One way to keep track of the evolving Presidential primaries and general election news is the website which shows what the betting market is predicting for upcoming election outcomes. In the charts below, we show the current probabilities of a primary and general election win for each of the various candidates (officially announced and otherwise) with a 1% or higher chance of winning.  Elizabeth Warren now has a commanding lead in the Democrats’ primary with a 34.9% chance of victory with Biden and Sanders in second and third.

Where things get more interesting is to figure out which candidates have the best chance of winning the general election assuming they win their primary. For example, President Trump’s odds of winning his primary are 88.1%, but his odds of winning the general election for the Presidency are priced at 43.7%.

By dividing that 43.7% by the 88.1% chance of primary victory we can get to a 49.6% general election pricing assuming the candidate wins their primary.  This conditional probability probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it’s got some interesting results. Among candidates polling over 5%, Beto O’Rourke has the highest odds (80%) of a general election win if he takes the primary while other Democratic hopefuls Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders are priced at 60%+ odds.  Biden’s general election odds are at 55% if he wins the primary, while Warren — the current front runner — is at 49.9%. Notably, although Trump is close at 49.6%, no Republican has a conditional priced probability over 50% to win the general.

All of that said, these conditional relationships can be very unstable and are complicated to arbitrage, so we probably shouldn’t place too much faith in the detail of their message, but it’s still interesting to see that markets are implicitly optimistic about the electability of a candidate like Sanders or Yang relative to more mainstream candidates like Warren, Harris, or Biden.  Start a two-week free trial to one of our three membership levels to receive Bespoke’s most actionable ideas.

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