Politics :: 2008 Presidential Election Betting Hits The Online Sportsbook Campaign Trail (Page 1 of 2)

Representing a younger generation, Illinois Senator Barack Obama is the clear second choice at 5/2 with former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, 5/1, and as yet unannounced candidate, former Vice President Al Gore, offered from a low of 4/1 to a high of 10/1. Or so the story goes. In fact, Las Vegas oddsmaker Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder gained fame and credibility (which later led to a spot on CBS’ NFL preview show) when, after noting that women did not trust men who wore mustaches, boldly predicted that underdog incumbent President Harry S. Dewey in the race for the Oval Office in 1948. On the other hand, Democrats, with their base more energetic and independent voters tracking in their direction, are quoted as -160 favorites (bet $160 to win $100) to regain control of the Oval Office. Led by a President with record low approval ratings and saddled with an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, the Republicans are clear underdogs to maintain control in 2008, usually listed as +140 underdogs (bet $100 to win $140). Each party field could grow and there also is the possibility for a fusion ticket or an independent candidacy.

Yeah, right.

Not that members of the sports betting industry needed it but when Chris Matthews, the loquacious and assertive host of MSNBC’s Hardball, quoted odds on the 2008 race for President of the United States, the practice of betting on elections gained a measure of acceptability.. The often cited reason is not that, like entertainment award voting such as the Oscars, that someone knows the results of the balloting in advance, but that there is something queasy about mixing gambling and politics.

Many online sportsbooks also boast separate future books for Democrats and Republicans.

Could someone unaligned with either of the major parties, such as an independent or a third party candidate, win? You can get +5250 on that remote possibility.

Election betting is not new. Generally, online sportsbooks attack the 2008 election in one of three ways. The process, which should come to a conclusion when delegate-rich states such as California, New York and Florida vote next February, already is underway with 10 Republicans and eight Democrats vying for the prize. Although she voted to authorize the Iraq war, a very unpopular position among party activists, New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton heads the list of Democrats, usually at odds around 4/5. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who widely is viewed as an ideal vice presidential choice, Senators Chris Dodd (CT) and Joe Biden (DE), former Senator Mike Gravel (Alaska) and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, are longshots.

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Certainly, most online sportsbooks outside the jurisdiction of the Silver State have little difficulty in posting futures on who will win the next four-year lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Truman would defeat New York Governor Thomas E. The simplest way is to post a generic proposition on which party will win the White House.

The irony is that Nevada sportsbooks do not accept wagers on elections

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