As the polls converge so do the prices
At the top there is a collage of some of the main figures in the race to become the Republican nominee for the 2008 White House race – a contest that at one stage looked relatively simple but is getting more complicated by the day.
The chart shows the Betfair prices converted into an implied probability to reflect the changes in punter interest over the past year. The only one thing that we can say now with some certainty is the politician turned movie star, Fred Thompson is now looking as though he is out of it.
This race is down to four and the betting reflects the latest polling – there is very little to split Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Huckabee.
The challenge is that each of the front runners has a big negative against them. The former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani decided that he would focus on the states with most delegates and has put almost no effort into Iowa which will be the first state to decide on January 3rd. Could one of the other three take a lead in the early contests that makes it hard for Rudy to get back into the fight?
Mitt Romney has been throwing everything at Iowa and New Hampshire, the second state on the schedule, in a strategy that looked as though it was working until the past week or so. His big negative is seen to be the fact that he is a Mormon an element that has been magnified by the rise of the former Baptist minister and ex-Governor of Arkansas, Mick Huckabee.
And then there is John McCain – the Vietnam veteran who ran against Bush in 2000 and who a year ago was the favourite. Then he seemed to slip away until the past few days. His challenge of course is persuading voters that he is not too old.
Huckabee has been the big bet in recent weeks as he has made dramatic polling progress. He comes over very well on TV but would America really elect as President a creationist?
Huckabee also lacks the campaign funds of some of his rivals.
Me? I’m on Huckabee and McCain at very long prices.