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It's All Politics
11:54 am
Wed February 1, 2012

In Vegas, Political Race Is Just Another Sport To The Oddsmakers

Mitt Romney arrives in Nevada on Wednesday with more than the favor of Florida voters — the oddsmakers in Vegas like his chances, too. The online sports book Bovada has him as the favorite to win the GOP nomination at 1-15.

That means if you bet $15 on a Romney nomination, you'd only get $1 back if it happened. Before the Florida primary, Romney was at 1-9. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, slipped from 6-1 odds Monday; he now stands at 9-1.

The candidates are unlikely to acknowledge that people are betting on their campaigns — if for no other reason than that the odds are generally against them.

When it comes to winning the jackpot in November, oddsmakers give President Obama a slight edge in his re-election bid. This could be a sign that Vegas is betting on the economy to improve. As of Wednesday morning, according to Bovada, here are the odds of winning the general election given to the current presidential candidates:

Obama: 5-8

Romney: 13-10

Gingrich: 20-1

Paul: 50-1

Santorum: 100-1

Odds have also been posted for someone who's not even in the race: Hillary Clinton. Her chances of being elected president in November actually stand higher than Rick Santorum's: 65-1.

Disclaimer: Online gambling is largely illegal in the United States. If you happen to be in Las Vegas, however, you can legally place bets on sporting events at many casinos.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.