According to the latestReuters/Ipsos poll, the November presidential election is a dead heat between Democratic incumbent Barrack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The late August CBS News poll ] had Obama ahead by one point, while the equivalent Washington Post poll had Romney ahead by a point.
Once statistical margins of error are taken into account, all the polls agree that the presidential election race is a virtual tie.
So much for the amateurs. What do the professionals think?
Among those who put their money where their mouths are, Obama is the odds-on favorite to win. British betting web site Ladbrokes is giving 2-to-5 odds on an Obama victory.
That means that a bet of $5 will return you $7 if Obama wins, for a net gain of just $2.
Compare that with the odds for Romney. Ladbrokes has Romney at 15-to-8. In other words, an $8 bet on Romney will pay $15 if he wins, for a net gain of $7.
Converting the election odds into percentages, the Ladbrokes odds imply a 71.4 percent chance of an Obama victory compared to a 34.8 percent chance of a Romney victory. Together these add up to a 106.2 percent chance of someone winning the election.
The extra 6.2 percent is the bookmaker's premium.
In presidential elections, as in all organized gambling, the house always wins.
Splitting the bookmaker's premium down the middle gives an implied 68.3 percent chance of an Obama victory versus 31.7 percent for Romney.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment