Uncertain and irked about Presidential poll numbers, HuffPost contributor Keith Thomson believes that gambling bets are better indicators of the November 6th election than political surveys, and reports that all the gambling operations are betting on Barack Obama to win.
Koleman Strumpf, a University of Kansas economics professor who tracks betting trends, tells Thomson that (a) “the betting markets have to think hard about what they’re saying since they are putting their money at stake” and (b) “polls tend to reflect what people are thinking at a given moment, versus a forecast of what will happen on election day — post-convention bounces, for instance.”
Paulick Report editor Ray Paulick, one of America’s top horseracing handicappers, says that “gamblers have more experience with cheaters. They take voter fraud into their metrics. Polls don’t. Nor do polls take into account intangibles like how each state’s secretary of state factors in or systems within a state designed to eliminate voters.”
“In 2008, 90 percent of gamblers correctly forecast an Obama victory,” Thomson writes. “They were also on the money with 48 of 50 states.
“As of this writing, betting at the three biggest prediction markets is as follows: Betfair has Obama with a 64 percent chance to win to Romney’s 36 percent; Intrade has the president at 58 percent; and the Iowa Electronic Markets have the president at 59 percent. Oddschecker shows bookmakers to be even more bullish on Obama.
“Why are the polls and gamblers so far apart?
“‘The answer highlights one of the main differences between the polls and markets like Intrade,’ says Intrade’s exchange operations manager Carl Wolfenden. ‘The polls ask who you’re going to vote for — a question that requires an emotional response. Intrade asks who you think will win — a rational question that requires someone to look at the facts and real world events, such as polls, debates, speeches, gaffes, scandals and crises. One of these facts is the Electoral College, which isn’t accounted for in polls.’
“Why the big lead for Obama?
“‘Our markets recognize that Romney probably needs to win Ohio to beat Obama,” Wolfenden says. “And so the price for Obama to be reelected has closely tracked his probability of winning Ohio. So while Romney may lead in the polls, and he may have flipped a number of other key states — such as Florida, Virginia, Colorado — to his side of the ledger, our markets appear to believe that without Ohio he can’t get it done.'”