Kamala Harris’ Chances for Democratic Nomination Surge on Prediction Markets

Kamala Harris' Chances for Democratic Nomination Surge on Prediction Markets
Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris’ likelihood of securing the Democratic nomination for president saw a significant increase on Tuesday, according to traders on Polymarket, a rapidly growing crypto-based prediction market.

“Yes” shares in a contract speculating on Harris becoming the nominee reached as high as 31 cents in the afternoon, reflecting a 31% probability, up from just 7% earlier in the day. The shares later adjusted to 23 cents.

Each share pays out $1 in USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, if the prediction is accurate and zero if it is not.

While President Joe Biden remains the official presumptive nominee, some supporters are urging him to step aside, suggesting Harris as a potential successor. This follows concerns over Biden’s performance at a recent debate with former President Donald J. Trump, who is likely to be the Republican candidate.

“We should do everything we can to bolster her, whether it’s in second place or the top of the ticket,” Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C, stated in a television interview on Tuesday.

In a more direct appeal, former Congressman Tim Ryan wrote in a Newsweek op-ed, “Kamala Harris Should Be the Democratic Nominee for President in 2024.” The Wall Street Journal also analyzed Harris as “Biden’s Likeliest Replacement.”

The trend was mirrored on PredictIt, a traditional prediction market where bets are settled in dollars. Harris’ “Yes” shares there more than doubled to 35 cents. PredictIt’s total volume for the Democratic nomination question stands at $31 million, compared to Polymarket’s $75 million.

Polymarket, currently barred from operating in the U.S. under a settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, saw its fifth-largest trading day in its history on Tuesday, with $5.7 million in volume, according to Dune Analytics. June marked the first month Polymarket surpassed $100 million in volume.

The platform’s largest contract, totaling $211 million in bets, concerns the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November, with Trump leading as the favorite at a 66% chance of victory.

In related news, KAMA, a meme coin inspired by the vice president, surged in value on Tuesday, more than doubling to $0.007815 within 24 hours.

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