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Four of the Top-Six 2024 Democratic Nominee Favorites Are Women of Color

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in Politics

Dec 11, 2020 · 10:25 AM PST

Kamala Harris waving
Kamala Harris remains the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the 2024 presidential election. Photo by Gage Skidomre (flickr).
  • The early odds to represent the Democratic party in the 2024 presidential election currently favor Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris
  • The top-six favorites include three other women of color
  • Only one white man is among the top six: President-elect Joe Biden

Oddsmakers believe the makeup of the White House may finally be ready to change, or at least it will be ready four years from now.

When the odds to represent the Democrats in the 2024 election first opened in early November, many were surprised that Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris was favored over President-elect Joe Biden. But six weeks later, Harris remains the chalk, and more women of color have moved up the board.

2024 Democratic Nomination Odds

Candidate Odds
Kamala Harris +300
Joe Biden +375
Andrew Yang +800
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez +875
Michelle Obama +1200
Stacey Abrams +1200
Pete Buttigieg +1300
Bernie Sanders +1400
Beto O’Rourke +1500
Andrew Cuomo +1500
Elizabeth Warren +1600

Odds as of Dec. 10, 2020. 

AOC, Abrams Obama Seen as Viable Candidates

In late November, the top-six favorites were Harris, Biden, Andrew Yang, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke. Two weeks later, Sanders and O’Rourke have been overtaken by former First Lady Michelle Obama and voting-rights activist Stacey Abrams (who is also the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives).

Obama has never ever indicated an intention to run for the presidency; indeed, she has stated just the opposite.

Abrams, however, has previously stated that she sees herself running at some point and actively promoted herself as a potential VP running-mate during the 2020 Democratic primaries.

Curious about how many women of color are among the 2024 GOP nomination favorites? The answer is an unfortunately predictable zero.

Women of Color Are Underrepresented

While the political makeup of the United States is becoming more in-line with the country’s demographics with each election cycle, white men are still overrepresented to a startling degree.

Of the 535 members of the 116th US Congress (serving from Jan. 2019 – Jan. 2021), women comprised only 23.6% (126 out of 535).  Out of those 126 women, only 48 were women of color, which is a paltry 8.97% of Congress as a whole.

The US Census Bureau estimates that women make up 50.8% of the US population. According to Catalyst.org, women of color represent 40% of all women in the US, which would amount to 20.32% of the total US population.

Harris, who is half Asian-American and half African-American, will be the first woman of color to hold either the Presidency or Vice Presidency; make that the first woman, period.

The takeaway is that the current odds are predicting something unprecedented, but recent results indicate that the drought should end soon.

It might help bettors to think of this like a football game. Women of color are riding a 244-year losing streak, but their point differential indicates they are much better than their record suggests. They’re more like the 2011 Miami Dolphins than the 2020 New York Jets. “Regression to the mean” should lie ahead.

Betting Advice

There is no particular horse I am eager to back at these prices. When Biden opened at +700 (12.5% implied probability), that appeared to be solid value. But, at age 78, Biden is already going to be the oldest person to ever assume the Presidency … by a full eight years. He is going to be 82 years old in 2024. At +375 (21.07% implied probability), I would take a wait-and-see approach with Biden.

He’s not the only potential candidate who’s age will be a concern. Bernie Sanders will be 83 in 2024. Elizabeth Warren will be 75.

Another name I would avoid is Michelle Obama. As great a candidate as she would make, there is too much risk betting on a person who has never run for public office and has expressly stated that she never intends to.

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