McCain bombshell as UK betting exceeds 10m pounds

McCain bombshell as UK betting exceeds 10m pounds

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    Betfair alone sees £5m being traded on the White House race

With eight and a half months to go before the US election in November it’s clear that the race will become the biggest political betting event ever on UK markets. So far on the Betfair exchange alone just on £5m worth of bets have been traded and my estimate is that with the spread firms and the fixed odd bookies well over £10m has now been wagered on the primaries, the nominations races and the eventual outcome.

And today we might see more money changing hands following a big investigation in the New York Times about the relationships that likely Republican nominee, John McCain has had with lobbyists – including an attractive woman thirty years his junior.

    When you are running for president everything that you have ever done in your life is going to be subject to the most detailed scrutiny and the Vietnam war hero and senator for Arizona is going to be no exception.

Today’s reports say that the woman, Vicki Iseman, worked with a Washington firm that represented telecommunications businesses that had business before McCain’s commerce committee. The Times reports that at the time of McCain’s last White House bid a campaign adviser was instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator. It is also reported that another unnamed McCain aide met with her at the main train station in Washington, DC to ask her to stay away from him.

According to the paper, these advisers were “convinced the relationship had become romantic.” The New York Times also revisits McCain’s involvement in an affair in which he and four other senators were accused of lobbying regulators on behalf of a political associate who ran a failed housing finance company.

How’s this going to affect the race and the betting? Given that the central plank of Obama’s campaign has been about reducing the influence of the Washington lobbyists this could be a gift to the Democratic front-runner.

My 50/1 bet in May 2005 that Obama would go all the way is looking even better.

US election betting is here.

Mike Smithson

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