Vivek Ramaswamy Overtakes DeSantis as Bettors’ Second Choice to Win the GOP Nomination

Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall; AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Betting odds, which some say provide more accurate predictions than polls, have a new GOP candidate behind former President Donald Trump. While that candidate is hardly a threat to the front-runner, it is notable — because it’s not Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). It’s Vivek Ramaswamy.

According to Election Betting Odds — a site run by John Stossel and Maxim Lott which aggregates betting odds from overseas bookmakers and other prediction markets —  Trump, as you would expect, is the runaway favorite, with the site calculating he has a 70 percent chance to take the GOP nomination in 2024. Trailing behind him at 9.6 percent is not DeSantis but Vivek Ramaswamy, who leads  DeSantis at 9.5 percent. It’s by no means a huge lead, but it does represent an enormous fall for DeSantis — who, according to a graph on Election Betting Odds, was actually favored over Trump in late 2022.

To be clear, this odds checker represents the opinions of actual bettors plunking down cold hard cash. The overseas betting markets show Trump as roughly a 2-5 favorite. (Meaning a $100 wager would return $140 if Trump wins.) Depending on the bookmaker, Ramaswamy is being offered at odds of roughly 9-1 (roughly a $1,000 return on a $100 bet, if he wins), and DeSantis is listed at 10-1 (an approximate $1,100 return on $100, if he wins).

These odds are just the latest bad news for DeSantis, who has now replaced his campaign manager with his long-time chief-of-staff James Uthmeier. He replaces Generra Peck, who will moved to the role of chief strategist, according to Politico. In recent weeks, the DeSantis campaign has let go 38 staffers, about a third of the operation, and he continues to drop in the polls. He has also continued to distance himself from Trump, positioning himself as an even more extreme alternative, but most notably disavowing Trump’s 2020 election lies.

For his part, Ramaswamy is still fully on board the Trump train. He was on location for Trump’s two most recent indictments in Florida and Washington, D.C., and he has promised to pardon Trump should he be elected himself. As recently as 2022, Ramaswamy denounced Trump’s election fraud lies as “weak” and out of the “Stacy Abrams playbook” of claiming voter suppression.

Beyond the GOP primary, it’s worth noting that the same pre- and post-indictment time period — late 2022 up until August 2023 — has shown an increase in likelihood that President Joe Biden (or a Democratic candidate) will win re-election in 2024; Tuesday’s odds give him a 53 percent chance of winning, a Republican candidate 45 percent.


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