Revisiting the future: Election 2012 proposition bets
The honeymoon may definitely be over for the Barack Obama Adminstration, but bookmakers are apparently seeing little reason to reflect any dramatic changes in the proposition odds for Election 2012. The past month or two has seen the Obamanation’s afterglow dampen significantly, with a lowlight reel that includes indignities such as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s standup comedy routine in China, the federalization of General Motors, Joe Biden’s tipmongering for the bird flu-caused apocalypse, and the presidentially sponsored hemorrhaging of federal money with no obvious improvement to the job market.
Despite it all, though, bookies are standing pat on Obama to re-win voters’ hearts in 2012. Paddy Power’s line on Presidential reelection has stayed firm at 4/5 since late February, despite an interesting shakeup or two among the list of Republican Party favorites (as the Paddy sees it; more on this momentarily). Slightly shorter odds of 12/17 on a second Obama victory are available at BetUS.com, while Intertops is giving 33/50 on a Democratic Party (which, let’s face it, means O-B-A-M-A) win in 2012.
All righty, then, it seems slightly early for Barack believers to bet on their guy. Paradoxically, any Obama proponent also hoping to play him in this proposition bet may see more favorable odds after the economy takes more hits. Of course, take those hits in the right places and the prospective card-carrying Democrat punter may not have two dimes to rub together for the sportsbook.
Meanwhile, there’s the always scintillating “US Presidential Election 2012, Winning Candidate” novelty bets offered by Paddy Power and BetUS, where some movement may be observed on a nearly weekly basis. The big winner and loser here? That would be Sarah Palin and Sarah Palin.
Sure, the comely Alaska governor has actually seen her own stock rise during the Obama administration, scoring the keynote address at the GOP Governors Convention, lapping up lots of Presidential (and media) attention during the Alfalfa Club Roast, and bagging a high-profile television interview with Sean Hannity. Add to this a growing sense of, that well, maybe the Governatrix and John McCain were, um, right about certain economic questions, and Palin’s stock should be soaring.
Yet at end of April, Paddy Power reckoned her a 3/1 favorite to be named Republican Party presidential candidate – and most bookmakers had similar odds posted. Today, she’s at 10/1 at BetUS to get the nod and a whopping 16/1 to become the 45th U.S. president in 2012.
So what gives? Just that the GOP brain trust is also betting on Obama; perhaps not literally, but Republicans right now surely know the tide is still flowing the President’s way, that the Bush Eras will take some time to forget, and that the party needs a revamp worse than Chrysler. Remember that in 2016, Palin will be just 48 years old, making her a resource to save.
Seriously, if the Republicans want a household name to act as irritant in the 2012 debates, they can employ Newt Gingrich to do that job. You can bet – so to speak – that Paddy Power’s shrinking odds on Gingrich’s nom (now at 12/1) reflect not only his recent media hogging, but the party’s potential willingness to run another grand old patriarch type.
And then there’s Haley Barbour and his out-of-nowhere 9/1 line to take the GOP nomination in 2012. “Who in Sam Hill is Haley Barbour?” you’re probably asking, and who can blame you? Reportedly, the Mississippi governor hasn’t even officially announced any sort of presidential run but … he will be going to New Hampshire for a fundraiser on June 24.
Cheeky though they may be, Paddy Power must be the most in touch with current events of all bookmakers. Haley Barbour, indeed.