Trump Vivek Desantis

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DeSantis drops below Vivek Ramaswamy in online election betting market PredictIt

It's the first time DeSantis has fallen to third.


Andrea Guzman


Posted on Jul 31, 2023

Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy may have a better shot at nabbing the Republican presidential nomination than Gov. Ron DeSantis (Fla.), betting site PredictIt indicates. 

Over the weekend, DeSantis dropped below Ramaswamy on the online gambling service for the first time since the two entered the crowded race, which includes former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. 

DeSantis has been in the public eye for years since he took over Florida in 2019 and developed a firebrand personality. Meanwhile, Ramaswamy was relatively unknown when he entered the race and is running an underdog campaign.

PredictIt works by having users buy shares in a given candidate’s likelihood of reaching a certain outcome while running for office, somewhat similar to the stock market. For the 2024 presidential nomination, people can invest in any candidate they think will win or lose, even ones who haven’t declared, like Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.)

Users of PredictIt make bets on candidates by buying shares, the price of which is between one dollar and 99 cents per share. On Friday, Ramaswamy reached 19 cents in favor of a win, which was two cents above where DeSantis stood. 

Ramaswamy then dropped to 17 cents, just barely above DeSantis’ 16 cents, before returning to the current neck-and-neck price with DeSantis at 15 cents. 

In the past 90 days, bets on DeSantis have hovered in the high 20s and low 30s. Ramaswamy started at just three cents at the end of last month, but quickly ascended to 14 cents in mid-July, as DeSantis has faltered. 

Bets have wanted on DeSantis as he continues to lag behind Trump in a new national poll and is stumping on economic policy in New Hampshire. 

DeSantis’ campaign has been plagued by controversy lately, and he recently shed a third of his staff. He also recently let go an aide who shared a video that included Nazi symbolism.

New Zealand political tech company Aristotle launched Predictit in 2014, and it caught the internet’s attention during the 2016 election, providing insight that some say is better than what’s gleaned from polls, which are more a reflection of where voters stand on a candidate at that point in time, not guessing who might win. 

PredictIt calls on participants to put their money on how people will vote in the future, while also allowing Americans to participate in legal gambling on elections.

But it hasn’t always been on the mark. Jeb Bush was pinned as a favorite by betters on the site months before he eventually dropped out after a poor showing in South Carolina. 

Shortly before the 2020 presidential race was called, PredictIt showed Biden’s chances of winning at 84 percent. 

Meanwhile, Ramaswamy is on a victory lap, celebrating his emergence as a leading candidate. He recently reached the unique donor threshold required to appear at the first GOP debate in August and received a standing ovation when he stopped at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Iowa.

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*First Published: Jul 31, 2023, 5:21 pm CDT