The Washington Times - January 4, 2012, 09:19AM

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s narrow victory Tuesday in Iowa’s caucuses and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s stunning second-place showing have reset the bookmakers’ views of the presidential election.

Heading into Tuesday’s caucuses, Paddy Power, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, gave Mr. Romney 2-5 odds of winning the Republican presidential nomination, but those now have improved to 1-6 — meaning that someone placing a $6 bet on Mr. Romney stands to collect just $1 if the bet pays off.


The bookmaker said Mr. Romney’s odds of winning the White House improved overnight, too, going from 7-4 to 11-8. Mr. Obama is the 4-5 favorite, but Hillary Rodham Clinton, Mr. Obama’s 2008 primary opponent and now his secretary of state, still gets third-best odds, at 20-1.

Mr. Santorum saw his standing improve in the past day, going from 14-1 odds Tuesday morning to win the GOP’s nomination to 11-1 odds by Wednesday, good enough for second-best.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who previously had second- and third-best odds, now have dropped to third and fourth — Mr. Paul tumbling from 7-1 to 14-1, and Mr. Gingrich dropping from 8-1 to 16-1.

Paddy Power now lists Mr. Santorum with second-best odds to win New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday — a stunning turnaround for someone who has barely registered in polls taken there all last year. Mr. Romney is the prohibitive favorite there at 1-25 odds.