It still feels like the 2016 presidential election never ended, considering how often we still hear about it in the news, but we are already on the verge of yet another election. A number of Democratic challengers have emerged with an eye on taking Donald Trump’s current seat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. These challengers will be participating in the 2020 Democratic Debates this week.
Trump won the ‘16 election in shocking fashion over a heavily-favored Hillary Clinton. Clinton failed to campaign in a number of key states that eventually swung in Trump’s favor, which effectively wound up deciding the election. We’ll see if the eventual Democratic nominee learns from Clinton’s mistakes over the next year.
Trump, of course, formally announced last week that he will be running for re-election as well. The 2016 campaign was notoriously ugly with Trump and Clinton constantly going back-and-forth, and one would imagine we’re likely to see more of the same in 2020.
As of now, there are a whopping 23 major Democratic candidates vying for the presidency. Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld is exploring a challenge to Trump from within his own party, but at this point, Trump seems to be a lock to earn the Republican nomination once again.
Later this week, most of the Democrats in the field will get together on the debate stage for the first time. Because there are so many candidates, though, the debate will be split up into two separate events on back-to-back nights. Half of the contenders will debate on Wednesday night in Miami, while the other half will do so on Thursday night at the same venue.
Three candidates haven’t garnered enough support in the polls to qualify for the debate stage. They are Steve Bullock, Wayne Messam, and Seth Moulton. Every other major candidate will be there, and there are actually prop bets available to those wanting to make things more interesting by putting a little money on the line.
Some of the props involve the president himself, while others are more focused on the upcoming debates. Let’s break down some of the props available at Bovada ahead of the first round of Democratic presidential debates.
When it comes to politics, many candidates believe in comparing themselves to the person they are trying to either replace or beat in an election. So, we’re sure to see plenty of the Democratic candidates talk about why they think Trump is doing a bad job and how they can improve upon it if elected.
Politico reports that some candidates believe the right option is to avoid talking about Trump. Instead, they are trying to sell voters on themselves without mentioning the man currently occupying the Oval Office. We’ll see how that plays out, but you can be sure that Trump’s name will come up plenty over the course of the two-night debates.
We have 20 candidates all set to take the stage. I would imagine there will be no shortage of attacks on the current president. 45 ½ just seems like a very low number, especially considering moderators will also likely mention the 45th POTUS. 45 ½ just seems like a very conservative estimate, so I would be hammering the over pretty hard here.
The president likes his Twitter. Barack Obama may have been the first “social media president,” but Trump has taken that to a whole new level with his Twitter exploits. Trump has gotten himself into his fair share of hot water with his social media escapades over the last couple of years. He still defends his Twitter use, however, as he believes it is the best way to get his unfiltered message out there to his base of supporters.
As of this writing, Trump has tweeted north of 42,000 times from his personal account. The vast majority of those came before he took office, of course. By this count taken over a year ago, Trump averages about 11 or 12 tweets per day.
The president also has a history of tweeting during Democratic debates. During the Dem debates back in October of 2015, Trump basically held a live-tweet session.
He may have had a little more time on his hands back then considering he wasn’t president yet, but it’s not like his duties as Commander in Chief have really curtailed his tweeting in the three years since, anyway. I expect he will be tuned in to the debates and ready to fire off those tweets as always.
2 ½ once again feels like a conservative estimate, so I would be taking the over here once again. There’s definitely a chance the president decides to stand on the sidelines, but that wouldn’t be the Donald Trump we’ve come to know over the last few years.
Wednesday night’s debate certainly doesn’t feature as many recognizable names as Thursday night’s event. Regardless, Elizabeth Warren checks in as the favorite to get the most speaking time at +350, followed closely by Beto O’Rourke at +450 odds.
Warren is the frontrunner among those in the first night of debates despite the fact that O’Rourke entered the race with much more fanfare. Current polls indicate that Booker is the only other candidate taking the stage on Wednesday night with much of a hope of actually securing the nomination. There are lots of also-rans appearing on the first night.
According to CNN, Warren has put forth the most policy ideas to this point, and she hasn’t been afraid to speak up on any single issue. O’Rourke should be among the more desperate candidates taking the stage at the debates considering his star seems to have fallen a bit since he entered the race. Beto was once considered to be one of the most intriguing candidates in the field, so a good showing on the big debate stage is crucial if he has real aspirations of faring well in the upcoming primaries.
I like the value on Beto at +450, but Warren makes for the slightly “safer” option at +350. Booker is a nice long shot candidate at +500. He’s in the same boat as O’Rourke with regard to faring well at the debates. I could see someone like John Delaney trying to garner attention for himself at +1000 considering he’s fairly unknown, but with a generally unpredictable bet like this, I’d prefer to stick with the candidates with better odds.
For safety, take Warren. For a little more upside, bet on Beto.
The second night of the debates likely comes down to Bernie or Biden for me. They have the same odds at +325, and I expect they will be the primary targets of the other eight candidates on the stage. Biden may find himself on the defensive considering some of the controversies in which he’s found himself already on the campaign trail.
Sanders has a history of being very vocal in these debate settings in the past, so I slightly prefer Bernie at +325 here. He has shown that he has no qualms about interrupting others in order to drive his point home, so Bernie looks like a clear favorite to get the most speaking time on the second night.
None of the long shots really stand out on Night 2, so Sanders takes the cake.
The upcoming debates are set to be moderated by Chuck Todd and Jose Diaz-Balart. What they bring up first is anybody’s guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if current events play a big role in the order of topics set to be discussed at the 2020 Democratic Debate.
The two dominant storylines of the week center around immigration/border security and Iran. Trump made news late last week when he claimed to have called off a missile strike against Iran, while there has been plenty of discussion this week about conditions at the US-Mexico border for incoming immigrants.
It’s interesting that immigration and border security are viewed as separate topics by oddsmakers considering they seem to go hand-in-hand in many ways. The ongoing debate has been sparked by Trump’s campaign promise of a wall to be built along the southern border. It’s allegedly an attempt to secure the border while also curbing illegal immigration, so it’s unclear why the odds are different.
Regardless, I think immigration (+850) and border security (+1000) being the first topics brought up at the debate are both good betting values here. Iran (or North Korea) at +750 is also a fair value betting option considering the recent news on the matter.
Things like climate, gun control, and healthcare are topics that will surely be broached at some point, but my money is on immigration/border security being the first topic of conversation on Wednesday night.
Buttigieg (pronounced BOOT-EDGE-EDGE) isn’t your everyday last name. It’s not exactly a phonetic pronunciation either, so there’s a very real chance we see someone stumble over it when the South Bend mayor takes the stage in Miami on Thursday night.
I would imagine the name won’t be an issue for either of the moderators, but some of Mayor Pete’s fellow candidates may not be as well-versed in the name. That said, I’m not sure how often he’ll actually be addressed as “Buttigieg” in the first place, especially considering how the “Mayor Pete” nickname seems to have stuck.
I would imagine those without a firm grasp on the pronunciation of Buttigieg will play it safe and stick with “Mayor Pete.” So, give me the under on 1 ½ mispronunciations of his name on Thursday night.
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