Having taken a decisive lead in the Democratic Primary process, former Vice President Joe Biden is now poised to secure his party’s nomination, but according to the betting markets, he’s level pegging with President Trump when it comes to November’s showdown.
Biden swept the board in this week’s primaries in Arizona, Illinois and Florida, which means he has an almost insurmountable lead over his only remaining challenger, Bernie Sanders. And the UK betting markets are providing a stark illustration of the task facing the Vermont senator if he wants to stay in the race. According to UK bookmakers, Biden is 1/16 to clinch the Democratic nomination, while a Sanders comeback is priced at 50/1. Those odds are greater than the odds on a Hillary Clinton nomination, which can be backed at 16/1, while Michelle Obama isn’t far behind on 66/1.
But although Biden seems on course to be the main challenger to President in the autumn, the jury is still out on who will prevail. Bookmakers in the UK are not able to separate the two at the moment, quoting both at 10/11, and if that is a true reflection of the state of the race, it could be good news for the President, who has consistently recorded woeful approval ratings, and whose handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been widely criticised.
The Biden camp will also point to the fact that their man is not yet technically the nominee and may well shorten in price when he secures the nomination.
That point may be coming sooner rather than later. Sanders is already facing intense pressure to drop out of the race and allow the party to unify around Biden, and in a Tuesday night speech he made no mention of the results, instead focusing on the proposals he plans to bring forward in the Senate to tackle the pandemic, an issue that is likely to overshadow US politics for the foreseeable future.