Andrew Cuomo, the three-term governor of New York, has never run for president. He has repeatedly balked at the idea of trading Albany for Washington this November. But as the coronavirus epidemic has turned Cuomo into a more central figure in American politics, with his signature tough-in-the-face-of-a-crisis leadership style, he has reappeared as a long-shot prospect for November in at least one place: the political betting markets.
According to gamblers, Cuomo is currently the Democrat most likely to become president behind Joe Biden, with about a 3 percent chance of winning the White House in November. Slim odds, true, but by the time Bernie Sanders—a candidate with an actual campaign and delegates—dropped out of the race last Wednesday, Cuomo had already moved ahead of him.
As people around the world struggle to make sense of life under the coronavirus and just how it’s going to scramble our futures, one strange window is opening through the world of political betting. With sports gambling effectively halted by the absence of sports, money has flowed into politics and current-events betting markets, where gamblers can wager on news events in real time.
Politics is the liveliest part of the news betting market, but it deserves a couple of big disclaimers. For one, political betting is illegal in the United States; the West Virginia lottery briefly became the first state to allow bets on politics last Wednesday, but