I have been hinting for a while that I like Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to run for president in 2020. PredictIt traders are liking him even more and are giving Brown about an 85 percent chance of announcing his campaign soon.
The most obvious argument for why Sen. Brown will run is this: by default, most politicians from Ohio think that they should be President. It turns out that Ohio isn’t just a factory for producing football talent and urban blight, it is also a factory for producing presidential campaigns, including lots that were a terrible idea from the start, like Dennis Kucinich (2004/2008), Jon Kasich (2016), and John Glenn’s (1984) campaigns, which won a combined total of one state primary between them. Laugh at your own risk though. As traders MarkofDelphi and mnjimmy pointed out to me, Ohio is tied with Virginia in producing the most U.S. Presidents (Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Andrew Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren Harding), which is totally savage.
However, before you think that these facts make Sherrod Brown a slam dunk to run in 2020, consider this: being a president from Ohio is one of the most dangerous jobs in the history of mankind. Three out of the eight Ohioans who have done it — Garfield, McKinley, and Harding — died in office, and two of them were assassinated by psychos. That puts the mortality rate for Ohio presidents at approximately 37.5%, which isn’t that far away from the 50% fatality rate for Ebola patients. No wonder Sen. Brown is taking his sweet time making up his mind.
That said, Sherrod Brown is definitely a survivor. Since he took office, Ohio has slid from America’s #1 swing state to a Republican stronghold, where the GOP controls every branch of government, and holds 13 out of 16 House districts. But that hasn’t stopped old Sherrod. In last year’s election, Brown outperformed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 share of the Buckeye vote by 10 percentage points, which is why lots of people are chirping that maybe he’s the Democrat who can re-connect with the White Working Class.
Senator Brown has definitely been listening. He has already formed an exploratory committee for his presidential campaign and has been spending way too much time in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to be just another Ohio pensioner on an RV tour. So let’s go ahead and plug his recent activities into our proprietary Presidential Primary model — The Kamala Harris Bullshit Baseline — and see what it says.
Is the candidate campaigning in Iowa and/or New Hampshire? See above. And a quick Google shows evidence of him hanging out in South Carolina and Nevada, too.
Is the candidate prioritizing his/her career over the party’s goals? Sherrod Brown is almost always against whatever the “cool” thing is in politics is. He was an opponent of free trade way before that was in, he opposed Obama’s Iran deal, he opposed Bush’s PATRIOT Act, and he has as a terrible haircut. This guy clearly doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him, including his own party.
Is the candidate raising boatloads of cash? Brown raised $27 million for his 2018 re-election campaign. Let that sink in.
Is the candidate denying he/she wants to be President? During his re-election campaign, Brown told CNBC, “ I don’t like the idea of running for president. I don’t really have any real interest in that.” And in January, he told Seth Myers that, “My wife and I are thinking about a campaign for president.” Stock answers all around.
I have to admit, the only place where Brown really knocks it out of the park is question #1, which I rate at 100%. As for 2, 3, and 4, he certainly toes the Kamala Harris Bullshit Baseline but does not leap over it. So I think the odds of Sen. Brown running for President are actually around 70 percent, and not the 85 it’s trading at today. My best guess as to why YES shares are so over-priced comes down to one word: supply. PredictIt is a little light in markets these days, and there are precious few U.S-based bets available that will roll over in the near future, like this one. So I think a lot of traders (myself included) have bought YES shares in this market in hopes of finding any safe bet that will pay out in the next few months, even if that means paying a little premium.
The official Keendawg prediction is that Sherrod Brown runs. But the wise advice is to be careful before you get in, because shares are a little rich at this late hour.