2024 Republican presidential nomination

It’s Friday and here are the insights we’ve been keeping an eye on: We look at how the 50-50 Senate split is slowing down Cabinet confirmations for President Joe Biden, and the news causing shifts in the 2024 Republican presidential nominee market.*Market prices updated as of 9 a.m. EST on Friday, February 26.MARKETS MAKING NEWS
 This Week in the Markets

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announces an amendment to the Energy Policy and Modernization Act.Photo: Senate Democrats / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Democrats’ Tenuous Senate Majority Takes Center StageAt least one of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominations appears to be heading toward failure after two Senate committees delayed business meetings on Neera Tanden’s nomination this week. Tanden, Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been roundly criticized for past comments and tweets (that she has since deleted) disparaging some of the same Senators whose vote she now needs for approval. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the only Democrat who has so far said he won’t vote for Tanden, said in a statement last Friday that her “overly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship” between Congress and the OMB. Tanden apologized during her Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing, saying she “deeply regrets” the language she used and that, if confirmed, she would “work in good faith with all members” of Congress. The apology appears to have so far fallen upon deaf ears as she remains unlikely to garner a single Republican vote or to change Manchin’s mind. To date, the Biden White House has refused to back down on their support of Tanden and her credentials as the next OMB director.
Prices at 6 a.m. EST: How many Senators vote to confirm Neera Tanden as OMB Director by March 31?
Tanden’s failure is the first manifestation of the precarious 50-50 Democratic Senate majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris playing the role as tie-breaker vote, if needed.Many of Biden’s other nominees have received considerable bipartisan support, but as events over the past week have shown just one defection on the Democratic side on any nominee would require Republican support for confirmation.
Prices at 6 a.m. EST: Who will be the next Senate-confirmed OMB Director?
Two other nominations — those of former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) to lead Interior — are running into opposition from Senate Republicans for their past work and so-called extreme views.For example, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), considered a moderate Republican, told Becerra on Tuesday during his Senate Health Committee hearing: “I think we can reach common ground on many issues” except for abortion. The Utah senator told reporters he is “still evaluating” Becerra but the nominations of Haaland and Tanden “present some real questions and challenges.”While these disagreements lower the odds of each nominee garnering a high bipartisan vote, traders are so far showing confidence that both Haaland and Becerra will be confirmed to their positions.Overall, the confirmation challenges underscore how fragile the Democratic majority can be, and is a sign to the White House that they’ll need to put in the time and effort to reach out to senators on confirmation votes and key policy issues going forward. White House press secretary told reporters on Wednesday that they’re committed to doing “all the outreach needed” to get their nominees across the finish line, but so far whatever outreach they have done doesn’t appear to be sufficient, at least for Tanden’s nomination.
Prices at 6 a.m. EST: How many Senators vote to confirm Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary by March 31?
Market Pulse: Last week, following Manchin’s statement, market support for Tanden’s confirmation odds plummeted and have not yet recovered. Traders are giving “49 or fewer” votes top billing at 78¢ entering trading today. Manchin’s position on Tanden translated into a 60¢ swing against her — with the failed confirmation contract opening at 9¢ and closing at 69¢ on Feb. 19.In a new market opened on Feb. 22 on who will be the next Senate-confirmed OMB Director, Shalanda Young — who last month was nominated as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget — has remained the traders choice if Tanden’s confirmation officially sinks. Her contract is priced at just under 60¢ with Tanden at 16¢ this morning. Prior to his HHS hearing, some GOP lawmakers said Becerra, a former attorney with no medical experience, was unqualified to helm HHS, a $1.4 trillion agency with a broad portfolio, during the pandemic. Despite this political sentiment, the trader consensus continues to grow toward a Becerra confirmation with the top contract of “50 to 53” votes priced at 69¢ — up 30¢ since Feb. 19.Finally, looking at confirmation market for Haaland at Interior, we can see the importance of Manchin’s statement of backing. The top three contracts — all priced between 15¢ and 37¢ — expect “50 to 55” votes in the affirmative. The corresponding failed confirmation contract of “49 or fewer” is priced at 12¢ and has been shedding value since hitting 21¢ on the first day of trading in this market.
Senate Parliamentarian Deals Minimum Wage Blow to Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP)The House and Senate passed a budget resolution earlier this month allowing them to begin to craft a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, a priority for Biden. Democrats have set a goal of getting the bill signed by mid-March, when current stimulus benefits will run out. The House version is expected to pass later today and will include a controversial federal minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. The hiccup for the legislation will likely come in the Senate, where Democrats plan to use a process called “budget reconciliation” in order to pass ARP with a simple majority (read: without Republican support), but they will need to keep every single Democrat on board (see the tribulations of a 50-50 Senate above).
Price at 9 a.m. EST: How many Yea votes in the House for the American Rescue Plan?
Democrats, and progressives especially, received a major blow to their plans when Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled on Thursday that boosting the minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion relief bill did not comply with budget rules.After MacDonough’s ruling, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the minimum wage increase will still be included in the bill when the House votes on it later today, leaving it to the Senate to remove the language. Market Pulse: MacDonough’s ruling put a serious dent in the pricing for the market tracking a federal minimum wage increase to $9.50 or higher by Sept. 1. Traders had been slowly growing in confidence of a yes outcome in this contract, moving from a market low of 13¢ on Feb. 5 to 38¢ on Feb. 24. Even yesterday, prior to the ruling, pricing had risen to 42¢. But that all changed and the contract dipped to 12¢ before closing at 15¢ as Democrats will now have to pass separate legislation that will likely be subject to a Republican filibuster. The potential silver lining in the parliamentarian’s decision lies in the fact that Democrats are likely to put on ice an internal struggle over the minimum wage. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) had already voiced disapproval of the $15 mark, instead aiming closer to $11 per hour, had push come to shove. Finally, ahead of today’s likely House vote on the American Rescue Plan, traders are pricing “221 yea votes” at 37¢ at 9 a.m. EST. That is more than double any other contract’s current pricing.
Price at 6 a.m. EST: Will the federal minimum wage be $9.50 per hour or higher by Sept. 1?
Trump’s Frontrunner Status Grows Ahead of CPAC Appearance
Former US ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, has been talked about as a potential 2024 White House contender for several years. And there was a time, back in January, when PredictIt traders had her ahead of former President Donald Trump for who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Trump has been in the lead for the majority of the time the market’s been open, and now Haley has also slipped below Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for a third day in a row. Read more about Prediction Markets and Betting Markets at the Political Betting.com
Prices at 6 a.m. EST: Who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination?
Haley’s slip coincides with the Trump’s first public speaking appearance since leaving office this Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Haley, noticeably,