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Bookies say they’re the new pollsters

By David Wildstein, October 24 2018 9:29 am

Bob Menendez has an 86% chance of winning re-election, according to a website that allows people to wager on U.S. elections.

“The Midterms are usually a quiet betting market but they have captivated the attention of bettors across the pond,” says US Bookies European analyst Alex Kostin. “So far, the smart money appears to be on Menendez defeating (Bob) Hugin with the odds suggesting there’s an 86% chance of victory.”

Kostin argues that betting numbers are a more accurate reflection of voter attitudes than polling.  In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton led in the polls, but bookies gave Donald Trump a 1.8% chance of winning.  More than $650,000 has been waged on the mid-term elections, a spokesperson for US Bookies said.

The argument to replace polls with bookies is this: participants are less partisan and therefore “more clear-headed and objective,” better samples, and betting markets have no agenda other than to make money.

“As the state races go, the early groundswell of support for Menendez to retain the seat for New Jersey has been relentless, despite the short odds on offer,” Kostin said. “As we get closer to November 6, there’s no sign of anyone siding with Hugin, which may fly in the face of polls being taken.”

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