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Posted at 12:24 PM ET, 12/15/2011

Political betting: Romney’s the odds man out

Mitt Romney offered a big bet, but his own odds are waning. (Jim Cole - Associated Press)
Mitt Romney’s offer of a $10,000 bet got us wondering about the state of oddsmaking around the GOP presidential candidate nomination race.

And while Romney is clearly a betting kind of man, he might not like his own odds at the moment.

Political betting has surged in recent years, and online bookies now offer gamblers the chance to bet on everything from the outcomes of the Iowa caucuses to the 2012 general election.

Bookies at the Irish site Paddy Power have insurgent rival Newt Gingrich neck in neck with the former Massachusetts governor. Currently, both men’s odds of clinching the nomination are 6/5.

“A couple of months ago, Mitt Romney looked like an absolute racing certainty,” says Ken Robertson, head of communications for Paddy Power. “But a couple of months is a very long time in American politics.”

Robertson said his company took in half a million euros in wagers on the 2008 elections and expects that figure to double for the 2012 races.

The two frontrunners are followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul (7/1 odds), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (14/1), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (33/1), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (40/1), and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann (50/1)

And even though there’s no such thing as a sure thing, the oddsmakers seem right on this one: Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (who?) has odds of 100/1.

By  |  12:24 PM ET, 12/15/2011

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