Political Horse Race: 2022 And 2024 Betting Begins
The polls and the betting odds begin to take shape for an epic campaign season.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
The Candidates’ Market Report
The 2022 and 2024 election cycles are already under the scrutiny of pollsters and the betting markets, and even at this early stage, trends are beginning to show. With President Joe Biden sinking in popularity and a Democrat-led Senate stalemated by its own members, it seems that interesting times are ahead for political watchers.
This Week’s Major Players
Joe Biden – 38%
Congress – 20.6%
Kamala Harris – 37.9%
When President Biden announced that he saw himself as merely a “transition” candidate, the Democratic Party establishment had its hopes firmly set on newly ensconced Vice President Kamala Harris as the heir to the throne. And yet, despite Biden being the public punching bag for the nation’s woes in terms of gas prices, inflation, and broken borders, Harris still manages to rate below her boss.
Most notable, however, are not the approval ratings, but the favorability ratings. While approval ratings generally describe how the public views a person’s policies and actions taken, favorability perhaps gives a sense of how popular a candidate or official is based on their personality and perceived prospects on the political stage.
Joe Biden – Favorable: 42.7%; Unfavorable: 53.3%; Spread: -10.6%
Kamala Harris – Favorable: 39.1%; Unfavorable: 52.6%; Spread: -13.5%
Donald Trump – Favorable: 43.6%; Unfavorable: 51.8%; Spread: -8.2%
Nancy Pelosi – Favorable: 32.6%; Unfavorable: 58.4%; Spread: -25.8%
Chuck Schumer – Favorable: 29%; Unfavorable: 46.8%; Spread: -17.8%
Mitch McConnell – Favorable: 24%; Unfavorable: 58.3%; Spread: -34.3%
Kevin McCarthy – Favorable: 26.3%; Unfavorable: 45.7%; Spread: -19.4%
According to the data, Donald Trump is seen as both the most favorable of DC’s heavy hitters and at the same time the least unpopular. Whether this is a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder or a matter of Biden buyers’ remorse will no doubt become apparent closer to the 2024 election.
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Congressional Map 2022
Historical trends suggest that the House will flip to GOP control in the November midterms, but the Senate is a different creature entirely. While all House seats are on the ballot, only 35 Senate seats are facing the voters. RealClearPolitics posts that a Generic Congressional Vote puts Republicans an average of two points ahead against Democrats across both chambers. Of the last ten polls, six handed the win to the GOP, two were tied and two favored Democrat control. These numbers mirror the traditional loss of lower chamber support in the midterm cycle, but perhaps don’t address the intricacies of Senate races.
While a two-point lead may not seem overly significant, tracking the direction of support provides a clearer trend. A year ago, back in June 2021, Democrats had a six and a half point clear lead – that has been slowly eroding ever since.
All eyes are on the Senate to see which party will gain control and, ultimately, steer the legislative agenda. Most pollsters have this as a toss-up with only six or seven states in serious contention.
Direction Of The Country
American voters who say the country is on the “right track” is at a startling low of just 17%, while a huge 83% say the nation is headed in the “wrong direction.” Although this metric doesn’t always translate directly to intention at the ballot box, it certainly impacts enthusiasm and turnout.
It is well-established that many folks in 2020 were not casting a vote for Joe Biden, but against Donald Trump; should the current president opt for another shot at the brass ring, his record in office will likely not motivate potential voters to lend him their support.
In July 2018, 42% said that the country was headed in the right direction, a number that dropped precipitously with the arrival of COVID-19. Notably, even since the pandemic ended, Biden has yet to bring these figures back to anywhere near Trump’s levels.
What The Gamblers Say About 2024
As with most things, if you follow the money, you can’t go too far wrong. This is a selection of the odds for key races and events in 2014. Early betting gives former President Donald Trump a handy lead in 2024, but the bad news for Biden is that he doesn’t even make the top two. Is this the GOP’s race to lose?
Democrat Nominee for 2024
Joe Biden: 2/1
Kamala Harris: 3/1
Pete Buttigieg: 8/1
Gavin Newsom: 9/1
Republican Nominee for 2024
Donald Trump: 11/10
Ron DeSantis: 2/1
Mike Pence: 8/1
Nikki Haley: 10/1
Election Winner in 2024
Donald Trump: 3/1
Ron DeSantis: 3/1
Joe Biden: 5/1
Kamala Harris: 10/1
Not only do the betting markets not have Joe Biden beating Donald Trump, but they don’t even have him coming in second as far as the cash bettors go. Placing third in a two-way race is certain to be a bad look for the sitting president. Perhaps more worryingly for Democrats, their heir apparent comes in at a distant 10/1 longshot.
These odds are backed strongly by recent Harvard/Harris polling that says Trump beats Biden in a head-to-head by three points and Harris by a clear six. Surveys suggest DeSantis would do well against Biden but may struggle against Harris despite her national unpopularity.