Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Does the number of Potential Female Presidential Candidates Prove Trump will lose?

There is a fascinating metric that indicates Democrats will win the 2020 Presidential election. It is the number of women identified as potential presidential candidates.

Five; or one-third of the 15, potential Democratic presidential contenders; identified by the Predict It political odds-making forum on 20 January 2018, were female. That indicates Democrats have a strong chance of winning because women only tend to run for office when the odds are in their favor.

Ambitious female state legislators were only willing to run for the U.S. Congress if they had a good chance of winning, data collected by Texas A&M University Professor Sarah Fulton indicated. Fulton’s results were collected in Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s excellent book: “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing.”

Women only run when the Odds are in their Favor

Fulton found that the tipping point for most women candidates to enter a race was 20% odds in their favor. She discovered that male politicians will enter a race if they have any chance of winning. Women only run when there is a real chance of victory.

UNITED STATES – JUNE 8: Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., questions former FBI Director James Comey during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on “Russian Federation Efforts to Interfere in the 2016 U.S. Elections” on Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Women are just as competitive as men, but they only tend to compete when they believe they have a good chance of winning, Merryman and Bronson noted. Men, on the other hand, were willing to run as longshot candidates, and compete in races in which political experts told them they had no chance of winning.

Men are willing to compete for the sake, or fun, of competing; women think competition without a decent chance of victory is a waste of time. That means we should pay attention when a lot of women become interested in a political contest.

When Women Enter the Race it is Competitive

Predict It listed 15 potential Democratic presidential candidates on 20 January.

As far as I know, none of these individuals has officially launched a campaign, but none has publicly stated they will not run. In other words, all are hedging their bets and waiting to see how the race develops.

Five of them; U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), U.S Senator Liz Warren (D-Massachusetts), U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey (?-Illinois) are women. Winfrey even stuck her neck out with a politically-loaded speech on the 2018 Golden Globes TV broadcast.

Get the picture? Five high-profile women; four of whom are veteran politicians with years of electoral experience are seriously considering seeking the Democratic nomination.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens as Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, not seen, answers a question during his semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Bernanke said one reason for the recent rise in long-term interest rates is the unwinding of leveraged and “excessively risky” investing. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Winfrey is not a politician but she has had years of experience in the media and judging what audiences want. If there was no serious chance of victory, these ladies would have ended the presidential speculation with announcements they were not running.

Tellingly, Warren, Winfrey, and Gillibrand stayed out of the 2016 Presidential race – which Democrats lost. Warren even resisted efforts to “draft” her as a presidential candidate. Yet now they and the others are letting their names be floated as contenders.

Women Candidates’ Behavior might Reveal Odds of Victory

This indicates that the race is competitive right now, and the women believe that the probable Republican candidate President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) can be beaten. Since Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 that is a safe assumption. Bettors and pundits should watch these ladies behavior closely.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) strikes a Presidential pose for Vogue in a room that looks like the Oval Office.

If a number of these women suddenly drop out that might indicate Trump has a lock on reelection, or that some other candidate has a better chance. If a number of the ladies drop out that might show us who the front-runner is.

A good understanding of the different ways that women and men compete might tell us how elections will turn out. Such an understanding may also help bettors win a few bucks off political contests.