Online bettors versus pollsters
By maddy
The battle of Whitehouse is heating up. With campaign fever, numerous polls everywhere on the TV, Internet online betting sites are putting in their political bets.

George W Bush is currently facing the heat from Democratic front-runner John Kerry, who won nine of the eleven early state contests (primaries and caucuses). After the onslaught of criticism about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq, budget deficit unemployment rate, failure to capture Osama bin Laden Bush maybe in power now, but he might not hold on to his seat of power for long.

While polls are fairly influential, online betting sites could be the next barometre to see what the man on the street has to say., the Dublin-based online exchange for trading sports, entertainment and political outcomes, quotes the George W Bush contract at 67, a two-out-of-three chance he'll be re-elected (all contracts expire at 100). The contract hasn't traded below 58 in the last year.

But Ray Fair a macroeconomist at Yale University is betting on a different level.

According to Fair the economic readings when combined with the considerable incumbency advantage will guarantee Bush a win in 2004. ‘'The economy would have to be quite weak [all through 2004] before President Bush would be predicted to lose,' Fair says.

Secondly, political events can always turn the tables and prove everyone wrong – the pollsters and bettors.

The general thumb rule of America’s 4-year elections is economic well being which determines what pollsters say. If times are good, the incumbent is given the credit. If times are bad, the sitting president is shown the door.

While the election campaign fever is expected to continue over the next 9 months, when the new President will be elected or reelected, the betting continues. Watch this space.

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