Best Bets for South Carolina Democratic Debate: Sanders’ Health Record, Fidel Castro Likely to Come Up

Bernie Sanders at a debate.
Bernie Sanders is going to take a lot of heat at tonight's debate in South Carolina as he's now the front runner. Photo by Gage Skidmore (Flickr).
  • The 10th Democratic Debate of the primary season will take place in Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday, February 25th.
  • Bernie Sanders has been surging in national polls and is now the clear front-runner to be the Democratic Nominee
  • Will Sanders face scrutiny at tonight’s debate based on his comments on Fidel Castro? See the odds on all the debate prop bets, below

One of the most important debates of the Democratic primary season is upon us. Tonight (Tuesday, Feb 25th) the main candidates still in the running will be on stage in South Carolina and clear-cut front-runner Bernie Sanders is sure to face plenty of heat.

Betting odds on the debate are now available. In total, there are six props on the board. We’ll break this up into two sections and take a look at the three over-under props first and then the trio of yes/no props in the second half.

South Carolina Debate Over/Under Odds

How Many Times Will “Castro” Be Said? Odds
Over 3.5 -120
Under 3.5 -120
How Many Times Will “Billionaires” Be Said? Odds
Over 11.5 -120
Under 11.5 -120
How Many Times Will “Stop And Frisk” Be Said? Odds
Over 2.5 -120
Under 2.5 -120

Odds updated Feb. 25nd.

How Many Times Will Castro Be Said?

Now that Sanders is the front-runner, he’s finally starting to get vetted. That includes him being bizarrely positive about dictators around the world. He’s had lots of good things to say about Cuba’s Fidel Castro in the past but many people figure those were just some ideas from decades ago.

However, he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes this past Sunday and then had a Town Hall with CNN on Monday, and he continued to praise Castro’s literacy program. It’s a bizarre compliment to a dictator who jailed thousands of dissidents, got rid of political opponents, and was brutal to the LGBT community.

Why praise the literacy program of a regime like that – even if that was one small positive? He could easily highlight the literacy programs of the Nordic countries he so often likes to quote, like Denmark or Sweden.

Sanders has been hammered on his comments on Castro by fellow Democrats over the last couple of days and we should expect more of that at the debate. If candidates like Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, and Pete Buttigieg want any shot at stopping the Sanders freight train, they better mention Castro and Bernie’s frequent ties to socialism as much as possible.

That being the case, I’d expect the name “Castro” to come up more than 3.5 times.

In terms of the other two over/under props, I’m expecting under for the “billionaires” prop and under for the “stop and frisk” simply because I don’t think Mike Bloomberg will be in the cross heirs tonight. This debate will be all about Bernie and Bloomberg, billionaires and stop and frisk likely won’t be at the forefront.

Best Bet: Over 3.5 “Castro” mentions (-120)

South Carolina Debate Yes/No Odds

Will “Health Record” Be Said? Odds
Yes -150
No +110
Will “Russia” Be Said? Odds
Yes -130
No -110
Will “Horse-Faced Lesbian” Be Said? Odds
No -6000
Yes +1500

Odds updated Feb. 25nd.

Will “Health Record” Be Said?

This is another area where the candidates figure to hammer Sanders. He had a heart attack in the fall of 2019 and while he did release his health records, he hasn’t been fully transparent about them recently. It doesn’t look like he’s planning to give them up.

While every other candidate plans to be transparent about them, Sanders’ health is a concern. Expect the candidates to bring this up as they’re going to try to hit him on all of his weaknesses. We might even here the debate moderators ask a direct question on it, which would mean that ‘Yes’ hits.

In terms of the “Russia” prop, this is another one that looks good for a ‘Yes’ bet. Remember, this past week, the American intelligence community reported that the Russians are again interfering in American elections. This time, they stated that they might be interested in helping candidate Bernie Sanders as well as President Trump.

With this being a hot topic, this is something that could very well come up not only as a topic for the debate but as a point that someone like Sanders pivots to. Not only could we see a question about this – or foreign policy – it’s likely something Sanders will pivot to when he’s taking fire.

Also, if the topic of Sanders and his “Bernie Bros” comes up, he often pins their bad behavior on Russian bots. That’s another opportunity where we might hear the word “Russia” and cash for this prop. This is one way he’ll turn around some of the questions that he’s bound to face as he’s now the favorite, according to the 2020 Democratic Nomination odds.

As for the last yes/no prop about the horse-faced lesbians, I’m not expecting to hear that again this time around. That was a designed hit by Elizabeth Warren in the last debate and it worked. It’s not likely that she’s going back to the wishing well once again.

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