What odds that McCain won’t be the nominee?

What odds that McCain won’t be the nominee?


    What about a “something untoward” wager?

Some bookmakers have already paid out on John McCain securing the Republican nomination for the November Presidential election. While that’s very commendable it is important to note that he isn’t the nominee yet and we’ll have to wait until the party convention in September before this is formalised.

Betfair, which has seen nearly £1.8m matched on this market, will be holding onto punters’ money (and earning a nice slab of interest) until everything is formalised at the convention. This is a hard call but I think they are right. For if, say, something untoward happened to McCain in the next six months then those with bets on other contenders or those who have laid McCain would have a cause for complaint if they had already settled.

McCain, of course, will have celebrated his 72nd birthday by the time of convention and clearly that could be an issue. There is also a possibility that in the ensuing months something could come out about his background that would make his position untenable.

Whatever there is a risk and the question is whether this is worth betting on and if so how?

The current Betfair lay price on MCCain (you betting that he won’t be the nominee) is 1.04. That means you are getting 25/1 which doesn’t appear generous and would not tempt me.

But what about a bet on one of the other contenders. Could the “miracle” that Mike Huckabee said he was hoping for give him the nomination in the end? Mitt Romney, of course, only suspended his campaign and still has a lot of delegates – could he make after all?

Another factor could be that McCain announced his V-P choice and that person would look well set to slip into the top role should something untoward happen.

I’ve got £4 on Romney at 150/1 and £2 on Huckabee at 200/1.

Mike Smithson

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