Odds to be Named the Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential Candidate

Joe Biden is expected to name his Vice Presidential candidate sometime in the next week. Biden has reportedly narrowed his list of nominees down to two finalists, and they are the two favorites to be named the Democratic VP candidate per the political betting odds. Kamala Harris has been the presumptive frontrunner since March, but Susan Rice has emerged as a viable second option according to sources in Biden’s camp. However, while they are the presumed favorites, you can’t count out some of the longer shots after we saw Tim Kaine become Hillary Clinton’s VP in 2016 and Sarah Palin become the late John McCain’s pick in 2008.















Harris has been the favorite per the electoral betting odds for nearly five months. She has the second-highest name recognition among the potential choices, and she has the highest among the probable candidates since it’s very unlikely that Elizabeth Warren will be the VP.

The junior senator from California is the most well-rounded candidate of the bunch. She has plenty of experience with law enforcement from her time as District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California, and she established herself as one of the sharpest minds early on in Congress. Harris appeals to centrists in the party, and while there are those on the periphery that don’t like some of her stances and past statements with regards to law enforcement, there is no doubt those stances play better with middle of the road voters.

Politico may have leaked that Harris was the pick to be Biden’s VP last week. The site quickly deleted the post, but several people took screenshots of it, and that led to Harris’ odds to become Vice President dropping. They have since recovered somewhat, yet she is still an odds-on favorite.

Rice is the other frontrunner according to multiple reports. She was not seen as one of the favorites to be Biden’s pick initially, but her experience and prior relationship working with Biden in Barack Obama’s administration have surged her forward. Rice was the ambassador to the United Nations in Obama’s first term, and she became the United Stats national security advisor early in his second term.

Although she might be Biden’s preferred pick, her selection could backfire according to a recent report from Politico. Republicans would likely paint Rice with the same brush they used to paint Hillary Clinton, potentially making her addition a detriment rather than a boon. It’s certainly not fair given what we know about Rice, but that’s politics. That makes her a stayaway at these odds.

Val Demings has much of the same appeal as Kamala Harris, although she doesn’t have the same national recognition. Demings was the first woman to be chief of police in Orlando, and she is a relative newcomer to Washington. She was only elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, so it’s impossible for critics on the other side of the aisle to bring up her career when referring to “draining the swamp”. Additionally, she is from the most important swing state in Florida, so there is hope that she can turn that state blue.

The longshot to like at these odds is Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. Democratic strategists have said that the party’s biggest problem in 2016 was the collapse of their support in the Midwest, and Whitmer could help change that. After Donald Trump surprisingly won Michigan in 2016, she defeated her Republican opponent by almost 10 points in 2018, and she has been hailed as a rising star in the party since her election.

There is typically an inside-outside dynamic when it comes to building tickets. Senators generally nominate governors to be their VPs and vice versa in order to combat questions of inexperience and aloofness. Whitmer is the political outsider that Biden’s team might want given what we have seen over the last couple years, and she is very popular in her home state.

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