October 29, 2004 10:24 AM PDT

The bets are in--Bush to win

George W. Bush is heading for a surprise landslide victory in next week's presidential elections, going by online betting patterns.

Although U.S. opinion polls are still finding it hard to separate President Bush from his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, customers of Betfair, an online betting exchange, have overwhelmingly backed the Republican candidate.

Betfair's latest figures show 2.3 million pounds ($4.2 million) have been wagered on Bush, while Kerry has attracted only 680,000 pounds ($1.25 million) in bets. Bush is now at 1-5 odds to stay in office, whereas gamblers can still get odds of 2-1 on Kerry to win.

Betfair said its betting patterns are a more accurate indication of election results than the opinion polls. The patterns correctly predicted that Australia's Prime Minister John Howard would comfortably secure a surprise victory in last month's general election.

Mark Davies, director of communications at Betfair, said opinion polls only survey a small percentage of the population, who have no real incentive to provide accurate information.

"In contrast, Betfair's prices are based on people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is," Davies said in a statement. "Our figures have proved to be an amazingly accurate indicator at both the Australian general election last month and the California governor's election last year. As a result, we're sure George Bush will be pleased to hear that Betfair's sharp-minded punters are backing him to the hilt."

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.

26 comments

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God help us all if he wins
nt
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ditto
Expect to see a lot of people moving to Canada if he does.
Posted by (7 comments )
Link Flag
Both candidates...
are deeply flawed.

How the Democrats could pick Kerry as their best shot to win mystifies me. Bush will win, simply because he's the least of two evils. Kerry, as far as I can see, doesn't have an honest bone in his body. (Integrity, integrity, integrity...indeed!)

If you hate Bush too much to vote for him, vote for Badnarik instead...at least your vote won't do any actual damage. ;-)
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
if Bush wins, God did help us.
complain all you want, but you know it's true.
Posted by (402 comments )
Link Flag
And where is this based?
Ok, great! I'm sure the vast majority of people who actually put
bet's on the election (and whatever else they could put bets on),
are most likely republicans anyway. And where is this based?
Why is it in pounds? Are these people betting from all over the
world? That makes a big difference on who's opinion counts.

The part where they lost my belief in this statement is when they
said they correctly "predicted" the Cali Gov. elections. I think
EVERYONE correctly predicted the Cali. Gov. elections! : )
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If their bets are wrong....
If these Republican bets are wrong, why don't you bet for Kerry and take some of their free money? You'd be helping the liberal cause after all...
Posted by (11 comments )
Link Flag
How about we not....
I think that this is a horrible thing to post so close to an election. As the people that are making these wagers reside in the UK and are not close enough to the election to have a very high level of insight as to what is happening in our country. Are they here to witness the rallies/new voter registration/canvassing?? It's a common misnomer throughout the world that the US supports and backs our President when in fact more than half of this country would like to see him so far out of office he can't even step foot in D.C. Articles such as this can sway uneducated voters or persuade them to not make their voice heard and vote. To me this doesn't seem like a hard news story that truly needed to be told but an injustice to our country.
Posted by (1 comment )
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uneducated voters
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Posted by Johni Depp (10 comments )
Link Flag
Isn't gambling a tax on stupid people?
I don't think many well educated people gamble/place bets. While there are some smart pros, there are many more novices. It comes down to where the people are from that are betting and what religion they are. Some people are so adimit about their view that they will bet money.
Posted by newstalk (4 comments )
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Smart pros?
If there are these smart pros, and Kerry will win like you seem to believe, why don't the "smart pros" take the 2:1 odds for Kerry and make some bling?

Theres money on the table if you want to bet that Kerry will win. The fact that most people WITH money to back up their viewpoint don't think so speaks volumes.

And if you believe people WITH money are dumb, wait until you meet some people WITHOUT any money at all. They are REAALLY dumb.
Posted by (11 comments )
Link Flag
Here! Here! God Help Us if He Wins!
I agree, God help us if Bush wins. The biggest loser as a President since Nixon.
Posted by tbeckner (56 comments )
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