2012 Presidential Election On Sports Betting Calendar

After an intense few months of seemingly endless campaign commercials and annoying robo-telephone calls, most voters may not be eager to consider the 2012 US Presidential election but sports betting fans looking for a departure from football and basketball appear ready to cast an early cash ballot.

In fact, some sportsbooks are banking on an unending interest in politics, posting future book prices on which person will be residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, come January 20, 2013.

President Obama opened as the tepid even money favorite to be re-elected, a relatively weak price for an incumbent but one that reflects the American public's unease with the slow recovery pace of the US economy. Interestingly, in December of 2006, President Obama, at the time a little known US Senator, was a 100/1 longshot to win the election that would take place less than two years later.

While some speculated that President Obama might receive a Democratic Party challenge from his left, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," permitted gays to serve openly in the US military, seems to have quelled liberal opposition, giving him a clear path to re-nomination…if he wants it. Of course, bet takers have thought of that, offering odds of 1/10 that President Obama will run and 11/2 that he will not run, as a weary Lyndon Johnson so famously chose not to do in 1968.

Given that President Obama is a near certainty to represent the Democratic Party in November of 2012, most of the intrigue—and most of the betting—is on who will be the Republican nominee for President.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leads the field at odds of 3/1 to secure the GOP nomination and is offered at 8/1 to be elected President of the United States on November 6, 2012. Romney, who signed a health care coverage bill in Massachusetts that is not too different from recently passed federal health care legislation that is so vehemently opposed by many in the GOP, including ascendant Tea Party operatives, surely will be challenged on his right where, frankly, most of the Republican energy resides. But Romney has money and a reputation for economic prowess that may resonate with moderate Republicans.

The most interesting name on the Republican side is former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the GOP's nominee for Vice President in 2008. Should she decide to run, Palin is a 5/1 second choice to secure the Republican nomination and a 9/1 shot to be elected President. Palin is the darling of the Tea Party and has a passionate following among the right wing of the party. The primary calendar may work to her advantage, too. The opening event, the Iowa caucuses, where only the most committed voters turn out on bitterly cold winter nights, favors her securing the first victory of the year. Romney would be favored to bounce back at the New Hampshire Primary, although the independent streak of voters in the Granite State makes that prediction precarious, but Palin might be difficult to beat in South Carolina, the next big test on the primary calendar.

South Dakota Senator John Thune, 7/1; Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, 8/1; and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, 10/1, also are contenders for the GOP nomination. Huckabee, who is well known by virtue of his show on Fox TV and his stance against evolution, may be the most important in that he would challenge Palin for votes on the right. Obviously, Romney would like to see a Huckabee candidacy and Palin would not. At this time, Thune, Pawlenty and Huckabee all are double-digits to be elected President.

Others who could be in the hunt for the Republican nomination include Speaker of the House designee John Boehner, 12/1; Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, 14/1; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 14/1; Florida Senator elect Marco Rubio, 16/1; Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, 18/1; and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 20/1.

Daniels, a fiscal conservative, would be a threat to Romney while Rubio, a Cuban-American, might fit better on the bottom half of the GOP ticket, if only to cut into the Democratic advantage among Hispanics. Barbour, a former GOP operative, also might be formidable if he can get his voice heard in a crowded field where former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the favorite at this time four years ago, now is a 40/1 longshot.

If this is too many names too early in the process, sports betting fans also can bet whether the Democrats, 8/11, or Republicans, 11/10, will win the next US presidential election.