Is my 40-1 long-shot going to make it?

Is my 40-1 long-shot going to make it?

warner white house2.jpg

    Mark Warner 2nd favourite for the Democratic nomination

Last November I placed as much money as the bookies would allow me on the ex-Governor of Virginia, Mark Warner, to win the 2008 Presidential Election at the then price of 40/1.

At the time I wrote here that I had been very much influenced by the comments on the site by Ben – one of PB.C most long-standing contributors who follows the American scene very closely. While there’s been a lot of talk about Hilary Clinton she attracts an enormous level of animosity and although a strong favourite I’m not convinced that she will get the nomination from a party that is hungry to re-take the White House.

In the latest polls comparing the New York Senator with the possible Republican nominees, John McCain or Rudy Giuliani, Hilary has been at least ten points behind – this in spite of the general decline in popularity of George Bush’s party in the last few months. Somehow Hilary is not cutting the mustard.

In the latest betting for the nomination Clinton is at 1.24/1, Warner 3.2/1, Russ Feingold 4.4/1, John Edwards 8.4/1 and Evan Bayh 11/1. The prices of the top group are broadly shared by the US-focused Tradesports betting exchange so market sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic is pointing in the same direction.

In the Deomcrat polls you get a totally different view of the race. Warner is only rating at 4% with the better-known names of Edwards, Gore and Kerry all in double figures. At this stage, though, the polls amount to little more than a name recognition indicator.

    A big element in Warner’s appeal is the belief that he could help his party pick up vital states in the South.

Last November, when state rules prevented him for running again for the Governorship, his successor did brilliantly well in Virginia – a victory for which Warner has been given a lot of credit.

My bet is on Warner going through to win the Presidency itself – a market where the 40/1 has now tightened to 10/1.

Clearly there is a long way to go althougth in less than two years we’ll have a pretty clear idea about who will get the nomination.

Mike Smithson

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