Gavin Newsom's Recall Odds Slashed As Majority Bet on Governor to Lose Race

California Governor Gavin Newsom's odds of being recalled later this year have been slashed by a major online gambling company as a majority of bettors bet on the Democrat to lose.

Betfair, which operates the world's largest online betting exchange, told Newsweek that Newsom's odds of being recalled now stand at 1/3—meaning you won't win very much if you place a bet now.

When odds for a potential event are slashed, that means the outcome is more likely, i.e. bettors will receive less of a return than they would on longer odds.

The campaign to recall Newsom has reached the required number of signatures and a recall election is expected later this year. It will have two parts—a question on whether the governor should be removed and a second question on who should replace him.

Under California law, Newsom cannot run to replace himself and Betfair's numbers don't look good for the first term governor.

"The odds suggest Gavin Newsom will be recalled later this year," said Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom.

"The California governor is currently odds-on at 1/3 to be removed from office a year before his first term is scheduled to end."

Betfair is offering odds of 2/1 that Newsom will survive the recall. However, recent polling suggests that most Californians don't want to see their governor removed from office.

Poll tracker FiveThirtyEight argued on February 10 that Newsom would probably survive a recall election, while a Probolsky Research poll conducted from March 16 to 19 showed that 45.7 percent of California voters opposed a recall, compared to 40 percent in favor.

"While some polls suggest that more Californians are opposed to it happening, the majority of bets we have taken have been for Newsom to be recalled, and as a result we make it 1/3 to happen," Rosbottom explained.

This represents a significant narrowing of the odds since the campaign to recall Newsom began. The odds he would be removed stood at 5/1 when it was initially brought up, according to Betfair, but fell to just 2/1 when the number of signatures began to rise.

Betting aggregator US-Bookies, a website, that provides information for "American betting and gambling enthusiasts," has also slashed its odds of Newsom being recalled. The odds of the governor being removed stood at 15/8 on March 19 but US-Bookies told Newsweek the odds had now fallen to 2/7. The odds against Newsom being recalled are 9/5.

This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we’ve made -- from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing commonsense gun violence solutions.

There's too much at stake.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 26, 2021

Betfair now puts the odds of a recall election happening later this year at around 1/25, making it highly likely. That's borne out by the fact that the campaign, RecallGavin2020, has collected 1,626,042 valid signatures—more than the 1,495,709 required.

"This now triggers the next phase of the recall process, a 30-business-day period in which voters may submit written requests to county Registrars of Voters to remove their names from the recall petition," California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said. "A recall election will be held unless a sufficient number of signatures are withdrawn."

Newsom has described the recall campaign as a partisan Republican effort. He took to Twitter on Tuesday to share a video and criticize the move, suggesting it threatened California values.

"This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we've made—from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing common-sense gun violence solutions," he said. There's too much at stake."

Several candidates have already come forward to potentially replace Newsom, including reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner. Political betting is illegal in the U.S. but popular in Europe and elsewhere.

Newsweek has asked Governor Gavin Newsom for comment on this article.

California Governor Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference after touring the vaccination clinic at City College of San Francisco on April 06, 2021 in San Francisco, California. A major betting firm has slashed Newsom's odds of being removed from office. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images