Who will be the next president? This is rather a complex question for now. However, market predictions declare a near won battle for Democrats and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, with most of the betting sites and odds makers listing her as the favorite to win the coveted US post. An analysis taken up by Intrade, a trading exchange on politics and current events, Clinton is leading the presidential bandwagon, right through several months. However, for the past few weeks, the Clinton lead appears to be getting close to marginal in comparison to her nearest rivals. Though Hillary Clinton is still a market leader; her current trade price of 25.0 (which is determined on her popularity amongst the people and the amount of money the punters would be pouring on her candidature) is a 3.5-point drop from a value of 28.5 a couple of weeks ago. Her lead over nearest rival current Illinois senator Barack Obama has been trimmed from 15.3 points four weeks ago to only 4.9 points in the last week of July.
Even the UK based William Hill and Ladbrokes place Hillary Clinton at the top slot. William Hill puts Hillary Clinton’s odds at 1/1, while her nearest rivals – Fred Thomson (Rep and former Tennessee Senator) and Al Gore (D-Ex-Vice President) – have been placed at number three positions with odds at 7/1. Rudyard Giuliani (Rep – former NY Mayor) and Barrack Obama (D-Senator Illinois) have bettered their rankings and are now at second position with odds at 5/1, followed by Mitt Romney (Rep- Former Guv Massachusetts) 8/1, John Edwards (D – Former Senator North Carolina) 16/1, and John McCain (Rep – Senator Arizona) 33/1. Tommy Thomson (Rep – former Guv Wisconsin) and Chris Dodd (D- Senator Connecticut) makes it to the last of the list with projected odds at 50/1 and 100/1 respectively.
Ladbrokes has Hilary at 5/4, followed by Barack Obama (4/1). Fred Thomson and Rudolph Giuliani placed at number three and fourth positions with 10/3 and 9/2 respectively, are immediately followed by Al Gore with probable odds at 6/1. John Edwards follows Al Gore and is placed at 10/1. Michael Bloomberg (billionaire media baron and the current NY Mayor) is further down the line with speculated odds at 18/1. John McCain is lying behind Bloomberg, at 25/1. Ladbrokes pops a surprise entry by listing Condoleezza Rice at the tail end of the list with odds at 100/1.
As far as the nominations are concerned, Barack Obama appears to be closing on Hillary Clinton. Intrade figures indicate that Barack Obama close the gap dramatically on Hillary Clinton over the past three weeks. On June 27th Clinton held a comfortable 19.0-point lead over Obama. But for the past few weeks this gap was considerably reduced to only 4.0 points after Clinton’s traded value dropped from 49.5 to 44.9 (as on first week of July) and Obama’s value jumped from 30.5 to 38.4. However, overall figures are in favor of Hillary Clinton who is comfortably moving ahead with a total traded value placed at 222,813, while Barack Obama is far behind at 144,072.
Republican presidential aspirants, Rudolph Giuliani and Fred Thompson continue to have a significant distance between themselves and the rest of the potential Republican nominees. The major change however is the lead Giuliani has opened up over Thompson this past week. Rudolph Giuliani is at the moment trading at 40.9 as against 36.0 seven days ago. That shows a growth of 4.9 over the past one week. But Fred Thompson is no match to Rudolph, who hasn’t gained much in comparison to Giuliani. Thompson’s current value stands at 34.8 as against 34.5 few days ago, which means an insignificant increase of 0.3 points. Giuliani’s lead of 6.9 points over Thompson is considered as the widest margin between the two since Giuliani held a 6.2-point lead back on 25th May ’07.
However, political gambling analysts opine that current odds cannot be taken as final figures. They say factors such as the upcoming presidential nomination debates play a vital role in determining fresh odds for the candidates. Payton O’Brien noted political betting analyst and senior editor Gambling911.com (a popular resource for online gambling) indicated that the odds tend to fluctuate further as and how the Presidential hustings approach. “Initially odds are determined based on polls and other information readily available in the media. Odds will then deviate based on the negative and positive news about the candidates and the kind of action the bettors take on a particular candidate,” adds O’Brien in an interview to CE Online.
According to O’Brien, the upcoming CNN/YouTube Republican debate will have further impact on the way the political trading is done. “The debate is likely to have an interesting effect on the odds of republican candidates. Those who choose not to participate may get negative press, and therefore their odds will go high,” O’Brien explains.
Hillary Clinton, being one of the strong contenders, bettors have poured in lots of money on her and her odds have to come down, says O’Brien. The similar is the situation in case of Ron Paul (R – Senator Texas), who was initially listed at Sportsbook.com with odds placed at 200/1. But as soon Ron Paul’s supporters realized his position, they started betting huge sums on him and his odds came down to as low as 15/1. Gambling experts and strategists claim that online gamblers are looking to influence the public opinion by betting further huge sums on Ron Paul, as he is considered a messiah for vociferously supporting the legalized online gambling.
However, O’Brien adds that, the money is not the only factor which helped Ron Paul better his position. He says that Ron Paul’s huge popularity on Internet is also a contributing factor. “Ron Paul’s popularity on web cannot be ignored and his ability to rake in more money than his rival John McCain this quarter will further have a great impact on his trade value,” O’Brien reiterates.
It is interesting to note that one online gambling site alone generated $15 million in bets during the 2004 US Presidential elections, out of which Election Day betting alone spawned as much as $3 million. O’Brien predicts that amounts spent on presidential betting will go much higher this time. “We can see more staggering numbers in correlation with the growth of online betting since 2004 presidential elections,” O’Brien adds.
Meanwhile, other popular betting sites such as Bet365.com,Expekt.com, BlueSq Bet and VC Bet all have similar rankings with Hillary Clinton topping the list, followed by Barack Obama, Fred Thompson, Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Al Gore. However, the odds are varying with each one of the book makers. The probability for Clinton and Obama with Expekt.com and VC Bet is at 2/1 and 5/4 respectively, while Giuliani stands at 7/2 and 5/1 respectively with Expekt.com and VC Bet.