On the same day as a leading Democratic Party founder threw his weight behind Beto O’Rourke, the betting market was looking bullish on the Texas Democrat. Traders on PredictIt, a popular site for placing bets on virtually any political issue, were ranking O’Rourke in first place among possible candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. You can see the rankings here.
California Senator Kamala Harris has been leading the field, and bettors still place her at the top of the pack. But at the time of writing, O’Rourke had steadily edged up until he was tied for first place with Harris. (Traders were paying 18 cents on a bet that Harris would win the 2020 Democratic nomination; as of Friday afternoon, they were also paying 18 cents to bet that ORourke would win the nomination.)
Bernie Sanders is currently coming in at third place, with former Vice President Joe Biden in fourth. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is ranking in fifth place.
A Top Democratic Fundraiser Says It’s Time to ‘Pass the Torch’ to O’Rourke
On Friday morning, CNN reported that Louis Sussman, a leading fundraiser for Democrats, pledged that he will support O’Rourke if he decides on a White House run in 2020. Sussman was the finance chairman for John Kerry’s campaign in 2004; he also backed Barack Obama in 2008.
In a telephone interview with CNN, Sussman explained why O’Rourke is his favorite candidate. The veteran fundraiser said, “It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation. I have nothing against the Bidens and Kerrys of the world and all of these senators that are looking at it, but I think the Beto example is what inspired people and what we are going to need.”
O’Rourke, a three-term Congressman, has generated a lot of excitement in recent months. Lately, the media has been full of speculation and debate about the Texas Democrat’s chances. His supporters point to the fact that he came within three points of Republican Ted Cruz in the race for the Senate. They also point to the fact that O’Rourke raised a record amount of money (just over 80 million dollars) for his race. But O’Rourke hasn’t said one way or another whether he plans to run for the White House in 2020.
The Betting Market Is Highly Volatile
Just an hour after Beto O’Rourke had edged into a first place tie in the betting for the likely Democratic 2020 nomination, O’Rourke slid back down. Suddenly, bettors were placing O’Rourke in third place — behind Kamala Harris, who remained the first place favorite, and Bernie Sanders, who climbed up into second place.
2020 is still a long way away, and there are likely to be many more upsets — and many more surprises — along the way in this closely-watched race.