On Tuesday evening, as political bettors overwhelmingly predicted, the Joe Biden 2020 campaign ended up picking California Senator Kamala Harris as the presumptive nominee’s running mate.
Headlines have already run the gamut, with Harris receiving praise as the “first black woman” to be selected as a VP candidate while simultaneously being the “first Asian woman” to be chosen for the post.
Ironically, Harris is not “African American” – she is half Jamaican and half Indian.
But more damning headlines – and something bettors will pay attention to alongside voters – could be written thus:
“California’s Top Cop Selected For Anti-Police Ticket”
It’s a hard sell no matter how you look at it, and it now appears that the recent leak from Politico was an intentional test run to gauge public reaction in that context.
However, the Biden Campaign was able to navigate any criticisms with relative ease, giving them confidence that the woman most famous for laughing about imprisoning pot smokers – while she herself smokes pot, ha ha! – was the right choice.
But more than that, it appears that Harris is not just viewed by the left as the right choice for Vice President – she is viewed by the left as the right choice for President.
Even Biden himself has hinted that Harris will be “leading” America in 2021. Maybe.
The Trump reelection campaign, as you can imagine, was quick to ad blitz yesterday’s decision:
No matter which way you look at this pick, there are curious aspects that deserve further consideration, especially if you plan to make any state electoral wagers, debate bets, or political prop bets in the lead-up to November.
On its face, this Biden selection makes no sense.
Yes, those who frequent the Vegas election odds boards have overwhelmingly favored Harris for months (as she was favored by the mainstream media), but tactically, it’s bizarre.
And that might affect each Presidential candidate’s odds going forward.
Here are the following things to be aware of if you’re considering placing any bets for – or against – Kamala Harris:
Harris Delivers Biden California
A VP candidate’s primary function is to deliver their home state in the general election. In other words, if a Vice Presidential pick cannot guarantee that their running mate will win the state from which they come, that person is DOA.
In this case, Biden will win California – possibly by millions of votes. But Harris won’t be responsible for that.
Indeed, when she was running for President (a time during which she called Biden a sexual predator and a serial racist), she garnered a peak of 7% support in CA before ending her campaign.
So Biden chose a candidate that is nationally unpopular and doesn’t change his electoral potential meaningfully.
Alternatively, the calculus may have been that Trump is doing far better in CA than he’s given credit for, and the DNC needed a boost in the traditionally blue state. This idea is far-fetched, but it makes just as much sense (i.e. none whatsover).
Harris Is A Dirty Cop
Our faux headline above says it all. But Gabbard said it better:
Harris withdrew from the Presidential race shortly after Gabbard’s Shot Heard Round The World. Which, of course, will feature prominently in Trump ads this fall.
Now, of course, Harris is – by some warlock magic – as vehemently anti-police as the current political climate deems expedient, calling for defunding law enforcement nationwide and even campaigning on getting rid of the Pentagon itself.
For someone who was the 27th District Attorney of San Francisco for seven years and the 32nd Attorney General of California for six years, it seems Harris is no longer interested in upholding the law.
For those concerned about the ongoing 1619 Riots in traditionally blue states and swing states, this pick would appear to assist Trump, not Biden.
Bettors need to pay attention to the public reaction to the Harris selection before making their own selections at the betting boards.
Harris Isn’t “African American”
This is perhaps the most significant – if most cynical – development with the Biden pick. Harris, it turns out, isn’t African American.
Yes, she’s black, but her African roots are by way of Jamaica. America – especially Black America (to which this pick is presumably designed to pander) – doesn’t view Caribbean islanders as they view themselves, culturally or otherwise.
Of course, Harris isn’t even “all” Jamaican – she’s also half Indian, as her mother was an immigrant from India.
While this gives her token bona fides as the “first (black/Indian/Asian) VP candidate,” African Americans were promised an African American on the bottom half of the ticket. They didn’t get one.
That might matter, as Trump is reportedly flirting with over 20% of the black vote for 2020.
Harris Was Rejected As A Presidential Candidate
Kamala Harris was – at the outset of the 2020 Democratic Primary cycle – one of the party frontrunners, alongside the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Indeed, for a time, she even led the odds boards, trending more than a thousand points better than Biden.
But as stated, even in her own home state, Harris garnered just 7% in the polls and unceremoniously dropped out on December 3.
How someone so nationally unpopular that they were among the first candidates to bow out of contention is now being bolstered as the first in line for Presidential succession if Biden wins is more psyop culture than pop culture.
But the thinking, again, seems to be that the voters won’t care. As bettors, of course, we know better.
So, What Now?
To wrap up, please understand: If we sound a little bitter or biased, that’s only because we bet good money on FL congresswoman Val Demings to get the nomination, and we’re out a few bucks as a result.
The Harris pick, to us, defies all logic, but Vegas election bettors did have it right.
The above opinions are merely our hot takes on why Harris ought not to have received the nod, from a purely tactical POV. You can and should vote for whichever ticket aligns most with your ideals, and you shouldn’t be swayed by any pundits, analysts, or betting wonks waxing philosophical or otherwise.
Still, these points will all play heavily in how this race is covered over the next two and a half months, and if you’re thinking about putting a chunk of change on Biden-Harris 2020, you should be aware of the attack angles that will assuredly challenge the card.
Remember, at the end of the day, we’re not worried about the Democratic or Republican tickets – we’re worried about your betting ticket.
To that end, Biden’s pick – by our assessment – helps Trump’s reelection chances.
In fact, the lines are already moving on the high heels of Biden’s VP announcement.
At BetOnline, just two days ago, Slow Joe was trending at -155 odds while Trump was hovering at +125. Today, Biden is sitting at -135 with Trump at +105.
In other words, what was an 80-point lead for the presumptive Democratic nominee has been cut in half to just 40 points literally overnight.
We’ll keep an eye on the numbers at Bovada and MyBookie, as those should be seeing some significant shifting over the next 24 hours or so, as well.
We’ve asked you before, and we’ll ask you again:
Who ya got?