Sportsbooks have been left underwhelmed by Abrams’ media blitz and continue to make her a significant outsider in the betting.
Stacey Abrams remains a long shot to become the Democratic vice president nominee after launching a comprehensive media blitz over the weekend. The former Georgia gubernatorial candidate has attempted to bulldoze her way into the reckoning by talking up her strengths in a series of high-profile interviews. She earned more coverage than any other contender over the past week, but sportsbooks continue to offer relatively long odds on her securing the nomination.
Abrams remains a +1100 underdog with 5Dimes. That leaves her well behind favorite Kamala Harris, who leads the field at +170. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Gretchen Whitmer all carry shorter prices than Abrams too. Bovada has cut the odds on Abrams to +900, but she remains as long as +1600 with some European books. Does that represent good value, or should we write off Abrams’ chances of success?
A Stacked Field
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has already declared his intention to name a female running mate. The obvious candidates were Harris and Klobuchar. The former was an early frontrunner to secure the presidential nomination but quickly faded. Prominent party donor Steve Phillips, the founder of Democracy in Color, pointed out that Biden is an “old white man” and urged him to choose a “young woman of color” as a running mate in order to “balance out who he is”. Harris would fit the bill.
However, she is a California senator, and the Golden State is already in the bag for the Democrats. It might inspire Biden to choose a VP nominee from a swing state instead. Harris also upset the Biden camp when she accused him of racism during the opening debate in Miami, so she is by no means a lock for the nomination.
Klobuchar might help Biden gain momentum in the Midwest, but she is not a woman of color, and she did not prove particularly popular during the presidential nomination race.
Abrams would tick several boxes. She is an African American woman from the south-east, a region teeming with crucial swing states. She would be capable of organizing a drive-in registration among disaffected minority voters, as she has been a passionate opponent of voter suppression in the past. Abrams is also great at securing publicity.
She told Elle magazine that she would make an “excellent running mate”, talked up her ability to act as a “hype man” on The View and earned features in the New York Times and the Washington Post over the weekend. She even appeared alongside Biden on MSNBC last week as a thinly veiled trial to become his VP nominee. Some commentators have railed against her flagrant self-promotion, branding it “brazen” and “aggressive”, but thus far it has worked, and her ambition is laudable.
A Lack of Experience
However, it is easy to see why Abrams remains a long shot in this battle. She has never held an elected position higher than state legislator. She came close to becoming the country’s first black female governor but ultimately fell just short before giving an incendiary speech claiming: “This is not a speech of concession, because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith, I cannot concede that.”
She would make an unconventional choice. Abrams is only in the conversation through sheer force of will, and she will not go away. Yet her rivals appear to have stronger credentials: Harris is a Senator and former Attorney General of California; Klobuchar is a Senator for Minnesota, Warren is a Senator for Massachusetts with an extremely high profile, while Whitmer is the Governor of Michigan.
It would be surprising if Biden chose Abrams out of that stacked field, but his campaign so far has been pretty unconventional and you cannot write Abrams off. At such long odds, it might be worth a small stake on her succeeding, but right now the smart money is on Harris at +170 with 5Dimes.