Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) announced on New Year's Eve she has formed an exploratory committee for president, but online political bettors say she's a longshot to secure the Democratic Party's nomination to challenge presumed opponent President Donald Trump.
PredictIt, the online site that allows users to buy and sell shares of political outcomes, instead says former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) is the odds-on favorite. Shares of the former Texas congressman winning the Democratic nomination are currently trading at 22 cents.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) is next at 17 cents, and former Vice President Joe Biden third at 15 cents. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) is fourth at 14 cents, and Warren fifth at just 11 cents.
Other notables include Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Oprah Winfrey and former First Lady Hillary Clinton (3 cents), and longshots Mark Zuckerberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at a penny.
Without a clear frontrunner, PredictIt bettors currently have Trump the heavy 2020 favorite to win reelection. The president's shares of winning are at 32 cents, and O'Rourke next at 16 cents.
PredictIt shares that come to reality are paid $1 each. Users are permitted to invest up to $850 in each market question. The political betting site takes 10 percent of winning profits, and additionally levies a five percent withdrawal fee.
Once considered a frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Warren's odds lengthened after many discredited her Cherokee Indian heritage claims. She released a DNA test in October that showed she was anywhere between 1/64 and 1/1,204 Native American.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said of the results, “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”
He continued, “It makes a mockery out of DNA tests … while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments … whose ancestors are well-documented and whose heritage is proven.”
Warren shares of claiming the 2020 Democratic nomination were trading as high as 17 cents prior to the Native American heritage controversy.
Betting on Beto
So, who is Beto O'Rourke? The 46-year-old began his political career serving on the El Paso City Council in 2005, and stayed in that capacity until 2011. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2013, representing Texas' 16th district.
After serving three two-year terms, O'Rourke tried to upset longtime Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) in the 2018 midterms. But the 2016 presidential candidate narrowly edged O'Rourke by two percentage points.
After his November defeat, O'Rourke told gossip celebrity site TMZ regarding the presidential speculation, “I haven't made any decisions is probably the best way for me to put it.”
Though El Paso City Council to the White House in just nine years might seem far-fetched, all bets are off in the wake of the 2016 outcome that saw Trump, a candidate with no political office experience, upset Democrat Hilary Clinton.
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