Betting On The Presidency

If you want to get a bet down on the presidential election, now is the time to do it. Wait until the fall, and one of the candidates may build a big lead in the polls, thus ruining your odds. That’s what happened in 2008. Barack Obama was slightly worse than even money during the summer, fell behind John McCain in early September, after McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, and became the big favorite in October, after the Wall Street crash.

This year, if you like Obama, the best place to bet is InTrade is a marketplace, not a sports book, so the odds are set by the gamblers, not the house. As a result, they track the polls a little more closely than sports book odds. Obama is given a 56.3 chance to win the election -- around 4-5 odds.

If you like Romney, you should bet through a sports book. The best current odds are offered by British bookmaker Ladbroke’s, which has Romney at 7-4 -- a 36 percent chance, slightly better than you’ll get on InTrade.

    Obama       56.3 percent
    Romney     40.9 percent

    William Hill    
    Obama        1-2
    Romney      13-8
    Obama        1-2
    Romney       6-4

    Obama        4-9
    Romney      7-4

    Obama        -170
    Romney    +140  

Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!

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