Can the Republicans recover as the contest gets dirtier?

Can the Republicans recover as the contest gets dirtier?

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    Are we seeing the impact of the US on-line betting clampdown?

With just five days of campaigning left the latest projections on the Electoral Vote site based on up to date polling show a 50:50 split in the Senate but with the Democrats having control of the House of Representatives by 239-195.

On the Betfair betting exchange market the Democrats are now on 0.29/1 to take the House with the Republicans at 3/1. The Senate betting has the Republicans at 0.33/1 with the Democrats on 2.05/1.

    The polls have been showing no respite for the Republicans. The latest from CBS News/New York Times has the Democrats leading by 52-34.

Losing the House would a bitter blow to George Bush and put severe constraints on his administration in his final two years. But this is not completely over yet. The following is from today’s main editorial in the Guardian.

“. But the Republicans are traditionally strong finishers. Their response was well summed up by an anonymous senior party official quoted in the New York Times yesterday: “Whatever they feel they’ve got to do to move their numbers, they have got to do.” The message could hardly be clearer. From now until the polls close next Tuesday evening, the Republicans will do whatever it takes..In some cases, that means playing very dirty indeed. Particularly in the two dozen districts that will determine control of the House of Representatives and in the handful of states which will tip the Senate one way or the other. Delving into their superior campaign war chests, Republican candidates have launched a blizzard of attack ads which aim to smear their opponents and to frighten the voters..”

If the House price moves further to the Democrats then maybe a speculative bet on the Republicans would offer good value.

    There is still very little betting going on the UK markets – a product possibly of the heavy clamp-down by the US authorities on Americans trying to place bets abroad on the internet.

With the bosses of UK gambling companies being arrested in the US bookmakers here are taking no chances. I have had personal experience of this. A couple of months ago my Betfair account was frozen until I could prove that I was not an American and not in the US.

Mike Smithson

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