Betting On The 2008 Election

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With a historic election taking place in the United States (and our own general elections not due for a while yet here in the U.K.), there's lots of interest on just who might take the Oval Office come this November.

The Contenders:

It's been an interesting race so far, with the Republican nominee announced earlier in the year as John McCain, and Barack Obama just recently taking the numbers to solidify his defeat over Hilary for the Democrats. Will the Republicans be able to take another 4 years in office, or will the first African-American president become a reality?

It's a little early to say of course, but at the time of writing it appears Obama is favored nearly two to one by punters, with odds for Barack ranging from 4/9 to 1/2 across a popular span of bookmakers taking political bets, and McCain listed everywhere from 6/4 to 11/5.

Of course, that's just the odds as they stand now; but neither party has yet to reveal their vice-presidential candidate, which will likely shift the odds once announced. Will Obama take Hilary on beside him? Will McCain run with Romney as analysts predict? The newly formed duo's could definitely swing things either way in the eyes of some voters, and that means bettors too. The Vice Presidential nominees have gathered their share of interest in the betting market too, with odds available at plenty of sportsbooks.

Right now Mitt Romney is favored for the Republicans, with Tim Pawlenty not far behind (at least in the eyes of bookmakers). Jim Webb and Hilary Clinton are neck-and-neck at most books, with some offering better payouts for Hilary, and some for Jim (a good reminder to always shop around for the best odds before you make a stake!)

What's so Interesting About Betting on Politics?

One of the things that makes betting on politics so interesting is the sheer number of factors that influence the outcome. In sports, there are only so many factors; the match-up, game location, weather, injuries, etc. In politics, everything from past scandals to overzealous preachers to a slip of the tongue during a public speech can turn the tides quickly.

Will American voters give Obama the presidency during these turbulent times? Will the Republicans scare the people into giving them another term due to ongoing military actions and rising oil costs? Will a Vice Presidential candidate save a drowning puppy or get caught with a hooker? The endless possibilities and extensive news coverage make political bets both easy and interesting to follow.

UK Political Bets Coming Up:

Of course, for those of you that could care less about what's happening across the pond, our own general elections aren't too far away, and there's already some bets on the market, including:

When will the next general election be held?
Slated for 2010 at the latest, you can get 16/1 odds at the moment if you put your money that it will be called for 2008, 11/8 makes 2009 the favorite, and 4/7 for 2010.

Who Will Win The Most Seats?
The Conservative Party is heavily favoured at the moment, but you can get a respectable 9/4 on the Labour Party. We won't mention the particulars for Liberals on this one, but if you're looking for a long shot you might have found your bet.

Who Will Be The Party Leaders?
There's not a lot of venues offering this bet just yet, but those that do seem to have Brown/Cameron favored for the win, with a Brown/Campbell combination offering the biggest odds of the bunch.

Will There Be An Overall Majority?
It seems most favor the Conservatives taking the majority this time around with odds at 4/6, with the Labour Party well behind - posted 4/1 at most bookmakers. In the middle there's 2/1 odds for no majority either way.

Where To Make Political Bets:

If you've decided to stake a few on your favorite candidate, but your current book doesn't offer political wagers, here's some recommended sportsbooks and exchanges that can take your political bet, whether you're betting on the upcoming presidential race or keeping your bets closer to home:

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