Establishing 2024 Republican presidential nomination odds revolves entirely around the fate of former president Donald Trump, who barring an unlikely decision not to run for his old office due to mounting legal hurdles will remain the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Public opinion polls and expert assessments agree that Trump’s esteem among the Republican voter base remains sky high, dwarfing GOP voters’ affinity for any of his potential opponents. Serious contenders for the nomination such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley continue their quest to dethrone Trump as the Republican Party’s unquestioned leader in advance of the first nomination contests, but their efforts are almost surely quixotic absent a significantly adverse change in Trump’s legal status that sways the Republican electorate soon. He does, after all, still have the shortest Presidential election odds of any potential candidate.
The stakes could not be greater, either, as the Republicans will likely face a formidable, yet eminently beatable President Joe Biden in November 2024 in the GOP’s quest to recapture the White House after being out of power the last four years. Let's look at the Republican party nominee odds and see which candidates are worth a wager.
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2024 Republican nominee odds
|Nomination Winner||Implied probability|
|Francis X. Suarez||+10,000||0.99%|
Odds courtesy of bet365 as of November 27, 2023.
Favorites to be the Republican nominee in 2024
Latest market odds confirm what polls, betting markets, political forecasters and party scholars all agree upon: The singular favorite to be the 2024 Republican Party presidential nominee is Donald J. Trump. The four-time indicted former president is the first person to run for the nation’s highest office after leaving the White House since Herbert Hoover in 1940.
Trump will again skip the upcoming Republican Party debate on November 8, opting instead to hold a competing rally that will allow him to preach uncontested messages to his legions of followers. The rationale for this strategy is that Trump will always command more media attention than his rivals, and thus he gains no advantage in taking the stage and exposing himself to opponents’ unified attacks when he can divert the campaign focus to his popular rallies.
The leading competitor to former President Trump in the Republican nomination race is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Despite a flagging campaign marred by unpopular attacks on Social Security and Medicare and a lack of voter enthusiasm outside of the Sunshine State, where he remains wildly popular, DeSantis is a credible contender to become the GOP nominee thanks to his status as a leading Republican culture warrior on issues ranging from education and trade policy to racial politics to transgender rights and the politics of Disney World.
DeSantis recently scored a potentially major endorsement from Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, who broke the tradition of non-endorsements for Hawkeye State leaders in backing a candidate for the first-in-the-nation caucus. Iowa will be the site of the first 2024 Republican nomination contest, and winning or competing closely with Trump there, where DeSantis is currently essentially tied for second with Haley, could provide some momentum for DeSantis as the race progresses.
Haley earned some plaudits for her performance in the first Republican debate, and her diplomatic credentials as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and executive experience as a former governor have bolstered her candidacy. She has emerged as a mild Trump critic after serving in his administration (he has since lampooned her, as is standard for anyone who turns against him).
Haley’s best shot to overcome Trump may be tied to recent reports that anti-Trump Republican donors, political action committees and activists are considering coalescing around her, and not DeSantis, as the GOP alternative to the former president. Four-term New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu recently campaigned with Haley in the Granite State, and is reportedly close to endorsing her in the first-in-the-nation primary state, which could help her build momentum as a viable alternative to Trump.
Republican party dynamics
The Republican Party remains factionalized due to differences in policy attitudes and governing styles that divide institutionalists and anti-party leader Freedom Caucus firebrands amid the unparalleled specter of Trumpism that looms over all GOP decisions, debates and electoral contests. Trump remains easily the most popular Republican political figure and leads his presidential primary competitors by 30 or more points in public opinion polling.
Party divisions were on display most prominently in the belabored process of voting Kevin McCarthy as House speaker in January, and his removal from that position last month following an internal party revolt. This process led to rounds of maneuvering and the eventual election of Christian conservative Representative from Louisiana Mike Johnson as House speaker.
Republican Party dynamics in 2024 will rest on resolving party factions that has left the GOP electorally weakened since the 2018 midterm elections. As for the race for the presidency itself, unless the anti-Trump faction can successfully coalesce around and promote an alternative to the former president quickly, the question will be whether Trump can seize upon continued loyalty to him on the part of Republican identifiers and Biden’s approval woes to recapture the White House.
Key issues and campaign strategies
Spending cuts, taxes, immigration and identity politics issues—including the so-called “war on woke,” as popularized by DeSantis, which plays to the overwhelmingly white Republican electorate’s grievances arising from the diversification of American society and accommodation of alternative lifestyles—will likely define the nomination contest. The candidates have been mostly aligned in adopting hardline immigration policies (following Trump’s lead from 2016 onward) and abortion positions (DeSantis and Haley support federal 15-week abortion bans, and Trump’s Supreme Court nominees were instrumental in overturning Roe v. Wade, even as his own expressed attitudes toward abortion have been inconsistent over time).
