Biden vs. Warren

Elizabeth Warren is now neck-and-neck with Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic nomination, according to British bookmaker Smarkets which uses Wisdom-of-the-Crowd methodology to price political outcomes.

Priced at 25% at the time of writing, Warren is only fractionally behind Biden who sits on 25.38% and appears set to emerge as Smarkets’ outright leading candidate in the coming days.

Of the leading candidates, the Massachusetts Senator – who identifies with the Democratic Party’s progressive wing – has seen her Smarkets rating climb relentlessly since early May when she had been priced at 5%. Her recent momentum comes largely at the expense of co-progressive Bernie Sanders who, surprisingly, has so far failed to make a significant mark in the Democratic nomination race.

Smarkets Democratic Nomination - August 2019

Harris Tails Off

And just as Warren’s trajectory has been inversely correlated with Sander’s over the last three months, for Joe Biden a similar picture has emerged when his own fortunes are contrasted with those of Kamala Harris.

Harris was largely an unknown figure until the first round of televised debates when she came to prominence on the back of stinging verbal attacks on Biden’s history on race issues in the US. The strategy appeared to have worked – at least initially – as Harris saw her probability of gaining the nomination jump from 12% to 34% in the forty-eight hours which followed the debate.

As a result, Harris emerged for a short time as lead candidate but has since failed to find a second wind, with Biden emerging once more at the head of the pack, albeit only by a whisker.

National polling in the US, in contrast, places Biden at the head of the field by a much larger margin – although polling is generally seen as less reliable than liquid political stock markets. Polls vs. bookmaker comparisons aside, current momentum favours Warren who continues to serve up fresh policy initiatives whilst Biden appears content to adopt a tamer approach on the policy front.