If you think it’s a good idea or not, the U.S. presidential election season lasts a long time, with voters set to go to the polls on November 3, 2020, but with endless speculation about who will be the Democratic candidate already well under way. With the first debate schedule on June 26, we’re going to take a look at how the odds currently stand, as provided by BetOnline, for who will come out the victor of this 24-candidate horse race.
As I typically do with these odds articles, I’ll be giving my personal opinions of which candidates look like the better bets. These are purely my own opinion, and not of CalvinAyre.com.
What makes me qualified, as a Canadian man who’s never lived in America, to tell you who has the best chance to win? Well, I listen to the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast and I watch as much “Fake News,” MSNBC and CNN, as I possibly can. So I know a lot about the Democrats, you could say.
The leader of the pack right now is former Vice President Joe Biden (2/1). A recent poll by Echelon Insights has Biden beating every other candidate in the field, with a 20-point lead on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. It also had Biden beating every top candidate one-on-one, widening his lead on Sanders to 36%.
Why would you bet against Uncle Joe? He’s got a track record of failure when it comes to Presidential election runs. He dropped out of the race in 1988 when he was caught plagiarizing a British politician. He also dropped out of the 2008 presidential race after the Iowa caucus, a race which Barack Obama would go on to win. Joe Biden just doesn’t do well when the stage lights get hot.
As mentioned, his biggest competition is Sanders (17/4), who gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money in 2016. Sanders has a popularist, socialist message that definitely fires up a segment of the electorate, and he’d make for an extremely interesting opponent to President Donald Trump. His best chance is if he can win over the media and convince more moderate voters of his message, two things which seem unlikely to happen.
Next up is the surprising upstart in South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9/2). The biggest knocks against Mayor Pete are his young age (He’d be 38 in 2020), and his lack of elected experience, only having served as a mayor. Buttigieg can talk a great game though, and that lack of experience also provides very little for either the center or the left of the party to pick apart, so his stock is likely to go up after this first debate, and he might be a one of the better top candidates.
California Senator Kamala Harris (5/1) is another popular candidate that experts believe might have a chance. The former Attorney General of California can talk tough, making her an interesting foil to Trump, and she brings a lot of energy to the race that Clinton seemed to lack. The drawback here is left leaning supporters have already questioned her use of the three strikes rule when prosecuting criminals, making her a bit tainted for a large portion of the party.
The final top candidate worth considering is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (11/1). Another darling of the left of the party, Warren will benefit a lot of she can package the same message that Bernie Sanders has, but make it less crazy sounding to centrist voters. She’s already doing that to some degree thanks to the way she can explain her policy ideas, and being the first major candidate to call for Trump’s impeachment. The big worry is if voters will believe she’s just another Clinton type, already getting tripped up with her native American heritage and giving Trump ammunition against her.
Out of those five candidates, if I had to pick who would win, I would love to say Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, because she’s absolutely fantastic. But I didn’t write about her because she’s still too young to run. Maybe in eight years.
So out of those five candidates, my favorites are Biden, Buttigieg and Warren. If I only had one to pick, I believe Warren’s current momentum, policies, and the other two’s drawbacks, are enough to make her an exciting underdog pick that I can get behind.
Mind you, that’s five candidates out of a whopping 24 total. A quick look at a few of the other candidates just doesn’t leave me feeling inspired. Andrew Yang (14/1) has business credentials but doesn’t seem to be a serious candidate, and Beto O’Rourke (18/1) has become a meme already, making him hard to get behind.
With the debate set to happen in a few weeks though, who knows? Maybe Julian Castro (80/1) will give the most inspiring speech of the last generation and Joe Biden will hug Kirsten Gillibrand (80/1) a little too long, changing the race completely.