When Americans go to the polls on November 8th they will be deciding who the 45th President of the United States will be. As the presidential candidates battle it out for the White House, the betting odds are now out and we have compiled a list of the current betting odds for the upcoming presidential election.
The latest news to report is that on October 31st President Obama edged out Governor Romney 53% to 47% in a 3% margin of error poll. This is in comparison to the last Newspoll that was published on October 24th which had Obama leading Romney 58% to 40%. So it seems that the incumbent presidential candidate has maintained his lead in the polls although it is not a dramatic increase.
Looking to the future, Reuters released an election probability report on October 31st which has Obama as the favorite to win re-election in November. The news agency’s Political Analyst team rates Obama’s chance of winning at 79% compared to just 13% for Romney.
Odds To Win
Here are the latest odds to win the presidential election as compiled by online betting sites (for odds comparison purposes):
- +170 to win for Obama vs Romney on Bet365
- +375 to win for Obama vs Romney on Paddy Power
- +350 to win for Obama vs Romney on Coral
- +1200 to win for Obama vs Romney on Betfair
- +150 to win for Obama vs Romney on BetVictor
- +1200 to win for Obama vs Romney on Ladbrokes
- +200 to win for Obama vs Romney on BetFred
- +2500 to win for Obama vs Romney on Betvictor
- +350 to win for Obama vs Romney on Paddy Power
- +500 to win for Obama vs Romney on Bet365
- +500 to win for Obama vs Romney on William Hill
- +1200 to win for Obama vs Romney on Betfair
Obama’s lead in the polls is clearly reflected in the betting odds with the majority of the sportsbooks taking the incumbent as a clear favorite to win in November. However, as we have seen in the past, polls can be fickle and just because Obama leads in the polls now does not necessarily mean he will be re-elected.
Romney’s campaign were quick to slam the odds makers for their blind optimism, saying: “It’s clear that betting markets do not take into account the will of the American people and reflect the political biases of those placing the wagers.”
The Republican challenger did add that “the odds makers are always wrong in Presidential elections, and they’re proving it once again.”
Let’s take a quick look at where each candidate stands in the polls.
Presidential Polls: Obama vs Romney
The horse-race aspect of the upcoming presidential election between President Obama and Governor Romney has been fascinating to say the least. From the beginning of the year when Obama was virtually unchallenged in the Democratic primaries, to the present day, as the general election campaign has taken over, the candidates and their camps have been engaged in a war of words and actions that has seen both of them pull out all the stops to win. This competition has seen the candidates rake in record-breaking levels of donations with the Democratic National Committee reporting that in August 2012 it received 5.5 million contributions, 3.5 million of which were online. This is compared to the 3.7 million that the DNC raised in August 2011.
For its part, the RNC has shifted its fundraising strategy and is now aiming to become the go-to organization for Republican candidates, having raised $25.1 million in the most recent fiscal quarter.
On September 12, 2012 President Obama made his last-ditch case to donors at an event in San Francisco. He also held a number of campaign stops in California, the largest being a rally on October 4th in Berkeley. This was a week before the state’s Super Tuesday primary when 11 of California’s 20 biggest counties will hold their primaries. Many political pundits are already speculating about whether or not Obama will visit the Golden State again before November.
Romney made several campaign trips to California during the summer of 2012 and held rallies in San Diego, Riverside and San Jose.
Obama’s Home State Advantage
With the electoral map being pretty favorable for the incumbent president, he does have something extra in his favor. With two-thirds of the country living within driving distance of Washington, D.C., Obama can draw much of his support from home. This has enabled him to rack up huge margins of victory in 2008 (77%) and 2012 (66%).
According to exit polls from 2008, Obama was the choice of 68% of California’s Democratic voters and 57% of its independent voters. In New York City, Obama received 73% of the vote from Democrats and 55% of the vote from Independents. And in Pennsylvania, Obama got 60% of the vote from Democrats and 55% of the vote from Independents. Similar stories can be told about Michigan (59% and 54%), Wisconsin (55% and 52%) and Minnesota (55% and 50%).
This was not always the case. In fact, a 1996 article in The Atlantic by Jeff Jacoby pointed to California as one of the many states where the incumbent candidate did not enjoy an advantage over the Republican challenger. According to Jacoby, in 1992, Bill Clinton, who was then the obscure governor of Arkansas, visited all 50 states and racked up nearly 3 million votes in the process. This was largely due to the fact that Arkansas is a border state and allowed it to be represented in both the Democratic and Republican parties. This enabled it to vote for both candidates in large numbers.
Since 1996, however, the Democrats have had a firm hold on California which has consistently given the party’s nominees at least four out of the five presidential votes since 2000. In 2008, Obama won the state by 10.3 million votes (61%), in 2012 he won by 8.4 million votes (55%) and in 2016 he is currently the favorite to win once again with the odds pointing to a 67% chance of success.
Romney would have to win California by a margin of over 8 million votes in order to win the presidency. If that happens, it will be a complete and total shocker. For now, Obama is the clear favorite in the state and everywhere else.
Will The Nomadic Nature Of The Candidates Work Against Them?
Another issue that could work in Obama’s favor is the fact that he and Romney are both nomads. Obama has continuously reinvented his campaign, moving away from past electoral strategies and using the web to its fullest extent. As a result, he has enjoyed an element of serendipity. While on the campaign trail, he has tapped into the power of social media, using platforms like Twitter and Facebook to connect with voters.
The former Massachusetts governor is no different. Much of his campaign has been conducted through YouTube videos, blogs and tweets.
This can be compared to what George W. Bush and John McCain endured in the 2000 and 2008 elections respectively. As The New York Times reported, neither Bush nor McCain even lived in their home states during the entirety of their campaigns. Bush was a resident of Texas for less than four months in 1992 and Arizona for less than two. And McCain spent the majority of his time in New Hampshire.
In the 2016 election, more and more campaigns are using the internet and social media to disseminate their message. This strategy allows the candidates to stay in touch with voters and be nimble enough to respond to issues as they arise. The downside is that this can make the candidates appear more human, accessible and approachable.