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By Michael Kates | | 4 mins

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Biden VP Pick Odds: Susan Rice Surges; Harris Strengthens

Biden VP Pick Odds: Susan Rice Surges; Harris Strengthens
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Susan Rice, a former UN ambassador and national security advisor under President Barack Obama, has skyrocketed up the odds to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

Rice is +650 in odds posted Sunday at 888sports' UK-facing betting site, the third choice just behind Florida Rep. Val Demings, who is at +550. California Sen. Kamala Harris remains the favorite at -134. That marks Harris' best odds ever. Ten days ago, Rice was +2500 to be Biden’s running mate before reports emerged that she was one of six women seen as serious contenders and on the short list.

Joining Rice, Harris and Demings on that list are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Rice, who was as high as +500 last weekend, worked closely with Biden when he was vice president, is personally close with him as well, and has been a particular vociferous critic of the Trump administration. She had considered challenging Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine but decided against it.

While she has never held elected office, she has extensive foreign policy experience. But Rice has also been a Republican target years over the Benghazi attack and disproven allegations she spied on Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security advisor (records declassified by the Trump administration show no evidence of she improperly accessed any information).

Biden has said he would pick a female running mate.


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2020 Democratic Vice Presidential Betting Odds

CandidateOdds
Kamala Harris-134
Val Demings+550
Susan Rice+650
Keisha Lance Bottoms+1400
Elizabeth Warren+1700
Michelle Obama+1700
Stacey Abrams+2000
Michelle Lujan Grisham+2500
Tammy Duckworth+3300
Gretchen Whitmer+3300
Amy Klobuchar+5000

Odds updated June 21

A Closer Look At The Top Contenders

Val Demings

Demings, the former Orlando, Florida, police chief who is in her second term in Congress, was selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be an impeachment manager.

Several factors could be playing into Demings’ rise in the odds. There has been an increasing call from within the party to pick an African-American woman, especially after Biden’s gaffe last month when he told an interviewer, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black.” Biden said he was sorry about the comment.


RELATED: Check Out The Latest Swing State Odds


Demings said in May during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden was right to apologize and ripped Donald Trump's “gall” of going after Biden over the remark. It was the full-throated defense a candidate would like to see from a potential running mate.

There is also an electoral argument to be made. Even though VP nominees don’t move the needle much, a small shift in Florida could make a huge impact, and Demings is extremely popular in her district and along the pivotal I-4 corridor. She has law enforcement chops, which is appealing to more moderate voters, but also was extremely strong as an impeachment manager.

According to the swing state odds, the Democrats are now favored to win Florida after being underdogs for months. That would seemingly give her an advantage over Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is also being vetted and has fallen back to +3300. Democrats are -500 favorites to win Michigan.

Kamala Harris

Harris endorsed Biden roughly three months after ending her own campaign. A former prosecutor and California senator since 2017, Harris waited until Warren dropped out of the race before throwing her support to Biden. Harris’ campaign largely exceeded expectations and gained strong momentum early before fizzling out in the polls. She is also considered more moderate and has been out in front in the past week with issues of police and race, likely boosting her odds.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren has been a strong voice amid the coronavirus crisis and has unveiled details of both a coronavirus response and recovery plan. Multiple polls find her to be the most popular pick among Democrats, especially progressives. However, Massachusetts has a Republican governor, who would get to fill her seat until a special election is held. While that might only present a short-term roadblock, it might not be something the Democrats want to mess with, given a narrow Senate majority might be in the balance.


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Keisha Lance Bottoms

Bottoms, who was elected Atlanta mayor in 2017, earned considerable praise for her handling of protests over George Floyd’s death as well as decisive action after the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by police in a Wendy's parking lot. Georgia could be a swing state, though how much she moves the needle is unclear. She’s also been vocal about the recent travesty of a primary election in the state.

Michelle Lujan Grisham

The lone Latina on the reported short list and the first Democratic Latina woman to serve as governor in the United States, Grisham served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011-2018. She was the state’s secretary of health and her early bet on aggressive COVID-19 testing has earned praise.