Morning Joe Charts: Betting Odds for VP Candidates

With both parties having settled on presumptive nominees, attention is now turning to who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump might select as their running mates. The betting markets can shed a little light on this, as well as on the state of the overall contest for the presidency. Below are my charts from Morning Joe today. For the video clip, click here.

On the Republican side, the market has identified Newt Gingrich as a substantially more likely pick (at a 31% probability) than the rest of the field. Gingrich has been openly vying to be picked, although at 72 (turning 73 in June), he would be the oldest vice president ever (as well as having a personal life that rivals Trump’s in colorfulness). Joe Biden was 66 at the time of his first inauguration. The oldest Vice President in our history was Alben Barkley, who was 71 at the time of his inauguration in 1949. (He served under Truman.) After Gingrich, at 11%, comes Joni Ernst, the freshman Senator from Iowa. Trailing are Chris Christie, John Kasich and (!) Condoleezza Rice.

It’s important to remember that even at 31%, the markets are only giving Gingrich a 1 in 3 chance of being picked. (Trump has indicated that he is leaning toward picking an experienced politician.)

The situation on the Democratic side is murkier, with four potential picks sitting roughly equal at 12% to 15% probabilities. They include:

Julian Castro, the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro would be 42 on inauguration day. His only significant prior public service was as mayor of San Antonio.

Tim Kaine, the junior Senator from Virginia and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Kaine is regarded as a smart and thoughtful former governor.

Elizabeth Warren, the senior Senator from Massachusetts, who would solidify Clinton’s standing with the progressive wing of the party.

Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the nomination.

Interestingly, as recently as late April, Castro led the field with a 23% probability. For much of May, Kaine led at about 19%. And Sanders, with his recent electoral successes, has been moving up.

On one prediction, the market has been steadfast: A Democrat will occupy the White House in January 2017. While the Democrats’ chances have been trending down in recent weeks as a result of tightening polls, the market is still assigning a 65% probability to Clinton’s chances.

It is worth noting that the Republican’s chances were generally trending down as Trump’s nomination became more certain, until the recent polls showing the race to be a dead heat.