Bernie's Odds of Winning the Nomination are Under 50%

Mish

Careful poll and betting odds analysis suggest Bernie's chances are not as good as the media bandwagon thinks.

Heading into tonight's debate, I side with Nate Silver at 538 on Who Will Win The 2020 Democratic Primary.

The lead chart is for having over 50% of the delegates heading into the convention, not for winning regardless.

Silver does not have odds of winner by any means yet. This is despite the fact that 538 commented today: We Got A Flurry Of New National Polls. Sanders Led Them All.

Don't like Silver's Model?

Many suspect Silver's model is flat out wrong. So do I.

He admitted an error today, and apologized for it in We Fixed An Issue With How Our Primary Forecast Was Calculating Candidates’ Demographic Strengths.

The change, however, benefitted Bloomberg.

Sanders Leading Everywhere But Florida

Judging from Predictit Bernie Sanders is in the lead in every state but Florida.

Yet, that only translates to a 51-28 lead over Bloomberg.

Overall it is 51-49, a tossup.

So why do I have Bernie's odds less than 50%?

In addition to Silver and debate uncertainty, Predictit is just one poll.

Betting Odds

Key Points

  1. The current average betting odds for Bernie to win the nomination are 44%.
  2. That means his odds of losing are 56%.
  3. Momentum since January 20 is hugely in favor of Bloomberg.

North Carolina

North Carolina is a Super Tuesday state with 110 delegates. Bloomberg is tied for the lead.

California

California Key Points

  • California is the biggest Super Tuesday state with 416 pledged delegates.
  • On February 11, Sanders was polling an average of 25.3% vs Bloomberg at 5.3%.
  • In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Feb 13-16, Sanders is at 25% vs Bloomberg at 21%.
  • California momentum for Bloomberg is massive.

California Analysis

Assuming the latest poll is accurate (or at least close), Sanders is not "winning" California. Rather, he is getting killed vs expectations and also getting killed vs what he needs to do to get half the delegates.

I do not know if that poll is accurate or not, but I am a huge believer in momentum.

Bloomberg has far more momentum than Sanders in most polls. The media latched onto Sanders simply because he is the perceived leader.

Questioning SurveyUSA?

Admittedly, it is just one poll, but please note that SurveyUSA gets an "A" in 538 Pollster Ratings.

Moreover, I tend to give more credence to the newest polls. The surge for Bloomberg is believable. He has been spending massive amounts of money on ads.

That's a topic guaranteed to come up - many times - tonight.

Conclusion

The media pile-ons for Bernie may turn out to be accurate, but even if so, most of mainstream media has jumped the gun.

Given the uncertainties surrounding tonight's debates as well as analysis of California and North Carolina, Bernie's odds are at best 50%, and I suggest much lower.

We need more polls in California and Texas after tonight's debate to have a better understanding.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)
Sechel
Sechel

Bernie is largely running in the progressive lane of the Democratic party uncontested Warren is becoming irrelevant The rest are vying for the moderate lane. If Sanders were to gain the nomination with only about 25% support of the Democratic party its a virtual certainty that Trump gets a 2nd term. Unions are not about to give up their private health insurance. Sanders is selling something the majority of Americans don't want. Huge cross section of America who don't want government more in their lives. Worse Sanders has no hope of getting 60 members of the Senate to support any of his initiatives but if he heads the DNC ticket you could see Democratic losses in the Senate and House. In short Sanders would bring disaster to the DNC. That's what Mike Bloomberg needs to communicate at the debate.

3 Replies

Jojo
Jojo

"Sanders is selling something the majority of Americans don't want. Huge cross section of America who don't want government more in their lives."

Wrong! Huge sections don't give a crap one way or another how much the government is in their lives. Most everyone wants to save money and not be exposed to unplanned bankruptcy due to the current medical system. A single payer health insurance system WILL save money for everyone AND protect people from unexpected healthcare bills, like this person:

My $145,000 Surprise Medical Bill
What my brief glimpse into the financial abyss taught me about the American health care system.
By Jennifer Finney Boylan | Feb. 19, 2020

“Well,” I said to my wife. “We’re wiped out.”