Haley has claimed to be the most serious candidate in terms of her plans to cut government spending, whereas DeSantis’ economic blueprint largely mirrors Trump’s populist protectionism and promises to makes the former president’s signature 2017 tax cuts permanent. One issue on which Haley has distinguished herself is climate change, as she has acknowledged that the phenomenon is “real” and caused by humans, and even supports carbon-capture technology. Trump, of course, routinely mocks climate change as a “hoax,” and DeSantis has adopted precautions to protect Florida against the worst effects of climate events but vows to “unleash our domestic energy sector” if elected president.
On the issue of the war in Ukraine, which Trump has promised to end within 24 hours of assuming the presidency if he were to win in 2024, DeSantis has attempted to clarify or walk back his statement earlier in the year that the situation reflected a “territorial dispute.” Haley has therefore adopted a position most opposed to the anti-Ukraine Trump faction in calling for a need to support Ukraine stridently in promotion of freedom and democracy.
Still, after Trump was re-nominated in 2020 on an issue-free, one-page party platform simply pledging allegiance to him and everything for which he stands, highlighting policy differences is unlikely to bear electoral fruit for Trump’s rivals. Instead, DeSantis and Haley are more likely to attempt to tout their executive experience and commitment to movement conservatism, as well as to attack Trump’s character, temperament and electability following the former president’s false claim that the freely and fairly decided 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.
Haley and DeSantis have broken with most Republican candidates for federal office by refusing to endorse Trump’s lie that the election was stolen from him. This issue, however, remains the signature litmus test for many Republican voters who believe that Trump should be restored to his rightful office. Mike Pence’s early withdrawal from the primary race highlights in part the perils of Republican political hopefuls contesting Trump’s 2020 election denialism, and Haley and DeSantis are likely to experience the same fate when GOP adherents begin caucusing and voting in primaries in January.
Republican vice presidential odds
Speculating on the vice presidential odds is a bit premature, particularly because Trump is likely to win the nomination and then appoint a loyalist as vice president. Accordingly, I suppose that Trump stalwart and New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who currently chairs the Republican House Conference, is a potential nominee, as is former Trump press secretary and current Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Trump might also pick South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott, who is a notional presidential candidate, but who could be tapped to run as vice president to diversify the GOP general election ticket.
Key Dates for Republican Nominees
|November 8, 2023||Third Republican primary debate|
|December 6, 2023||Fourth Republican primary debate|
|January 15, 2024||Iowa caucus|
|January 23, 2024||New Hampshire primary|
|February 8, 2024||Nevada caucus|
|February 24, 2024||South Carolina primary|
|February 27, 2024||Michigan primary|
|March 5, 2024||Super Tuesday|
|March 12, 2024||160 delegates up for grabs|
|March 19, 2024||349 delegates up for grabs|
|July 15-18, 2024||Republican National Convention|
Past Republican presidential nominees
|2020||Donald J. Trump||New York|
|2016||Donald J. Trump||New York|
|2004||George W. Bush||Texas|
|2000||George W. Bush||Texas|
|1992||George H.W. Bush||Texas|
Past Republican nominee trends
1. Republicans have historically favored heir apparents
Before the ascension of insurgent Donald Trump in 2016, the contemporary Republican Party had been dominated by heir apparent candidates with extensive governing experience who “waited their turn” in the GOP hierarchy. In 2012, for example, Mitt Romney was the institutionalist choice as the former Massachusetts governor, and in 2008, decorated war hero and Senator John McCain of Arizona was nominated after losing the primary contest to political aristocrat and former Texas Governor George W. Bush in 2000. Before G.W. Bush, longtime Republican Senate leader Bob Dole from Kansas served as the Republican nominee in 1996. Of course, George H.W. Bush lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton in 1992 after serving one term as president and two terms as vice president, as well as serving in the House, as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., C.I.A. director and as chair of the Republican National Committee.
2. Republicans love businesspeople
Donald Trump represents the archetype of this affinity, but Mitt Romney was also a private equity tycoon, and George W. Bush owned an oil exploration company and later the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team.
3. Republicans have tended to favor governors over members of Congress or senators
McCain and Dole are exceptions to this rule in that they established their reputations as American war heroes in Vietnam and in World War II, respectively. Romney (Massachusetts), George W. Bush (Texas), and Ronald Reagan (California) before them all served as governors. In fact, the electorate generally has favored governors over senators, as Barack Obama in 2008 was the first sitting senator to be elected president since John F. Kennedy in 1960. Joe Biden was of course a longtime U.S. senator, but he also served more recently as vice president under Obama.
Can you bet on the election in the United States?
No. Legal betting sites in the United States do not presently offer odds on the Republican nomination or the 2024 U.S. Election. However, bettors in other countries can bet on the U.S. election. Canadians, in particular, have plenty of options when it comes to placing wagers on the U.S. election. Legal betting sites in Ontario are permitted to offer election odds, while bettors in other provinces can also place bets via Canadian betting sites.