Who Is Nicole Shanahan and Her Impact on the Independent Ticket Odds?

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US presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr. (R) announces his running mate Nicole Shanahan (L) in Oakland, California on March 26, 2024. Josh Edelson / AFP

With Super Tuesday taking place, all the developments in several of Donald Trump’s legal cases and Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, the political headlines during March were dominated by Democratic or Republican affairs. However, during Easter Week, Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) managed to steal the spotlight as he announced attorney Nicole Shanahan as his running mate for the 2024 US presidential election.

But who exactly is Nicole Shanahan and, more importantly, how does her designation impact the political betting odds for November?

Let’s go ahead and look at the latest odds available at the top sportsbooks, as this should help speed up the process for RFK Jr. to gain ballot access, at least, in nearly half of them as they require a mandatory VP pick. Kennedy has previously stated that he intends to qualify for all 50 states as well as in Washington DC.

Who is Nicole Shanahan?

If you hadn’t heard the name until recently, we don’t blame you. At 38 years old, attorney and tech entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan is anything but your ordinary politician. The California native has little presence on social media and has no clear political affiliations. However, she did support the Democratic Party in the last election.

Since then, Shanahan has garnered a bit more attention, mostly due to her personal life. In 2022, Shanahan divorced Google co-founder Sergey Brin, amid reports that she had an affair with Elon Musk, a friend of Brin’s at the time. Both Musk and Shanahan have denied the allegations.

Shanahan has amassed a fortune from the tech sector. This is the reason many pundits suggest was the reason why RFK Jr. picked her over some other household names, such as Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers or former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Recently, it was reported that the California lawyer was the main backer of Kennedy’s controversial Super Bowl ad worth $7 million.

Shanahan’s addition to Kennedy’s campaign has done little to improve his odds. At the start of March, his odds were anywhere between +2200 and +2500. If anything, they got worse in the last couple of days. Now, you can find him with a price of +3400 at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review).

Who Benefits?

Oddly enough, everyone seems to agree that Shanahan’s addition will benefit former President Donald Trump. However, his odds haven’t improved since the announcement and, if anything, incumbent President Joe Biden has seen a slight improvement in his stock.

Kennedy’s family has come out and publicly said they fear that the Kennedy-Shanahan ticket will funnel votes away from the Democrats, thus benefiting the presumed Republican candidate. Trump seems to agree with this take after calling the news “great for MAGA”.

“He is Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, not mine. I love that he is running!” added Trump on his social media platform, Truth. Meanwhile, Biden’s camp has yet to officially comment.

According to recent polls, Kennedy has 10% support and is trailing both Biden and Trump by about 30 points each.

What’s Coming Up?

April should be a relatively quiet month, as there are few relevant electoral dates. There are some primaries on the calendar, but with both Biden and Trump already having enough delegates, they are a mere formality.

However, things could get interesting in Pennsylvania towards the end of the month, as the state will hold its primary along with votes for the Senate and House on the 25th.

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.