Barack Obama Odds of Becoming Next US President Unchanged

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Barack Obama

With the Democratic Convention upon us and Senator Barack Obama finally choosing his running mate, Senator Joe Biden out of Delaware, Obama's odds of becoming the next President of the United States (and the first African American to hold that position) have remained relatively unchanged. If anything, they've diminished somewhat.

Earlier this month, - the oldest established bookmaker catering to the North American gambler - had Obama closer to -300 odds, but mostly averaging around -250. On Tuesday August 26, Barack Obama's odds were sitting at -200 compared with GOP nominee John McCain at +160 (it should be noted that lists the odds as Democratic Party and Republican Party as opposed to listing the two men by name). Elsewhere, prediction markets had Obama with around a 60 percent chance of becoming the next President of the United States.

The problem seems clear:

Clinton stressed anew Monday that she supports Obama and wants the 18 million people who voted for her in the primaries to transfer their allegiance as well. Easier said than done. A large majority of Clintonites are holding pat - nearly half in fact - many saying they will vote for John McCain.

"We are here for one purpose: to give the party momentum going into the general election so that come November, Barack Obama will become the president of the United States," Clinton told supporters at a Denver hotel Monday.

McCain rushed out a new ad featuring a Clinton supporter saying she'd now vote for the Republican.

"I'm a proud Hillary Clinton Democrat," said Debra Bartoshevich, a Wisconsin nurse who was removed as a convention delegate after she said she would cast her vote for McCain.

"She had the experience and judgment to be president," Bartoshevich said in the ad. "Now, in a first for me, I'm supporting a Republican, John McCain. I respect his maverick and independent streak, and now he's the one with the experience and judgment."

Clinton told delegates Monday that they should ignore McCain's ad. "John McCain is sending a message," she said. "I'm here to tell you my name is Hillary Clinton. And I do not support this message."

A USA Today/Gallup Poll shows that fewer than half of Clinton supporters, 47 percent, are solidly behind Obama. Another 23 percent said they'd support Obama but might change their minds, and 30 percent said they'd vote for McCain.

Momentum at the Democratic Convention

What had pretty much been a ho hum occasion for the first three hours suddenly turned into a teary-eyed celebration with the arrival of Senator Edward Kennedy (or Teddy as they like to call him).

Sen. Edward Kennedy -- recuperating from recent brain surgery -- drew a standing ovation at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night and pledged to see Barack Obama to the White House and his own return to the Senate floor.

Sen. Edward Kennedy addresses the Democratic National Convention on Monday night.

1 of 3 more photos » "I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States," the 76-year-old senator from Massachusetts told the crowd, which had given him a standing ovation.

"Together we have known success and seen setbacks ... but we have never lost our belief that we are all called to a better country and a newer world," he said. "I pledge to you that I will be there next January on the floor of the Senate."

Kennedy had surgery June 2 for a brain tumor. With the exception of one return to the Capitol for a crucial vote, he has been out of the public eye recuperating.


Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor

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