Bryan Caplan  

Warren Bet

Update on FIRE... Is history cyclical?...
My long-time friend Ben Haller posted this prediction on Facebook:
Elizabeth Warren on Bill Maher - man, she is really good. I hereby predict that she will be President in 2020... That's assuming she runs - but I think she will.
I find this extremely unlikely, for the following reasons:

1. As a matter of base rates, there are many Democratic candidates.  And unlike the last three elections, there's no obvious front-runner.  (Yes, Hillary was the obvious front-runner in 2008, even though she lost).  In any case, incumbents usually get re-elected.

2. Personally, Warren looks to me like Hillary Clinton without the Clinton machine.

3. Electionbettingodds currently only gives Warren a 7.9% chance to win.  (Though to be fair it also gives Trump unusually low odds of staying in office).

I therefore offered Ben 2:1 odds against Warren being elected, and he's accepted.  The bet gets called off if Warren doesn't run.  Ben speaks:
A betting opportunity brought you out of the woodwork, eh? :-> Well, I am a fan of your position on betting. My only hesitation is that in the past she has chosen not to run because (she claims) she feels she is more effective where she is. I have no particular reason to think she has changed her mind on that - as I wrote above, "that's assuming she runs". I would be happy to take your bet, conditional on her running at all. If she doesn't run, we keep our money. If she does run, there is a lot of time between now and then, and anything could happen, but I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is at 2:1. I think she has the potential to be an enormously strong candidate, nobody else anywhere near as charismatic seems to be in the field, and if anybody ever showed the clear potential to be a one-term President it would seem to be Trump (although I do worry that he will manage to make himself a "wartime President" by then and get all the rah-rah "patriots" to rally around him :-<).

(And of course "in 2020" is taken in the non-literal sense, that she will win the election in 2020 and take office in 2021 :->. Obviously she will not be President in 2020. :->)
The stakes at my $100 against Ben's $50.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (10 to date)
psmith writes:

What would you take on President Zuck?

Luke Perrin writes:

Can't you just cash out at Betfair?

bill writes:

Do you know why your friend didn't just take 10:1 at Ladbrokes? Maybe Ladbrokes doesn't offer the "if she runs" contingency?

Radford Neal writes:

Your reasoning seems to be missing one thing - how likely it is that Warren will win if she decides to run. And that's what you're betting on. It could be that all you say is true, but that Warren is smart enough to not run unless something changes that makes it likely that she'll win.

Michael Byrnes writes:

I think the bet will be called off (ie, she won't run). If she does run, Bryan wins.

I don't think she is HRC without the Clinton machine. If anything, I think her potential 2020 high water mark would be being 2020's version of Bernie Sanders.

That said, I like Radford Neal's point a lot, but I will stick with doesn't run, with "runs and loses" as my runner up.

AlanG writes:

Warren is rather humourless and easily angered. Amy Kloubachar is funny and cool as a cucumber. You read it here first that Kloubachar will be the Democratic nominee in 2020 and probably the first woman president. I was hoping she would run in 2016 but HRC forced everyone to close ranks around her run. Kloubachar would have sliced and diced Trump every which way.

Joe writes:

I've never seen someone make a smiley face the way Ben Haller does, I like it though. :->

When it comes to the issues at least, Warren seems like a perfect mix of trump and Bernie, and least from a median voter perspective. Still, I trust electinbettingsodds more than I trust myself in this situation.

Jay writes:


She better make some kind of move soon, I live in DC and follow politics relatively closely and had to look her up. I think she's going to have problems with name recognition and, looking at her wiki, a lack of past accomplishment that don't include votes that every other D in office also made.

James Pinkerton writes:

Why didn't he just make a bet on the prediction market? He could get much better odds!

brian writes:

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