Joe Biden’s campaign has gone from underdog to favorite in a hurry, as Super Tuesday flipped the script on Bernie Sanders in a big way.
Sanders was a favorite in much of the lead-up to this election cycle. Indeed, after the first four state primaries and caucuses, he was the favorite per the Democratic nomination odds to take his brand of socialism to the unapologetically capitalistic Donald Trump in an epic showdown.
Alas, those means of production all changed after other front-runners dropped out and threw their support behind Biden, who earned endorsements from Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Yang, and even Tulsi Gabbard.
There doesn’t appear to be a remaining Democratic primary where Biden isn’t expected to win.
But now, with coronavirus sweeping the nation, Biden is no longer content with the DNC nomination. That’s in the bag. In fact, he’s comporting myself as if the race is already over, focusing solely on attacking Trump.
And COVID-19 has made that easier than ever.
Bettors, for their part, are slowly warming to the possibility of a Biden victory, as evidenced by the major shift in his Vegas election odds to become the 46th President of the United States. At Bovada, Biden – who was recently pulling +120 odds – is now favored at -105, while Trump has fallen from -120 to +100.
2020 US Presidential Election Odds
- Joe Biden -105
- Donald Trump +100 (EVEN)
- Bernie Sanders +4000
- Mike Pence +5000
- Hillary Clinton +8000
- Nikki Haley +10000
- Michelle Obama +20000
Oddly enough, the odds here don’t quite translate to another wager currently posted at Bovada:
2020 Presidential Election Winning Party
- Democratic Party -115
- Republican Party -115
Why Trump isn’t trending in a dead heat with Biden (as the winning party odds suggest is the case) is likely due to the fact that he might – under some crazy set of circumstances – drop out of the race before the November general, making way for Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, or some other GOP stalwart. That’s echoed in the sentiment of this betting line:
Will Trump Complete His First Term?
- Yes -750
- No +440
While you currently have the opportunity to hedge your bets a bit thanks to the logical discrepancies above, Biden isn’t hedging anything anymore.
Clearly, Uncle Joe believes that the time to make the most gains for November is right now in March, and he’s pulling no punches in blaming Trump for the spread of the disease:
“Unfortunately, this virus laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current administration. Public fears are being compounded by pervasive lack of trust in this president fueled by adversarial relationship with the truth that he continues to have. … [The] administration’s failure on testing is colossal.”
That attack isn’t particularly rational or coherent given that Trump has invoked war powers to direct US manufacturers to produce PPE, masks, and testing kits for COVID-19.
The media was also rebuked by fact checkers for claiming that Trump turned down testing kits from the World Health Organization. Even Biden spread the hoax, stating:
“Look, the World Health Organization offered the testing kits that they have available and to give it to us now. We refused them. We did not want to buy them. We did not want to get them from them.”
The narrative for the Biden camp is to put the Wuhan coronavirus – which originated in China and was spread due to China’s lack of forthrightness for months after releasing (or failing to contain) the possibly bio-engineered bug – squarely on Trump’s shoulders.
Fair or unfair, for now, it appears to be working. Betting lines don’t lie.
But that’s not the only weapon in Biden’s arsenal, as the presumptive Democratic nominee is going in both barrels blazing on Trump’s “racism” and “xenophobia” in calling COVID-19 “Chinese” in the first place.
While it is not controversial to name ailments after the areas in which they originate, this time around, politics demands manufactured outrage.
The Trump White House responded with a reality check of its own:
Surprisingly, not all Democrats are following the script.
House Representative Ilhan Omar (MN), an outspoken member of “The Squad” and one of Trump’s chief congressional critics and rivals, called Trump’s policies during the pandemic panic “incredible” and “the right response in this critical time.” She also suggested that Trump is demonstrating “unprecedented leadership.”
Overall, it’s clear that Biden is using the coronavirus to his advantage with his eyes on the November general. And to his credit, it would be political malpractice not to blame the outbreak on one’s chief rival. Remember, all’s fair in love and politics. And Uncle Joe’s definitely loving this.
For Trump supporters, of course, none of the above matters. For Democratic voters, it’s similarly irrelevant. It’s the middle that Biden is trying to galvanize, here.
Unfortunately for Biden, the general election is still 227 days away, which is plenty of time to put COVID-19 in the rear-view mirror and get the stock market righted. A crisis now could be a feather in Trump’s combover in the future.
But in the meantime, pretty much every election betting line has been impacted. The following political props – all predicated on the Chinese virus – are also good indicators of what’s on everyone’s mind in the here and now (via Bovada):
Which Of The Listed Countries Will The US Ban Travel To/From Next?
- Japan -350
- Australia +350
- New Zealand +950
Will The US Presidential Election Take Place On Nov. 3, 2020?
- Yes -450
- No +300
Will There Be A Recession In Trump’s First Term?
- Yes -650
- No +400
US House Of Representatives Control, 117th Congress
- Democrats -280
- Republicans +205
US Senate Control, 117th Congress
- Republicans -130
- Democrats +100 (EVEN)
House And Senate Balance Of Power, 117th Congress
- Democratic House, Democratic Senate +120
- Democratic House, Republican Senate +150
- Republican House, Republican Senate +325
- Republican House, Democratic Senate +10000