Biden Insists He Won’t Drop Out, But Crypto Oddsmakers Still Say He Will – Decrypt

In his most direct challenge yet to escalating pressure to step aside, President Joe Biden on Monday sent a letter to every Democratic lawmaker in Washington adamantly insisting that he will not drop out of the 2024 presidential election. 

In any typical scenario, such a declaration might put to bed any lingering questions about whether Biden will continue to seek re-election. But prediction markets aren’t buying it.

On Polymarket, the leading crypto predictions betting site, users still believe Biden will most likely drop out. Odds of him abandoning a second term currently sit at 51%, after some $12.3 million worth of betting. 

That’s down 6% from last night, before Biden sent his strongly worded appeal to congressional Democrats early this morning. 

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The odds that Biden will drop out reached an all-time high on the evening of July 4, when they breached 70%. Since then, the president has embarked on an urgent public relations tour in swing states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, attempting to throw cold water on increasingly direct calls from Democratic donors, voters, and congressional leadership that he should step aside based on concerns about his age and mental fitness. 

While Biden’s efforts over the holiday weekend appear to have chipped away at a prevailing mood that his dropping out was a foregone conclusion, they appear to have failed in convincing the wider public—or, at least, crypto die-hards—that there is any guarantee the president will actually remain in the race.

Still, there are some signs of encouragement for the 81-year old president. Early last week on Polymarket, Vice President Kamala Harris overtook Biden as the most likely 2024 Democratic presidential nominee, 43% to 34%. At writing, Biden has firmly retaken that category, with 60% odds to Harris’ 25%. Nearly $94 million has been gambled on the question.

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Further, the once-ironic Solana meme coin BODEN, which has perhaps inadvertently become a referendum on Biden’s staying in the race, has popped over 30% since early this morning. Inversely proportional with that jump, the most prominent Kamala Harris-themed Solana token, KAMA, crashed some 31% within minutes of Biden’s letter circulating this morning.

Whether or not Biden actually drops out of the race, it is less up for debate that the Democrats’ intraparty crisis has damaged the president’s perceived odds of reelection. On Polymarket, with over $237 million waged on the question, users currently have former President Donald Trump’s chance of victory this November at a whopping 61%. Biden sits at a paltry 20% odds, with Harris in third with 11%.

Still, betting sites like Polymarket don’t always get things right, especially when it comes to politics. A Polymarket wager tracking yesterday’s French parliamentary elections had odds that the country’s far right National Front party would win the most seats at an ironclad 97%. Ultimately, a coalition between left-wing parties and centrist politicians prevented that outcome, shocking political pundits and betting sites alike. 

This week is shaping up to be a make-it-or-break-it one for the Biden campaign, with Congress back from the Fourth of July holiday. On Sunday, several senior House Democrats privately expressed their view that Biden should drop out or even resign. 

Per a CNN report, some Democratic House members expect the dam will break—and many Democrats will publicly begin calling for Biden to step aside—on Tuesday, when the full Democratic caucus is set to meet.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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