Americans – with the rest of the world looking on – take to the ballot box today in what has arguably become the most fascinating mid-term elections in living memory.
Over the course of the previous week, Republicans have managed to set the agenda within the US media as the Honduran migrant caravan and birthright citizenship became the core topics of discussion on the US political landscape.
It is in that context that commentary has been distracted from what may just be the most interesting development to come out of the Democrats’ own campaign.
On Thursday of last week, Oprah Winfrey turned up along with actor Will Ferrell on the Georgia campaign scene to support the candidacy of Stacey Abrams in her bid to become the first black female governor in US history.
During her appearance, Winfrey followed along with the Democrats’ primary strategy in these elections – galvanising its base with reminders of the consequences of abstention. Ten million Democrats stayed at home in 2016 in comparison to 2012, granting a Trump victory which could have been prevented by 80,000 strategically placed votes.
2020 End Game?
And despite her own claims to the contrary, Winfrey’s appearance on the political campaign trail has largely been interpreted as her de-facto entrance into the 2020 race for the White-house.
It is not the first time that the idea of Oprah-Winfrey-as-Next-President has popped up. The former talk show host was, at one stage, priced by some bookmakers as low as 8-1 to succeed Trump (who remains the bookmakers’ favourite).
That was back in January when the field of potential Democratic candidates was looking much more sparse than it does now. Last week, however, was arguably the first time that Winfrey has made any kind of concrete move into the arena of political campaigning.
And it is for that reason that offers of 66/1 from Betfred and Skybet likely qualify as one of the stand-out value bets for the 2020 presidential race.
Should the Republicans emerge with yet another comprehensive win after tomorrow’s elections, that value may be consolidated as Democrats – including Winfrey herself – conclude that they will need their own billionaire reality television star to displace the one already in the Oval Office.