They say betting markets are more reliable indicators of election outcomes than the pundits and even the polls.
But the latest odds from British oddsmakers in the 2024 presidential elections caused Cockburn to raise an eyebrow. On Thursday Donald J. Trump became favorite on Betfair to be the 2024 presidential winner, with his ‘shortest odds ever’. According to the betting exchange, Trump has a 21 percent chance of winning. President Joe Biden, who is plummeting in the polls, has fallen to 19 percent.
Elsewhere, Vice President Kamala Harris has a 13 percent chance of victory — which reflects the widespread theory that she will at some point take over from the doddery Commander-in-Chief.
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Mike Pence is on a feeble 4 percent. Meanwhile the Florida governor Ron DeSantis, increasingly the darling of the Republican right, has 13 percent. But for all DeSantis’s popularity, he has a long way to go to catch Trump — who remains by far the biggest beast in the Republican jungle.
Of course, the British odds deserve to be taken with a mountain of salt, given that the election isn’t for another three years. In this country, you still can’t place bets on the outcomes of our elections…legally.
And Trump has had a difficult year. Banned on Twitter, he lacks the ability to command the vast online attention he once had at his fingertips. The fallout from the November election, and the Trumpist riots on Capitol Hill on January 6 damaged his standing among non-partisans.
But the former president has shown recently that he still has the ability to draw impressively large and adoring crowds. Does that therefore mean Trump will win the Republican nomination in 2024 if he chooses to stand?
Whether or not his voters will actually turn up to vote, given that he continues to insist that American democracy has been utterly rigged, is another question. But the betting markets lie less than other prognostications, and the pundit class should start taking the possibility of Trump’s reelection more seriously.
Remember how mad they went in 2016?
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.