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


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

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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

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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

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


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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.


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 (9)
No. 1-6

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


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


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!!


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.


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


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.