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The US Election — spot the numbers mismatch where 50:50 = 2 to 9?

UPDATE: The US Election is being called for Obama on all major outlets. MarketWatch. Telegraph. Real Clear Politics. Mark Steyn’s thoughts: “Life Free… Or Die”.


Voting is now underway in all states of the US including Hawaii and Alaska.

Something very strange is going on with money. Normally bets are a decent indicator, but in the US right now as people roll out to vote, polls are largely at 50:50, but betting odds of 2-9.

The bet-takers own website explains that Obama’s odds of victory fell to a low of 2-9, with 75 percent of the action coming in for the incumbent Obama. CSM explains that given the odds, bettors were only taking in 20 cents for every euro wagered, plus the original stake, meaning Paddy Power wasn’t paying out a longshot. On the flip side, unpaid Romney bets held odds of 7-2.

Follow the odds on Predictwise or Oddschecker.

It’s so strange, one betting site in Ireland (Paddy Power) has already paid out $750,000 to Obama bettors. That was Monday.

Putting a fine point on it: Gallup and Rassmussen are saying Romney 49: Obama 48.  (For more poll results than you could want see the BBC. They can’t all be right.)

What really matters in the land of non-compulsory voting, is who will turn up.

In 2008 Democrats had a feverish enthusiasm for hope and change, and we know how well that worked out. American citizens were so impressed they launched a whole new party to take the Obama-plan and do the opposite.

In final days there were mass crowds of 30,000 for Romney. Obama crowds were large, but in Cincinnati, only half the size of the same one in 2008.

With so much enthusiasm on the not-Obama side of the debate, those betting numbers don’t add up, indeed the mismatch is so large,  it appears to be a rare chance of arbitrage. Could it be the strange end-point of media group-think and confirmation-bias?

The Telegraph’s news roll of the US election. Drudge. Wall Street Journal.


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