Ignoring popular vote and swing state numbers which are too close to call
Paul Joseph Watson
November 5, 2012
Despite the fact that the popular vote and numbers in key swing states are too close to call, betting organizations across the spectrum are overwhelmingly signaling that Barack Obama will defeat Mitt Romney in tomorrow’s presidential election.
As the video above highlights, betting professionals argue that the gambling market is more accurate than other indicators because people who bet large sums of money are experienced traders and have access to a wider source of information.
The betting market is seen as so crucial to the perception of each candidate and their chances of winning, that some have suggested outsiders are attempting to rig the odds.
“There have been a lot of suggestions, especially in big markets like this, that maybe money is being put into the market – people are betting in order to influence the price, and that’s said to have happened to a big extent,” Mike Smithson of PoliticalBetting.com told Reuters.
He pointed to an example where Romney suddenly jumped by 5 percentage points in betting markets, suggesting a huge amount of money had been placed on him in one go, but that the move wasn’t sustained.
“Polls are only one source of information,” said Vaughan Williams, director of Nottingham Business School’s Betting Research Unit. “But there are lots of sources of information. Markets know about polls, but polls don’t know about markets. Markets can assess how biased they believe polls to be.”
Williams added that Betfair’s odds produced “clean data” compared to national polls because American citizens are not legally permitted to place bets.
Every betting market out there shows Obama’s chances of victory are significantly greater than Romney’s. According to bookmakers Paddy Power, betting has been “one-way traffic” for Obama, prompting the company to pay out earlyon punters who backed Obama. The move was partly a PR stunt but also a sign that the market is confident of an Obama success.
Last week, betting markets from around the world signaled that a huge amount of money had been placed on Obama to win, increasing his chances by a number of extra percentage points.
The chart above shows how Obama’s likelihood of victory has shot up by about eight points over the last 7 days.
Figures from Betfair, Intrade and IEM all show that a substantially larger amount of money is backing Obama to win.
Betting on swing states is also significantly favorable to Obama, with punters gambling that the Democrat will take Virginia, Ohio and Florida. The latest actual polls out of swing states show that Obama and Romney are either tied or that Obama has a slight lead.
Although polling guru Nate Silver uses a different system than betting organizations to predict the outcome, his figures show an even higher chance of Obama being victorious – 85 per cent.
Numerous other media personalities and pundits who were asked by the Washington Post to pick the winner overwhelming chose Obama. However, a similar exercise by the Daily Caller found the majority plumping for Romney – again emphasizing how partisan tendencies influence people to pick who they want to win rather than who they think will win – underscoring again how betting markets are more realistic.
Some have accused Obama-supporting columnists and polling experts of over-exaggerating Obama’s chances of winning in order to make it appear as if Romney’s defeat is inevitable. Make no doubt about it, convincing already lukewarm voters that a vote for Romney is pointless would likely put significant number of people off casting their ballot on Tuesday.
The bottom line is that Obama has a three in four chance of winning the election and Romney has a one in four chance. Those odds still give Romney a shot, but all the smart money seems to be backing Obama to secure a second term in the White House.
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