The polls have former V.P. Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a near dead heat for the Democratic Party nomination, but bettors have Warren far in front of Biden and the other 17 Democratic candidates. Is this important? Maybe not, but following the betting money is often a more accurate predictor than the political polls that come out nearly every other day.
The betting odds on the Democratic party nomination have swung radically in the last week. What was a neck-and-neck race between former V.P. Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has become, for now, a runaway lead for the senator from Massachusetts.
Just last week, you could wager 28 cents to win a buck on either Biden or Warren. No other candidate even got a dime bet-line. Today, Warren has surged to a 50-cent bet, while Biden has slipped to 21 cents.
Candidates Worth at Least a Nickel
Sen. Elizabeth Warren $.50
V.P. Joe Biden $.21
Sen. Bernie Sanders $.09
Andrew Yang $.09
Pete Buttigieg $.08
Kamala Harris $.05
Who Is the Second Choice?
Even more interesting in this crowded race are the second-choice candidates. With 19 Democratic candidates still in the race, and many voters still considering more than one candidate, the question of who else is under consideration is a valuable gauge of candidate strength.
When asked for both a first and a second choice among the candidates, Sen. Warren hits a high of 54% among potential voters. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders share the second spot with 33% of the voters.
stats: UCBerkeley Institute of Government Studies poll
The Iowa Odds
The clock is ticking down to four months until the first vote of 2020 in Iowa, and the Iowa polls are also swinging toward Warren. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, Warren holds anywhere from a 2 to a 6-point lead over Biden, with both candidates polling in the mid-20s. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are treading water near 10%.
The importance of Iowa cannot be overlooked. The first-in-the-nation vote should both shake off the bottom-rung candidates, and boost the winner going into the New Hampshire primary eight days later.
The National Odds
While Sen. Warren continues to close the gap nationally, only one September poll (YouGov.com) has her even tying V.P. Biden. Otherwise, Biden holds a 1% to 12% lead in every other poll. The problem with relying on national polls, however, is that many voters will never get a chance to express their preference in late-season primaries. Super Tuesday next year is March 3. With both California and Texas joining 13 other states for primaries or caucuses on that day, it is likely that the Democratic field will be whittled down to one or two candidates by March 4.
Caucus and Primary Calendar
February 3 Iowa caucus
Feb. 11 New Hampshire primary
Feb. 22 Nevada caucus
Feb. 29 South Carolina primary
March 3 Super Tuesday (Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia)