Obama now favourite on the Iowa Electronic Exchange

Obama now favourite on the Iowa Electronic Exchange

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    US punters rate his chances for the nomination at nearly 44%

With the massive clamp-down by the US authorities against gambling online the Iowa Electronic markets are taking on a greater importance as a way of seeing how American gamblers are viewing the 2008 White House Race.

This is a stock exchange that trades in “political futures” and has been operated by the state university for the past fifteen as a means of studying how markets operate. It is now an established part of the US betting scene.

Basically you buy or sell contracts in, say, “Hillary to get the nomination” and these are traded online by punters in America and around the world. There are four options in the Democrat race – Clinton (CLIN), Obama (OBAM), Edwards (EDWD) and the rest of the field (DROF). With the Republicans its Giuliani (GIUL), McCain (MCCA), Romney (ROMN) and rest of the field RROF.

The best way of looking at the prices is to see them as percentages – so the last trade had Obama at 43.7% with Clinton on 41%.

    This is the first time that the black Senator from Illinois has moved into the favorite slot and follows a spate of polls showing that he is narrowing the margin behind Hillary.

If the polls go on getting closer it cannot be long before Obama is in the lead and that could have a huge impact with fundraising.

The IEE price on Obama is much tighter than what’s available on UK betting markets where 3/1 is the latest.

Mike Smithson

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