Biden Dropout Odds Surge as Clooney, Torres, and Pelosi Share Doubts

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One of Joe Biden’s most prominent pro-crypto backers in Washington switched course on the president’s struggling re-election effort Wednesday, shifting within days from firmly backing Biden’s campaign to dubbing it “a political suicide mission.” And odds on crypto betting sites of the president dropping out of the 2024 election have surged amid growing doubts.

The about-face by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) joined a chorus of calls today from prominent Democrats including George Clooney, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, multiple congresspeople, and a sitting U.S. senator, for Biden to re-evaluate whether he should stay in the race.

On decentralized blockchain betting site Polymarket, odds that Biden will drop out of the race popped back up to 55% Wednesday after falling as low as 36% earlier this week. So far, crypto users have bet some $13.45 million on the question. 

In Polymarket’s general election bet—which has amassed nearly $243 million worth of positions—things also look grimmer for the president. He and Vice President Kamala Harris both show roughly equal odds—just 15% each—of winning in November. Former president Donald Trump, meanwhile, leads with a commanding 63% chance of victory.

For a brief period earlier this week, it looked like Biden had potentially quashed threats to his jeopardized candidacy, by going all-in on a strategy of forcefully insisting he would not drop out under any circumstances.  

But the dam appears to have cracked in the last 24 hours. 

Ritchie Torres, one of the Democratic Party’s most vocal crypto advocates, had only on Monday criticized questions regarding Biden’s fitness for office as “self-destructive.”

By this morning, however, he appeared to fully change tack, posting on Twitter that Democrats cannot choose a presidential nominee that jeopardizes down-ballot House and Senate candidacies—as many have worried Biden might, given new swing state polling.

If we are going on a political suicide mission, then we should at least be honest about it,” Torres subsequently told CNN.

Adding fuel to the fire were similarly harsh comments from several prominent Democratic lawmakers. Last night, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) declared that Biden is poised to lose not only the presidency in November, but the House and the Senate as well; this morning, Nancy Pelosi appeared to open the door to Biden stepping aside; and in between, multiple House Democrats have made additional calls imploring Biden to step aside. 

But perhaps the greatest blow to Biden yet came Wednesday morning when actor and director George Clooney, one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific fundraisers, said in no uncertain terms that the president needs to step aside immediately.

Just days after Biden’s disastrous debate performance last month, Clooney held a $28 million, A-list Hollywood fundraiser for the president featuring former president Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel. 

Now, Clooney says, he can no longer support Biden’s campaign.

It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe “big F-ing deal” Biden of 2010,” Clooney wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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