now is whether or not he makes it to the convention in July.

Every day that Bernie Sanders stays in the race increases Biden’s exposure to the public and lessens his chances of going the distance. The poor guy looks more bewildered and confused with each media appearance, and even the Democratic loyalists are beginning to admit something is wrong.

That’s why — over the last week – there’s been a deliberate uptick in the number of establishment pundits voicing their support for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

I see this going a few possible directions:

  • Biden manages to hang in there, Bernie eventually drops out, and Joe wins the nomination, before admitting that he’s not fit to run for President, allowing the DNC to choose a candidate of their choosing. This could be anyone from Cuomo to Hillary Clinton to one of the previous moderate candidates who already dropped out.
  • Biden is forced to quit early – due to either scandal or health – while Bernie is still in the race. If there are enough pledged delegates available to give Sanders an outright majority, the DNC will find a way to enter Cuomo and/or others into the primaries to pull away as many delegates as possible. If Bernie only has a plurality of delegates at the convention, there will be a brokered convention, and superdelegates will pick someone else — probably Cuomo.
  • Biden is forced to quit, and the DNC can’t enter a new candidate into the race, giving Bernie Sanders the nomination by default. The Democrats begrudgingly run Sanders against Trump but sandbag him all the way, leading to the incumbent winning by a landslide. They then use this result to caution against any progressives of Democratic Socialist candidates for years to come – similar to how they treated George McGovern.

So, making the right bet comes down to whether you think Biden makes it to the convention or not.

If he does, he’ll likely win the nomination – even if he’s just going to vacate the position shortly thereafter.

If not, you’re looking at either Andrew Cuomo or Bernie Sanders at +1000.

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.