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Online wagerers favoring Obama

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Political-betting websites that allow wagers on Tuesday’s elections increasingly favor President Obama to be re-elected as betting heats up on the final day before voting.

Intrade, a top online prediction market where “investors” vote with their money, favors Mr. Obama to win the Electoral College victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as his stock continued to tick up Monday morning.

Two-thirds, or 66.7 percent, of bettors pick Mr. Obama to win over Mr. Romney, who garnered 33.3 percent of the vote. The president’s stock rose 1.4 percent as Election Day approached, while Mr. Romney’s stock fell 3.2 percent.

Mr. Obama has been the consistent favorite in the online market during the general election campaign, although his “stock” fell sharply following his weak performance in the first debate against his GOP rival.

“Today’s going to be a big trading day,” said Tom Snee, spokesman for the Iowa Electronics Markets, which are operated by the University of Iowa. “If you can sell it before the Election Day and make a profit, that’s how the market works.”

The Iowa Electronic Markets, which has two polls measuring the popular vote, also had Mr. Obama winning by a considerable margin.

In the winner-take-all market, where gamblers pick who will win the popular vote, the president holds a 77.1 percent to 26.4 percent lead over Mr. Romney. Bettors, for example, would pay 77 cents for a vote for Mr. Obama, and if they win, they would be paid $1.

In the vote share market, where gamblers must pick how much of the popular vote each candidate will win, Mr. Obama leads with 50.7 percent of the vote, compared with Mr. Romney’s 47.7 percent. To win in this market, bettors must correctly guess exactly how much of the popular vote a certain candidate will garner. So, if the president won 47.8 percent of the popular vote, but someone bet on 47.7 percent, the bettor would lose.

Betfair, the London-based website that is the world’s largest Internet betting exchange, also puts the odds of Mr. Obama winning at 77.2 percent to 22.5 percent, according to PredictWise, a site that analyzes and creates predictions on the elections.

Polling numbers on all of these sites are expected to fluctuate throughout the day.

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About the Author
Tim Devaney

Tim Devaney

Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at tdevaney@washingtontimes.com.

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