Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has now emerged as Joe Biden’s leading contender in the race for the Democratic nomination, according to the latest data from  PredictIt, a self-styled “political stockmarkets” platform.

Warren’s chances of obtaining the nomination are currently priced at 22 cents – corresponding to an implied probability of 22%, having jumped from 15 cents in early June, and 6 cents as late as March of this year.

The jump means that Warren is now a mere 5 cents behind Biden who is trading at 27 cents as the former Vice President continues with what appears to be a slow decline which kicked in around mid-May.

Decisive Debate

Warren’s campaign strategy has been almost entirely anchored in a policy-first approach where, largely ignoring the other candidates in the 24-strong field for the Democratic nomination, she prefers to dedicate her air time to highlighting policies which favour consumer protection and government oversight – in marked contrast to her previous political leanings as a registered Republican with a preference for laissez-faire economic policies.

Trading on a Sanders nomination, on the other hand, has stagnated in the 17 cents – 19 cents band since early May, reflecting recent difficulties in finding a second wind for what will likely be the 77 year-old’s last presidential campaign.

However, whilst Sanders’ campaign may have been noticeably understated in recent months, he tends to shine on the biggest platforms when the lights are all on him. And with the first round of Democratic debates due to start next week, there is every chance that he will once again find the kind of momentum that brought him to the brink of obtaining the nomination in 2015.

The Democratic ticket has lined up to become a battle between Progressives and Establishment Democrats with Sanders firmly identified with the former and Biden the latter. Warren’s appeal may be that she can appeal to enough from both camps to jump ahead of the two men that have so far been leading the field.