DeSantis For President … Don’t Bet On It

Written By JR Duren on July 20, 2022 - Last Updated on July 25, 2022
Don't bet on DeSantis to win the presidency

The 2024 US presidential election odds are out on DraftKings in Ontario, Canada. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t announced that he will run, but he’s a favorite to win. However, don’t bet on DeSantis to win the presidency.

Of course, in Florida, you can’t bet on DraftKings or any other online sportsbook at this time. That’s expected to change before 2024. Though, you still almost certainly won’t be able to bet on the US presidential election. Such wagers are not approved by state gambling regulators.

DeSantis has the second-best chance of winning the presidency, according to oddsmakers. He comes in at +300, just behind former President Donald Trump (+250). He’s +250 ahead of current President Joe Biden.

While DeSantis has not officially announced his presidential run, fundraising efforts with big donors are underway. He’s also running social media ads across all 50 states indicating he will take on Trump for the Republican nomination.

DeSantis has some pretty favorable odds of winning. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t bet on him.

Polling indicates GOP voters favor Trump over DeSantis

The most recent polling data from FiveThirtyEight shows that, while Trump and DeSantis are closely matched at the sportsbook, they’re not quite as close in the polls.

The site has logged four surveys completed in July, and each one shows Trump with a pretty wide lead among voters.

  • YouGov: Trump 47%, DeSantis 31% among registered voters
  • YouGov: Trump 50%, DeSantis 29% among adults
  • Morning Consult: Trump 52%, DeSantis 21% among registered voters
  • Siena College/The New York Times Upshot: Trump 49%, DeSantis 25% among likely voters

Trump’s average margin of victory in those polls is 23 percentage points. In YouGov’s late June polls, DeSantis was only nine percentage points behind Trump among registered voters and 11 percentage points behind among all adults.

Primary challengers don’t fare well against incumbents

Should Trump run for president in 2024, he would be the only president in the era of term limits who won an election, lost an election then ran again. He’s not your typical incumbent.

That being said, past Republican incumbents have often faced a rising star in the primaries and managed to survive. So, even though DeSantis is a well-known candidate, there’s a good chance it won’t be enough to dethrone Trump.

For example, Gerald Ford‘s popularity faltered after he pardoned Richard Nixon in the wake of Watergate. Ford was running in 1976 against Ronald Reagan. Even though Ford’s reputation was cracking, he still won the Republican nomination. He went on to lose to Democrat Jimmy Carter in the general election.

While Trump’s reputation may be cracking among some conservatives, polling data and Ontario sportsbook odds believe he has enough support to vanquish a challenge from DeSantis and win the presidency once more.

Even if you wanted to bet on DeSantis, you can’t

As stated above, while Canadian sportsbooks may offer odds on the 2024 presidential election, it’s very likely that you won’t see U.S. sportsbooks offer bets for the presidency. That nixes any plans to drive to a state with legal betting for a wager.

Additionally, sports betting is illegal in Florida, which includes betting on the presidency. Bettors might be tempted to enter an office pool, but those are also illegal in Florida.

To circumvent all the laws, bettors may try to wager money with friends. That, too, can be a sketchy proposition. Elections tend to stir up strong emotions, and a lost bet over politics could jeopardize a friendship.

For example, in 2020, a Georgia man bet his Floridian friend $100 that Biden would win the presidential election. When he went to his friend to collect, the friend refused to pay. The Georgia man filed a lawsuit in December 2020 in Pinellas County Court, and the issue finally concluded last January. A county judge dismissed the case. He noted that the court agreed with the defendant’s request to dismiss the case because the bet was “based upon an illegal and unenforceable private wager.”

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JR Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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