Democrats Odds: Biden Will Be The Nominee But Who Will Be His VP?

Our Political Expert Paul Krishnamurty delivers his betting update after the Super Tuesday 2.

Read his post-Nevada, post-Iowa and post-Super Tuesday analysis on the Betfair Hub.

as it stands

Following another slew of victories for Joe Biden on Super Tuesday 2, the Democrat Nomination looks all but finished as a betting heat. The former Vice President is now a mere $1.09 for the nomination and $2.28 for the presidency. Bernie Sanders hasn’t withdrawn just yet and there are plenty of races remaining, including four big ones next week on Super Tuesday 3. I doubt any will be competitive.

The next big market to consider, therefore, is Biden’s choice of running mate. Here’s my analysis of ten candidates that prominent in the betting.

Kamala Harris

A running mate should ideally balance the ticket. That probably means he’ll pick a woman and a minority would be ideal. No wonder, therefore, that Harris is favourite.

She was early favourite to be the nominee but underperformed. Ill-judged attacks on Biden didn’t help. However, she’s firmly onside now and a prominent surrogate.

Harris is a heavyweight. Formerly Attorney General of California, she’s a strong candidate for that role in a Biden administration. Her odds are prohibitive though and on the downside, her state is already a blue banker, offering little in terms of electoral college advantage. Her past as a prosecutor, particularly regarding sentencing for marijuana use, is also problematic.

Stacey Abrams

If picking a black woman is the plan, I’d prefer to back Abrams. Back at the start of the race, it was strongly rumoured that Biden wanted her early endorsement in exchange for the VP role. Whether true or not, that spoke of her popularity with the Democrat base. She was selected to respond to Trump’s 2019 SOTU address – an impressive accolade.

Abrams’ profile soared after narrowly losing the race for Georgia Governor in a dirty race where voter suppression was rife. The only negative in her case is a lack of governing experience – not ideal given Biden’s age and the inevitable speculation about his health.

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar’s endorsement was a critical, perfectly timed boost for Biden, enabling him to win her home state of Minnesota. She had beaten him in New Hampshire and they were pursuing the same segment of voters. That is why I’d be surprised to see her become VP.

Electable as she is – I haven’t altered my analysis that she was the most electable Democrat so far as swing, suburban districts are concerned – two white moderates would make an unbalanced ticket. Besides that, this respected, prominent Senator would be perfect for the ‘stand-in President’ role and is certain to be a major player in any Biden administration.

Hillary Clinton

As ever, Hillary has her supporters in the betting. Forget it. No way will he pick such a divisive figure, given the need to win over left-wing critics. In any case, his vastly superior performance in the primaries against Bernie Sanders has seriously undermined her credentials. Never before has it seemed more obvious that her unique failings were the reason behind Trump’s election.

Val Demings

Here’s another leading black female politician, liable to rise up the betting order as she becomes better known. Demings was one of the House managers during Trump’s impeachment trial – an appointment that demonstrates the respect she has among the party leadership. She represents a district in Florida – always among the key swing states.

That electoral angle offers a potential edge over both Harris and Abrams. I’m backing her now at $25.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren represents fair value at these odds. I’d argue the single biggest threat to a Biden victory comes not from Trump, but from lack of enthusiasm or outright hostility among progressive Democrats. Whilst yet to endorse either Biden or Sanders, Warren is better placed than anyone to unite the party.

Her policy platform was the most detailed and, were Biden to adopt much of it, criticism from left-wing Sanders supporters could fade away.

Pete Buttigieg

Again, Buttigieg’s endorsement was pivotal and he has a big future in Team Biden. Being gay, Mayor Pete brings diversity to the ticket if Biden opts against picking a woman. That seems quite a longshot, though.

Michelle Obama

The candidate about whom Democrats dream is inevitably being backed for VP, having previously attracted money for the nomination and even presidency. Now as then, there is no evidence that Michelle intends to pursue a career in frontline politics. Of course, were she to do so, the iconic former First Lady has game-changing potential.

Gretchen Witmer

Michigan will certainly be one of the key states in November. Why not, therefore, consider the serving Governor? One of the highlights of the Democrat sweep in November 2018, Witmer is definitely a rising star. Whether she has the experience to be VP yet is highly questionable though and, even if that isn’t a deterrent to Biden, I’d assume Abrams is ahead.

Mitt Romney

Unlike almost all Democrats, Biden has always been prepared to emphasise his friendship with Republicans. If his tactic is to be the man to re-unite America following the divisive Trump years, picking one of their number would make one hell of a statement.

Romney – a former Presidential candidate and the only GOP Senator to vote to convict Trump at his impeachment trial – would surely be the one.

Betting Strategy

BACK – Stacey Abrams at  $6.40

BACK – Val Demings at $25

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