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Pounds for Pence? (Or is Barbour a snip?)

November 8th, 2009


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Peter the Punter looks at the 2012 White House market

If there is anybody out there who does not yet know about Mike Smithson’s prediction that Barack Obama, then a 50/1 outsider, would win the US Presidency three years later, they had better acknowledge it now. Trying to follow that astonishing piece of tipping is surely sticking one’s neck out but PB is not for the fainthearted: so when California Girl, the latest recruit to my long list of spies, started going through the probables and possibles for the 2012 US Election, I duly sat up and took note, and now hereby report dutifully back to you.

Let’s start with the no-hopers, and a few familiar names.

First, dismiss all Democrats, except of course Obama, who is no value at all at evens. Then, take out McCain (won’t run again), Palin (might run but becomes less and less electable the more people know about her), Sanford (plain daft), Huntsman (never mind he’s a Mormon, he’s way too progressive for the GOP ticket) and Schwarzenegger (the GOP base hate him, never mind the little constitutional problem).

Amongst the rather more probable candidates, Charlie Crist might be a touch of value at 40/1; he would struggle to win through the Primaries but if he did make it, would definitely have a chance in the election itself. Bobby Jindal’s disastrous response speech should have been long-forgotten by the time the Primaries roll round, so perhaps the Louisiana Governor’s price of 25/1 isn’t as shabby as might at first appear. Mike Huckabee remains perpetually popular and I have had some of the 33s available with Sporting Bet.

There’s no doubt though that the two GOP frontrunners are solid but dull Tim Pawlenty, a generous 28/1 with VC and B365, and our old friend, Mitt Romney. The latter however makes no appeal at all at 12/1 but not because he is a Mormon and looks like Uncle Fester’s mortician. His problem is that he’s from Massachusetts. North-Eastern politicos don’t really cut it with the GOP base, whatever their administrative record.

So, is there anybody lurking out there who may do for your betting banks what Obama did for mine last year? Here are two to consider.

Mike Pence – The Republican Conference Chairman from Indiana ticks most of the right boxes for the GOP base – right on religion, right fiscally and right socially. He’s maybe a little thin on experience but at 33/1, you can’t have everything: and it didn’t stop Obama.

On the other hand if you like your odds, and your politicians, a little fatter, you could do worse than take the 50/1 about colourful Haley Barbour. The Mississippi Governor was one of the few politicians to emerge with any credit from the Katrina disaster. He cannot run again for the position in 2011 so a shot at the Presidency would seem a logical career move, and at 62 it’s probably his last chance.

Ladbrokes have seen a surprising amount of betting activity on this market already and some even more surprising choices. Their nightmare results are Huntsman, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney. They should be sleeping soundly.

Finally, I should mention Mitch Daniels, who was tipped on Site recently by PB regular and ace punter, Caveman. The Indiana Governor is still available at 50/1, even bigger prices having already been hoovered up by one or two Site shrewdies. Caveman’s post from Wednesday can be found here.

  • Mike Smithson is on Radio 4’s “The Westminster Hour” at 10pm.
  • Peter the Punter (aka Peter Smith) is one of the leading betters on the site, and hopefully needs no further introduction.