Obama Odds Favorite In Spite Of Palin Effect

Published September 23, 2008 by OCR Editor

Obama Odds Favorite In Spite Of Palin Effect

Bookmakers tipping a larger-than-usual voter turnout.

While the opinion polls continue to fluctuate, indicating that the 2008 US Presidential Election is going to be a close one, Democrat candidate Barack Obama remains the firm leader in odds with bookmakers.

The Obama-Biden ticket is 1/2 at leading UK bookmaker Ladbrokes, ahead of the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin, listed at 6/4.

Voter turnout
Ladbrokes is also taking bets on whether the election turnout will top 60%, offering 5/6 on both the yes and no scenarios. The last time a US Presidential elections achieved a 60% voter turnout was in 1968, during the height of the Vietnam War, when Republican Richard Nixon ended the Democrats' 12-year grip on power.

Political apathy gradually increased over the next few decades, with the voter turnout reaching a low when Bill Clinton was elected in 1996 from a total turnout of 49.08%. But interest looks to be on the way up, with almost 57% turning out for the 2004 ballot, paving the way for the possibility that 60% voter turnouts will once again be the norm.

Electoral college
Proving just how close the race will be, the odds on both McCain and Obama winning 270-289 electoral college votes are 10/3. The 270 figure is the minimum needed to claim victory, with 538 electoral college votes on offer in total.

Obama is also considered a possibility to win 290-309 electoral college votes, at 5/1. But McCain appears less likely to score a big victory, if indeed he does win the White House. His odds drop sharply over 290 votes, listed at 14/1 to win between 290 and 309.

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