Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis’s Presidential Chances Improve Among One Interest Group, Gamblers

Libertarian columnist John Stossel has long argued that gamblers make better prognosticators than polls, pundits, pollsters, and profs.

Stossel operates off “the wisdom of crowds” theory, which holds that a large group of people has more collective knowledge about those events being wagered on, than a small group or single expert.

But unlike public opinion poll audiences, for example, gamblers actually have skin in the game. 

One might agree after real-world election outcomes defied the alleged conventional wisdom repeatedly over the past four years.

If that is the case, then the thinking of people who put their money where their mouths are looks good for Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando last weekend, DeSantis gained ground among potential GOP nominees in 2024, according to two different betting sites.

One, called ElectionBettingOdds.com, which Stossel co-manages with his producer Maxim Lott, aggregates odds from a few sites.

It shows that more than $4 million has already been bet on the 2024 GOP primary race.

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump held a significant lead as the choice of 22.6 percent of bettors in a race of 16 identified candidates that also include Trump’s children Don Jr. and Ivanka.

Yet Trump’s stock fell from a peak of 28 percent on Saturday.

DeSantis was in third place with 9.6 percent. He trailed Trump and former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who was at 12.4 percent.

But DeSantis had gained 0.5 percent since Monday, while Haley was flat.

Only former vice president Mike Pence and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley posted bigger one-day jumps, with 0.9 percent each, but they both trailed DeSantis by at least four percentage points.

Meanwhile, The Washington Times pointed out on Tuesday how DeSantis had moved up among gamblers on a site called SportsBetting.ag.

“Following CPAC this weekend,” said SportsBetting.ag, according to the Times, “which saw Ron DeSantis and (South Dakota Gov.) Kristi Noem performs well in the straw votes, 2024 election odds were shook up.”

The gambling site said it “dropped DeSantis’ 2024 Republican nominee odds to 5/1 after being 14/1 just two weeks ago. His presidential odds went from 25/1 to 12/1.”

To put that in context, SportsBetting.ag also has Trump as the front-runner. His odds of being the nominee are 3 to 1, while his potential presidential bid holds at 7 to 1.

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