The odds are long on whether Jay Inslee can win the White House in 2020 – if you can find them.
He faces an uphill climb to become the next president, with a dozen or so Democratic candidates, many with much higher profiles and larger pots of campaign money. More candidates are likely, including former Vice President Joe Biden. One poll of 19 likely Democratic candidates puts Inslee near the end of the pack.
If you believe oddsmakers, he’s one of the longest of longshots, despite being the only governor so far in the race.
Some gambling operations across the world who offer odds on who might be our next president don’t even bother to list Inslee, while listing Bill Gates, Chelsea Clinton, Tom Brady and The Rock.
It’s hard to bet on who will win the presidential election in 2020, because betting on politics isn’t legal in the United States. That’s not the case in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. But even then, good luck finding someone who would even take a bet on Inslee.
The online betting site Bovada lists 58 potential “candidates,” including Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, both at 50-to-1, and Chelsea Clinton, at 200-to-1. But as of Thursday evening, they didn’t list Inslee.
OddShark, another betting site, also has a wide array of candidates, including Bill Gates at 100-to-1 and Tom Brady at 250-to-1, but no Inslee. Betfair will take your wager on Caroline Kennedy, Al Franken or Mark Zuckerberg, but doesn’t list any odds for the Washington governor.
Oddschecker, which compiles many different betting sites, has one that will give you 300-to-1 on Inslee, about the same as John Kerry, Joe Scarborough and Paul Ryan, who aren’t running, although not quite as good as radio shock-talk host Alex Jones, who is at 250-to-1.
After Inslee’s announcement, his odds on Oddschecker shifted to 161-to-1, slightly lower than former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who won’t enter the race until Monday. The announcement didn’t convince Bovada or OddShark to add Inslee to their lists yet.
So how does that compare with some other odds?
Your odds of being struck by lightning at some point during your life is 3,000-to-1, although the odds of getting struck by lightning next year are 775,000-to-1, according to the National Weather Service.
The odds of an average golfer sinking a hole-in-one on a par 3 hole is 12,000-to-1.
The odds of being dealt a royal flush in five-card draw poker are 650,000-to-1.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery jackpot are 176 million-to-1.
The difference between those odds, and the odds for the presidential campaign, is that the former are based on mathematics and data from past events.
The latter are based on guesses about the future with many unknowns. Calculating the odds for the 2020 presidential race might be more like the fluctuating odds for the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. On Thursday, the odds for Gonzaga taking it all were 11-to-2, behind Duke, which was at 2-to-1, according to the line on a Las Vegas online gambling site.
The college teams closest to Oddschecker’s Friday line for Inslee at 125-to-1 were Mississippi State and Texas. Teams at 300-to-1, the listed odds for Inslee before his formal announcement, included Hofstra and Lipscomb.
Editor’s note: Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s status as a candidate was incorrectly reported in an early version of this post.
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