She’d called me late in the day to let me know she’d received a bill for our child’s hospital stay. The bill was for $145,000.

“What are we going to do?” she asked.

“I’m sure it’s just a mistake,” I said.

“But Jenny,” she said, “what if it’s not?”

The bill in question was for a procedure that had been scheduled months before. We’d consulted with the provider, who, indeed, was out of network, but our doctors had assured us that the total cost would nevertheless require nothing but a modest co-payment.

ReadyKilowatt
ReadyKilowatt

Everyone hates the current health insurance system, yet no one wants to change it.

Politicians love the current system, it gives both sides excellent talking points to get out the vote. And plenty of blame to go around to smear your opponent. As with most political issues these days, if a political solution were actually found and implemented the candidates would need to find some other issues to run on. But these work so well it just makes sense to keep them in the air until you can retire or die in office.

Schaap60
Schaap60

Hillary Clinton was the ultimate "moderate" and brought disaster to the DNC. People want change as reflected by Obama's 2008 election (though he didn't provide it) and the repudiation of Clinton even though Trump was the alternative. Bloomberg doesn't offer change and will likely also bring electoral disaster to the DNC. I say electoral because the DNC will think his cash is anything but a disaster. Perhaps losing to Trump twice with a moderate is what the DNC needs to finally engage in some self-reflection.

Regarding health care, huge cross sections of Americans (seniors, poor people and government workers) already get government funded health care. Many of the rest are probably on the cusp of concluding that some form of affordable care is better than the care they have access to now. However, if Americans aren't generally willing to embrace single payer this election more of them will every election until it finally happens if prices continue to spiral out of control. My family will likely be a big loser financially in a single payer system, but the writing is on the wall that the current system is not sustainable. I think Sanders resonates with people who already believe that. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

No. 1-7
awc13
awc13

the more the media hypes bernie the more disappointed his followers will be when he fails to get the nomination

Blurtman
Blurtman

Re-education camps for Biden and Bloomberg supporters. Recalcitrants to be sentenced to the Hanford waste pits.

lol
lol

Trump has zero chance of reelection,Zirp will not help Trump,his only chance is NIRP /QE5 on a massive scale,This dead ass economy/govt will not survive the year,time is running out for him.You can pretend everything is "booming",pretending doesn't pay the bills,Obama(somehow??) got relected in a dead economy,Trump won't be so lucky!!

Jojo
Jojo

Feb. 19, 2020, at 4:29 PM
Election Update: We Got A Flurry Of New National Polls. Sanders Led Them All.
Meanwhile, Biden is dropping fast.

klausmkl
klausmkl

Thanks for adding odds, Misch. I always like them better than polls

Herkie
Herkie

Sadly though, if Sanders is the nominee for the democrats the USA is finished, because the country cannot take another four years of Trump, and it can't even take the first four years of Sanders. The only silver lining to his apparent nomination that is now his to lose is that I get to do to he and his borg what they did to me and my party in 2016, vote for Trump (staying home is not an option).

And yes, I think any of you who recognize my name will understand just how completely I hate Donald Trump, so having to vote for him at this point will trigger what is without doubt one of the most spectacular existential crises in modern voter history, but, as much damage as Trump will do it pales next to what Sanders will do if he is ever in office.

Then again the VP choice of both will play a more important role than any other presidential election in our history since both are so superannuated that they are well under a coin toss to survive the next four years. Especially that bitter old angry Sanders. Trump is so pickled on Adderall that he might actually make it to his second term but we all know that he is really unhealthy and likely to die basically at any given minute.

The fact that our choices are now so poor, between Sanders on the left, and Trump on the right, in many ways means that the USA is already finished and we just are the frog in the pot that has no clue just how hot the water has gotten.


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