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Presidential Election odds: Barack Obama absolute favorite over McCain

 With eight days left until the 2008 Presidential Elections, it's time to look at the odds on becoming the next President of the United States held by the Democratic candidate Barack Obama and the Republican candidate John McCain. Obama's lead over his GOP contender bounced down from previously reported 10 points to now 5 points, according to a poll conducted by  Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby and released today, but the spread obviously means nothing to the odds makers.

 The last time we took a look at the presidential betting odds offered by the sportsbooks was a month ago - at the online sportsbook Bodog Barack Obama was in a comfortable lead, listed with odds -190 and John McCain was trailing with odds +155 to become the next President. But today when we visited Bodog we saw a change in the odds so shocking - non-alcoholic beverages were spilled on keyboards. At the bookmaker the odds on Barack Obama to win the November Elections are now sitting at -900 and John McCain is an unbelievable underdog with odds +600! If you don't know how odds work, here is a quick example - the odds on McCain at +155 last month meant that bettors will win $155 for every $100 they risk; the odds today on McCain at +600 mean that now people stand to win $600 for every $100 they risk, or the odds on McCain are now almost 4 times worse than a month ago, despite the shrinking of Barack Obama's lead, according to the major polls.

 You may ask - so what if some bookmaker cut the odds on Barack Obama to win the Election? The fact is that once the bookmaker posts odds, the bettors are the factor that moves to odds in one direction or another. And the extremely shortened odds on Barack Obama could mean two things - either more people are betting that Obama will win the Presidential Election or that Democrats tend to wager more than the Republicans...much more. And we are inclined to believe the first reason. And although wagering on Obama makes little sense at this point (his -900 odds mean that you have to wager $900 to win just $100), the underdog odds on John McCain make him a great bet, if you believe that his ticket has what it takes to win the 2008 Presidential Election in November.

 It would be very interesting to see how the Presidential Election odds will continue to move during the remaining 8 days until Election Day. We, of course, will be here to bring you the latest changes and swings all the way until November 4th.

 Published on 10/27/2008

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