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Bernie Sanders Favored to Win 2020 Democratic Nomination for the First Time

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders is favored to win the Democratic Party nomination for 2020, but is he a good bet? Photo by Gage Skidmore (flickr) [CC License].
  • Bernie Sanders is now favored to win the 2020 Democratic Party nomination 
  • Kamala Harris is hanging around and is tied with Sanders at Bovada
  • Joe Biden, who looks like he’ll join the race soon, leads in every major poll

Can Bernie Sanders win the Democratic Party nomination in 2020? That’s what many people are left asking themselves as the oddsmakers have now inched him up into the role of favorite.

Sanders has been on a steady climb for months, but is he a worthwhile bet?

2020 Democratic Party Nomination Odds

Candidate 2020 Democratic Party Nomination Odds at Bovada
Bernie Sanders +350
Kamala Harris +350
Beto O’Rourke +400
Joe Biden +550
Andrew Yang +900
Amy Klobuchar +1000
Cory Booker +1800
Elizabeth Warren +1800
Kirsten Gillibrand +1800
Tulsi Gabbard +2000

*Odds taken on 02/21/19

You can see how the odds for all potential candidates have fluctuated by visiting our 2020 Democratic Party Presidential Nominee Odds Tracker.

Sanders on the Rise

There was a lot of early excitement for Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke but both have struggled to maintain momentum. At the same time, Sanders has stepped in, raised a ton of money and has looked like a veteran in a field of rookies.

The challenge in this field is that while there are so many players, there aren’t many nationally-known names. Amy Klobuchar speaks very well but she’s not well-known across the country. The same can be said for Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Sanders is well-known and widely recognized. Given that he ran last time and built a big fanbase, they’ve all showed up to support him… so far. That’s partially what’s help him move up the board.

Sanders Aligns with Young Progressives

There are a group of young, female congresswomen who are very progressive and are arguably the most influential voices in the party right now. That group includes Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, whose endorsement will be very important in 2020. What she says goes for a lot of young voters.

Of the candidates that are out there, Sanders is most closely aligned with hers. That’s part of why he’s favored here.

Beware of Biden

On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Joe Biden has made up his mind and is ready to run for the Democratic Party nomination. He’s long been viewed as one of the top contenders, but his odds have fluctuated as he’s wavered on his decision. At the same time, it’s important to note that he – not Sanders – lead in the polls.

If Biden does run, you can expect him to see a bump and Sanders to inch back down. Biden is going to get a big boost from the establishment and having people like former President Barack Obama endorse him. He could tab Beto O’Rourke for Vice President and that ticket would probably be the most powerful.

Biden presently leads in almost every poll. Using RealClearPolitics and all of the polls they use for their average (21 different sources), Biden leads in every single one.

The question is whether his lead is shrinking. He seemed to be in the double-digits in December and January but the March Morning Consult and Monmouth polls show a slim +4 and +3. The question is which way are these headed?

Once Biden announces, will he get a boost? It’s possible he’s losing steam because everyone else has staked their claim and he’s still on the fence. Or have people made decisions with the assumption that Biden is going to be in the race? That’s something we don’t know just yet.

History Suggests Early Results Mean Very Little

We’re still a long way away. That can’t be stressed enough. In 2016, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush were tied for the GOP lead at this point. In 2008, Rudy Giuliani led by 15.3 points. None of those candidates were a factor in the end.

Your best bet is to wait here. Sanders and Biden are big brands but we have to see how the debates shake out, who they’re rumored to partner with for Vice President and how their campaign is looking later on in the year. For now, I would pass on Sanders.

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