Could Romney win the popular vote but lose the White House

Could Romney win the popular vote but lose the White House

Ladbrokes are offering 16/1 against such an eventuality

With Romney and Obama still pretty close in the national polls Ladbrokes have put up a market that we could have a repeat of the 2000 situation where the popular vote winner (Al Gore) lost the race because George W Bush won more electoral college votes.

All states are allocated a number of electoral college votes and winner of the election is the one who secures 270 or more. In most of them a first past the post system operates.

    Today’s Rasmussen tracking poll has Romney on 47% to Obama’s 45% though it is the only one of the firms carrying out national surveys to have the Republican in the lead nationally.

    In the key states of Ohio and Virginia the firm is currently showing an Obama lead by just one. The latest Florida foll from Rasmussen has the president 2%.

So if the Rasmussen picture happened on the day the 16/1 could be a winner.

This is all margin of error stuff but the broad picture is of the national race being a bit closer than the battle-ground states where both campaigns have spent tens of millions of dollars.

But as we saw with the latest Middle East flare-ups this campaign could be disrupted by events and the response of the two contenders could be critical.

Almost exactly four years ago the Lehman Bros collapse set off the global banking crisis and it was judged that Obama did his campaign no harm at all by the way he responded.

We’ve also got the debates.

As to the bet I might be tempted as we get nearer the day – but not just at the moment.

Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB

Comments are closed.