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McCain Leads Obama in Polls…Not Yet in Prediction Markets

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/07/2008
McCain Sarah Palin

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.

John McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.

While the online prediction markets do not show John McCain leading, the numbers have shifted dramatically in just a matter of days.

Obama now holds a 55.1 percent chance of winning at Intrade.com. McCain had a 44.7 percent chance of winning. Obama's numbers were down more than 5 points in so many days where he had been leading by over 60 percent.

The Republican party was close to even odds of winning the White House now at Bookmaker.com, which is home to the sharpest gamblers online. There McCain had a +130 line for a payout potential of $130 on every $100 bet. Obama was at -160, having peaked at -210 in August.

"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."

However, in an analysis of the impact of political conventions since 1960, Sabato concluded that post-convention polls signal the election's outcome only about half the time. "You could flip a coin and be about as predictive," he says. "It is really surprising how quickly convention memories fade."

McCain has narrowed Obama's wide advantage on handling the economy, by far the electorate's top issue. Before the GOP convention, Obama was favored by 19 points; now he's favored by 3.

Gambling911.com continues to monitor the US Presidential betting odds and trends as millions of dollars will be bet on Election Day alone. 


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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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