Only two times in the century leading up to 2004, did the betting markets get American elections wrong. Here's what the bookies in England and Ireland are betting on now:
Sarah Palin may be off the ticket as John McCain's running mate soon. The day before her 17-year old daughter's pregnancy hit the news, odds-makers offered 20-1 that Governor Palin would be off the ticket by the end of the week. At that time, it was merely her inexperience, ethics issues, and possible support for Alaska succeeding from the U.S. of A. that was propelling the exciting Ms. Palin into the stratosphere of unelectable candidates. The next day, the day that the daughter's teen pregnancy was revealed, the odds had changed. A one pound bet would now pay 8 pounds. See here.
So how is this going to unfold with the Far Right who've been so enraptured by McCain's 'bold" choice? Without losing these fickle social conservatives (and their money) altogether? We've seen this movie before. Watch for a tearful interview given by Ms. Palin, in which the Alaska governor explains that she needs to spend more time with her family. No kidding.
Well, what God-loving, gun-toting family values voter would find fault with that explanation?
Every Republican pundit will predictably deny that Palin was pushed out. She'll do the hari-kari thing because, after all, consistent with the RNC theme, Palin is putting country before ambition, they'll tell us. But don't you believe it. Sarah Palin is an ambitious woman and if you don't believe me, you've never been in labor and reported to work three days later. John McCain will push her under the bus but it will look like her decision, and he'll have the social conservatives, and maybe some of the disgruntled Hillary voters, too.
And who will ride to the rescue?
I haven't seen the odds, but I'm a California strategist spending time in Minnesota and it's pretty clear to me that Minnesota Nice is going to be looking darned appealing after Ms. "I-Voted-For-The-Bridge-To-Nowhere-Before-I-Voted-Against-It," is exiled back the frozen tundra. Tim Pawlenty, the very conservative Republican governor of a state that is polling strong for Obama UNLESS Pawlenty is on the ticket, is not only firmly anti-choice, his wife, a retired judge, is a three-fer: She's go professional bona fides, is culturally conservative, and articulate. Take a look at how the odds change if Palin is out and Pawlenty is in.
Democrats: You better start your engines.
Think I'm wrong? Wanna bet?