Who won Thursday’s Democratic debate? Bettors say Joe Biden

debate 12.19.19
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also performed well in the eyes of PredictIt users.

According to users of online prediction/betting site PredictIt, Joe Biden was the winner of Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Los Angeles, as forecasters put new money behind the former vice president’s bid for the oval office, signifying new confidence in him maintaining his front-runner status.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also performed well in the eyes of PredictIt users.

Biden didn’t speak as much as some of his top rivals Thursday night, but got high marks from pundits immediately following the debate. Bettors echoed the sentiment, boosting shares for his Democratic primary win from 32 cents on the dollar to 35 cents. That equates to a 35% confidence in Biden securing the nomination.

PredictIt is run by Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand; participants can place wagers on candidates and other political props by buying “shares” on a bet, costing between 1 cent and 1 dollar per share.

Buttigieg, who sparred with a pair of U.S. Senators, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, also saw his stock rise from 15 cents per share before the debate to 17 cents per share after. Klobuchar also saw shares of her potential nomination rise from 5 cents to 6 cents after the debate.

The Biden and Buttigieg success seemed to come at the expense of Warren, whose nomination stock fell from 16 cents to 14 cents, as well Hillary Clinton, seen by some as a possible option if Biden falters. Clinton ticked down from 9 cents to 7 cents after the debate.

By 11 p.m. ET, half an hour after the debate ended, there was little change in the trading prices for Bernie Sanders (22 cents), Michael Bloomberg (8 cents), Andrew Yang (8 cents), Tom Steyer (1 cent), or any of the other candidates who failed to qualify for the December debate (1 cent each).

Noah Pransky

Noah Pransky is a multiple award-winning investigative reporter, most recently with the CBS affiliate in Tampa. He’s uncovered major stories such as uncovering backroom deals in the Tampa Bay Rays stadium and other political investigations. Pransky also ran a blog called Shadow of the Stadium, giving readers a deep dive into the details of potential financial deals and other happenings involving the Tampa Bay- area sports business.


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