A year in the life of the 13% pair – John and Barack

A year in the life of the 13% pair – John and Barack

    How the battle shaped up

It’s quite a shock, looking at the chart showing the implied probabilities of becoming president, that just a year ago the aggregate chance of their success as rated by UK punters was put at a paltry 13%. The final play-off on November 4th 2008, as we were all the pundits were telling us at the time, was going to be between Hilary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

Both McCain and Obama were helped enormously by massive strategic errors by the front runners in their parties. Giuliani blew it all by deciding not to fight the earlier state and leave everything until Super Tuesday in February. By then his hopes were dead. Clinton was damaged, probably irrevocably, by having one of her key aides not appreciate that the Democratic party battle was based on proportionality in each primary – not winner takes all – and all planning was based accordingly.

The chart shows the changing fortunes from McCain’s from the despair of November and December 2007 to the New Hampshire primary when everything seemed possible again. Obama started from a higher point a year ago but it was only after Super Tuesday in early February when the mathematical hopelessness of Hillary Clinton’s position became apparent that his position began to soar.

My main regret was in not taking the advice of many on the site and getting on McCain early enough for the nomination. I could never see how someone that old could make it.

As we come to the end I hope that those of you who are gamblers have had a profitable election and that PB has played a part in adding to your enjoyment. You have made it great for me and we have been especially fortunate to have been joined by a number of astute observers from the US and elsewhere who have added enormously to our insights.

In a couple of hours I’ll be heading off for London to spend election night with other regulars from the site at the get-together at a betting trading floor near Kings Cross. Thanks to Morus and others for making that happen.

Best of luck tonight. Tomorrow the focus is on Glenrothes!!!

Mike Smithson

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