The British bookmaking giant, Ladbrokes, shows
what bettors think of Newt Gingrich or Rick
Santorum or Ron Paul.
Background noise for the Republican presidential
In England, where this sort of wagering is legal,
Ladbrokes on Monday had former Massachusetts
Gov. Mitt Romney at 1 to 16 odds to win the
GOP nomination for the White House. This means
you would have to bet $1,600 to win $100 if
you select Romney right now. This is about as
close to sure-thing odds as one sees in politics
or horse-racing or anything.
Meanwhile, Ladbrokes has Gingrich at 14 to 1
to win the nomination. Santorum is 20 to 1 for
the prize, and Paul comes in at 25 to 1.
Now here’s a smart betting strategy. Let’s say
Georgian Gingrich is able to hang on through
Super Tuesday and rack up some delegates in
the South, that he does well in Texas, along
with Ron Paul, a Lone Star State congressman.
And let’s presume, which isn’t a jump, that
Romney’s gaffe train continues running on time,
making all the predicted stops. Moreover, GOP
delegates in Tampa Bay, hungering as they might
to Skywalker into Battlestar Barack, just don’t
see Romney as the man to do it. What happens?
A brokered convention that results in a big-name
Republican not in the current field as the party’s
Is this likely? No.
Ladbrokes has former Florida Jeb Bush at 100
to 1 odds to win the GOP presidential nomination,
and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels at 66 to 1.
That considered, you could bet $20 on Bush to
be the nominee. Should it happen you’d win $2,000.
It’s not a shot in the dark.
Ladbrokes actually puts odds to this theory.
The bookmaker has a 14 to 1 “convention surprise”
betting line that anyone but Romney, Gingrich,
Santorum or Paul will receive the GOP nomination
Of course, to take advantage of this, you’d
have to be in England or know someone who is,
to place the bet as former Iowa Congressman
Jim Leach helped crack down on Internet gambling.
Now on to the general election …
President Barack Obama’s Ladbrokes odds are
quite favorable now — 8 to 13 (wager $130 to
win just $80) on re-election to a second term
Nov. 4. Romney is at 13 to 8 odds to be our
next president, and Gingrich is 25 to 1 to occupy
the White House.
Where the betting gets super compelling is with
the GOP nomination for vice president.
For two years now Political Mercury has made
the case for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.,
as the Republican vice presidential candidate.
Ladbrokes and its gamblers agree: Rubio leads
all comers with 5 to 2 odds to capture the GOP
nomination for VP.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a close second
at 5 to 1.
Other contenders are as follows: former Minnesota
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, 20 to 1; Santorum, 16 to
1; Daniels 25 to 1; General David Petraeus,
50 to 1; and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez,
10 to 1.
A good price (where the odds are high but there’s
a reasoned chance at the outcome) is with Condoleezza
Rice who is at 25 to 1 to be the GOP nominee
for vice president. The former secretary of
state is proven on a national stage and would
offer diversity of experience as well as race
and gender to a Romney presidential candidacy.
If you were in England right now, or have a
Facebook friend who is, a clever wager would
be Jeb Bush for the GOP nomination and Condi
Rice for the GOP VP nomination — if you were
looking to a risk a little to make a lot on
practical long shots.
But the smart money is as follows:
Romney with the nomination.
Rubio as Republican VP.
And an Obama re-election to the White House.
Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa
newspaperman who writes for The Carroll Daily
Times Herald and offers columns for Cityview.