Ward Room
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Betting on the Mayor's Race

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Betting on the Mayor's Race
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How closely are political junkies watching our mayoral election? On the InTrade Prediction Market website, there are categories for the 2010 U.S. Senate races, the 2012 Elections … and Chicago Politics.

InTrade is offering two separate wagers on the race. First, on whether Rahm Emanuel will run for mayor. Right now, those odds are running at 94.9 percent. Given the size of Emanuel’s ego, I’d say 99.9 percent is a safe bet. The site is also offering bets on the winner. Right now, Emanuel is the favorite, at 70 percent, but there hasn’t been much action. Along with real contenders Tom Dart and James Meeks, you can also bet on Forrest Claypool, Toni Preckwinkle, and Ed Burke, as well as mayoral relatives Patrick Daley, Bill Daley and Peter Thompson (that’s the mayor’s nephew, for the uniformed punter).

The Beachwood Reporter has a more informed set of odds. They’re “for entertainment purposes only. Including gambling.” Because what’s more entertaining than gambling?

Lisa Madigan is the 3-1 favorite. Beachwood dismisses her declaration that she’s not running as legalese. Emanuel is 100-1: “Does he really want to go from running the free world to worrying about Streets and San? And the man is still relatively young and ambitious. Where would he go from here -- president? He’s everybody’s favorite but it’s hard to envision.” Rod Blagojevich is 1,000,000-1, but the longest shot on the board is hypnotherapist Jay Stone, at a “kabillion to one”: “The one guy his father -- Berny Stone -- could beat.”

InTrade doesn’t have enough info, and Beachwood is more interested in laughs, so here are Ward Room's odds. In the bookmaking tradition, they’re based on how we expect the public to bet. In an election, unlike a sporting event, the betting public can influence the outcome with its votes, so we think this is a real reflection of each candidate’s chances.

 Rahm Emanuel: 2-1
 Tom Dart: 5-2
 James Meeks: 15-1
 Danny Davis: 20-1
 Carol Moseley Braun: 30-1
 Miguel del Valle: 35-1
 Gery Chico: 40-1
 Bob Fioretti: 50-1
 Rickey Hendon: 100-1
 Jay Stone: 10,000-1
 William “Dock” Walls: 100,000-1

The odds on Mayor Daley winning a seventh term? We'll add another zero and give you a million to one on that.

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