President Joe Biden’s prospects for winning the White House race this year have taken a hit over the past few days. The decline comes in the wake of a report by a Republican special counsel, characterizing the Democratic incumbent as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
Biden, aged 81, along with his supporters, has strongly criticized the report by special counsel Robert Hur. The report has been viewed as intentionally damaging to Biden’s re-election campaign, according to his allies.
Diminished Election Prospects
According to betting markets monitored by RealClearPolitics, the probability of President Biden being re-elected in November now stands at 27%. This represents a decline from 34% at the end of January and is currently at its lowest point in a year, as illustrated in the accompanying chart.
It is important to note that betting markets have previously proven to be unreliable predictors, particularly during the 2022 midterm elections. Several factors contribute to this inconsistency. The demographic of political gamblers tends to lean towards the right and consists primarily of males. Additionally, these markets can be influenced by prevailing narratives and distorted by unreliable polls, as stated by an expert in political gambling and prediction markets following the aforementioned midterms.
Potential 2024 Presidential Election Candidates
Former President Donald Trump, widely anticipated to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 Presidential election, is currently given a 44% chance of winning by the betting markets tracked by RCP.
His main competitor in the GOP presidential primaries, Nikki Haley, stands at a mere 3%. The same probability is assigned to Biden’s vice president, Kamala Harris, and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party nomination in October.
Interestingly, former first lady Michelle Obama is assigned a 10% chance of winning, despite claims from former Obama White House official David Axelrod that she is not inclined towards politics. Axelrod even suggested that it is more likely for him to be “dancing in the Bolshoi Ballet next year” than for her to pursue elective office. Nonetheless, former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has expressed his belief that Michelle Obama could become the Democratic nominee.
On the Democratic side, California Governor Gavin Newsom has persistently denied any interest in running for the White House in 2024, yet he is still assigned an 8% chance of winning.
From the archives (August 2023): The Age Factor in the 2024 White House Race: Debunking Common Misconceptions