And so to the final White House Debate

And so to the final White House Debate


    Polls – neck and neck: electoral votes – Bush noses ahead

With the two contenders going into their final debate there’ve been seven new polls in the past two days and it’s neck and neck. Some have got Bush ahead – others have Kerry. The good news for Kerry is that Gallup which was reporting big leads for Bush is now showing the Democrat ahead. The electoral vote calculator, based on state polls, is now showing a small Bush lead.

The Iowa market meanwhile – where political futures are traded as if they were stocks and shares – it’s Bush by 53.5-46.5. This is a slight recovery after the big trend back to Kerry in recent weeks.

The UK prices still have Bush firm favourite though the best price you can get on Kerry is 11/8 – it was 11/4 before the debates started.

The Guardian has published a good article by the US blogger, Markos Moulitsas, on the impact the debates are having and the way Americans are seeing the President in a different light.

Only a short while ago, Bush was a strong, decisive leader and Kerry was a weak, flip-flopping Massachusetts liberal. The Bush campaign expected those images to carry them through the November elections: it had cost them more than $200m (£112m) to build those caricatures and they had every reason to expect a solid return on their investment. But those images were built on a carefully crafted stage. Despite all the flaws in the US electoral process we still force the candidates to exit that bubble a handful of times during the election, and it is some credit to the system that those three 90-minute debates can still determine the fate of an election. This year, they have helped introduce the nation to Furious George.

On the betting markets, meanwhile, you can now gamble on who is going to be the Republican and the Democrat candidate in 2008. John Kerry is not even listed as an option for next time so the assumption is that he’s going to get beaten. Hilary Clinton, at 5/2, is clear favourite.

    Unless you have a burning desire to improve the cash-flow of the bookies it really is crazy locking up good money for nearly four years

If you are tempted then ignore the Governor of California – Arnold Schwarzenegger – even at 66/1. He is an immigrant and under the US consitution is not eligible.

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