Kamala Harris, Joe Biden

After a strong performance – particularly up against Joe Biden – in the Democratic Party’s first round of debates which finished Thursday evening, Californian Senator Kamala Harris has emerged as the new favourite for the Democratic nomination for the upcoming US presidential elections in 2020, according to the latest data from traders on political stockmarkets platform PredictIt.

Harris, who had been valued at 12 cents going into the debate – corresponding to an equivalent probability of 12% for the Democratic ticket – saw her trading price propelled towards 20 cents after a rousing performance.

Since the debate itself, however, her price has increased further to 23 cents, placing her at the head of the field whilst former leading candidate Joe Biden has seen his own price fall drastically from 26 cents to 21 cents. Biden’s own debate performance was largely seen as defensive and tepid and is the latest in a series of recent declines in the odds of the former Vice President achieving the nomination.

Harris is increasingly positioning herself as the spearhead of a more vigorously progressive brand of Democratic politics that appears increasingly wary of the risks emanating from the Democratic Party Old Guard that Biden arguably now personifies.

Sanders’ Price Fading But Still Calling the Shots

Bernie Sanders, who largely held his own during the same debate, has nonetheless seen his own price on PredictIt fall back slightly to 14 cents.

But whilst the 77 year-old may yet be struggling to find a second wind for his current challenge for the White House, it has been patently clear to observers that his brand of politics largely defined the tone of this week’s two televised debates.

Practically all candidates over the course of those two debates – with the exception of Biden – were attempting to appear as the most progressive across a range of issues that included health care and immigration.

It was a rare moment in American politics in which Democratic hopefuls – normally so keen to ensure that they retain significant appeal for the Republican camp – appeared entirely focused on bread-and-butter Democratic values alone. And that itself appears to indicate that Sanders – despite currently lingering in fourth place – may be under-valued for the road ahead.