Could we be heading for a messy post-election row?
With tomorrow’s vital Texas primary attracting a lot of betting interest and with the result looking as though it is on a knife-edge there’s a chance that we might see a huge betting row over who actually “wins” the state.
For the contender who wins the most votes in the main election might end up with significantly fewer delegates because of the complicated rules
This is because of the two stage nature of the election and the ways the delegates will be divided. For a third will be decided on Tuesday evening at thousands of caucus meetings in the states. A pre-requirement to take part in these is that you have voted in the main election – so those bother to spend the evening there will effectively have two votes.
On top of that there have been concerns about the way delegates are divided between different parts of the state. The Democratic party has a rule there that this is based on how well the party did in recent elections and it’s being suggested that this could penalise parts with a high proportion of Hispanics.
In addition there have been strong hints by the Hillary campaign that they might refer the whole process to the courts – something that could delay settlement for months. So we have a range of possibilities.
If one of the contenders wins the popular vote in the election, the most delegates and comes out top in the caucuses then there is no problem.
But what happens if, based on current polls Hillary wins the overall vote in the main election but gets fewer delegates and then goes on to come off second best in the caucuses?
What will happen if she then goes onto contest the issue in the courts and this lasts for weeks. Punters could then find that their stake money is held onto for weeks or ever longer by the bookies.
On the overall issue one or two firms have recognised the problem. Ladbrokes are making it absolutely clear that the “winner” means securing the most delegates overall – not all other firms have had such foresight.
The Nevada caucus in January saw a potential problem. Hillary won on votes but Obama won on delegates. There was some discussion here but Betfair settled very quickly. Texas might not be so simple.
Latest Texas betting is here.