Betting

Gamblers Rate Jim Webb and Mitt Romney as Favorites in the Vice Presidential Sweepstakes

The Internet gambling site Intrade has U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney pegged as the favorites to win their parties’ Vice Presidential nominations, as of June 9, 2008. Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, who last week led the field prospective Democratic running mates, has slipped to second place.Jim Webb is favored by 20.2% of the gamblers who buy shares or “futures” in a candidate’s prospects, while Hillary Clinton — who had led Webb last week by a margin of 21% to 19.7% — has declined to 15.1% after her graceless exit from the Presidential campaign. After Barack Obama had crossed the threshold of delegates and superdelegates needed to clinch the nomination on Tuesday, June 3rd, a recalcitrant Clinton refused to concede that night and throw her support to Obama, waiting four days before throwing in the towel. It was widely felt that she wanted to continue on to the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled for the last week of August, and bulldoze her way onto the ticket as Barack Obama’s running mate. Coupled with her egregious performance on the campaign trail, in which she claimed Republican nominee John McCain was more qualified than Obama to be president and used race-baiting as a campaign tactic, it seems unlikely that the junior Senator from New York will the 2008 Democratic nominee in the November general election. Still, she is one nag that bettors still are putting money on.

In the 2004 election cycle, Intrade’ users correctly forecasted the winner of every state, according to the New York Post. In its current Vice Presidential sweepstakes, Intrade offers the opportunity for gamblers to buy shares in the futures of 16 Democratic candidates and 14 Republicans. (One Democratic candidate, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, announced yesterday that he will not accept the Vice Presidential nomination, but former candidates with near impossible chances to win the Presidency remain listed on Intrade’s Presidential candidates listings, so he is not likely to be removed. Barack Obama is still listed as a Vice Presidential possibility.)

Among Democrats, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former contender for the Democratic nomination, has dropped from third place, with 6.2%, to fourth, with 5.6%. He now trails former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008, who has reached 5.7%. Ted Strickland, who recently announced he doesn’t want to be Barack Obama’s running mate, didn’t even make the top 10. His support level of 2.0% (nearly a full point below the 2.8% level of support enjoyed by the Intrade investors #10 choice, 2004 Democratic Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards), puts him in 11th place, still nearly a full percentage point above U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, another failed contender for the 2008 nomination, who is ranked #12 with 1.1%. Support for former Vice President Al Gore remains steady at 5.0%, putting him in the sixth spot among the favorites to be Barack Obama’s #2.

On the Republican side of the aisle, Mitt Romney remains the favorite, likely because the former businessman would bring an economic savvy to the Republican ticket sorely lacking in Republican Presidential nominee-presumptive John McCain, who has been widely criticized as having displayed little interest in economic issues. McCain is planning on running for the Presidency by focusing on his strong points, his experience with military preparedness and foreign affairs, despite the unpopularity of the Iraq War. This makes someone of Romney’s experience necessary to balance the ticket in order to attempt to calm voters’ fears that the Arizona Senator may be just a more media-friendly recycling of the man who used to occupy his seat in the Senate, Barry Goldwater.

Mitt Romney’s “support” increased from 19.2% last week to 22.0%, while Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee continue to hold on to the #2 and #3 spots. Support for Pawlenty is holding steady at 15.6%, while while Huckabee’s stock is declining, from 14.1% to 13.0%.

The gamblers on Intrade‘ have actually made “None of the Above” the favorites in both parties, racking up 30.0% among the Democrats and a whopping 41.0% among the Republicans, up from 28.5% and 40.8%, respectively.

In a related market, Democratic Presidential nominee presumptive Barack Obama leads presumptive Republican nominee John McCain on the Intrade market by 60.9% to 34.4%. Forty years ago, incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson — the only Democratic President other than Bill Clinton to win reelection in the past 40 years — beat Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater by nearly that margin, 61.1% to 38.5% in the popular vote. It was one of the greatest landslides in U.S. political history. In 1964, LBJ racked up the the highest percentage of the popular vote since 1820, when President James Monroe ran for reelection unopposed. The corollary between war-hawk Barry Goldwater and war-hawk John McCain, who won the retiring Goldwater’s Senate seat in 1986 and is putting most of his chips on the Iraq War, obviously is not lost on the Intrade bettors, who are making Barack Obama a prohibitive favorite for President.

Democratic Prospects

Jim Webb………………..20.2
Hillary Clinton………….15.1
Mark Warner……………..5.7
Bill Richardson…………5.6
Evan Bayh…………………5.1
Al Gore………………………5.0
Wesley Clark…………….5.0
Joe Biden…………………3.2
Sam Nunn………………..3.0
John Edwards…………..2.8
T. Strickland………………2.0
C. Dodd…………………….1.1
Tom Daschle……………1.0
Tom Vilsack………………0.5
Bob Kerre………………….0.5

Any other candidate….30.0 31.0 31.4 8635 +0.4

Republican Prospects

Mitt Romney………………22.0
Tim Pawlenty…………….15.6
Mike Huckabee…………13.0
Rudy Giuliani………………2.6
Kay Bailey Hutchison….2.6
Condolezza Rice…………2.3
Lindsey Graham…………1.9
Michael Steele…………….0.9
Newt Gringich……………..0.5
Fred Thompson………….0.4
Jeb Bush…………………….0.2
Ron Paul…………………….0.1
Duncan Hunter……………0.1

Any other candidate….41.0

Sources:

New York Post, “GAMBLERS BET ON HILL & MITT FOR VEEP”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *