Four years ago, this site offered a modest number of predictions about how some of the races would turn out, with little nuance and no acknowledgement that there is a more exciting way to pick winners and losers in an election. That was boring. Everyone does that.
This year, Missile Test is picking winners and losers in various elections based on betting lines. If I had a lawyer advising me on content I publish on this site, I imagine I would have to sugarcoat bets by calling dollars ‘simoleons’ or something like that. Forget that nonsense. Let me say this, though. I am not wagering any money on election outcomes. Nor do I have any go-to resource for lines. I’m scouring the tubes for anything I can find, and posting lines here that could change dramatically in the short time before election day. There are so many different lines available online that the ones I choose to cite could be vastly different than what any reader could find. In short, this is all about fun, not real gambling. I’ll be focusing on the Presidential race and some Senate races while staying away from House races, for two reasons. One, I know little to nothing about most Congressional districts. Two, those lines are a real bitch to find online.
Well, okay then, you degenerate gamblers! Let’s make some picks! My pick for winner comes first.
U.S. Presidential Election – Electoral College Winner
Obama -400, Romney +300
The polls have been mobile in this race, but while the popular vote has been switching between the two candidates ever since the first debate in Denver, at no point in months have state polls or the electoral math swung away from the president. It would be an upset of massive proportions if President Obama loses.
U.S. Presidential Election – Electoral College Tie
Not a Tie -6250, Tie +2500
A tie? Seriously? No way. But if you have a shitload of money to burn for a small return, go right ahead.
U.S. Presidential Election – Popular Vote Winner
Obama -120, Romney -110
This is basically a tossup. There’s been a lot of talk about the president losing the popular vote yet winning the Electoral College. This line is a reflection of that. But polls haven’t been bearing this idea out. There has been narrowing in swing states, and Hurricane Sandy will have an effect on turnout in the blue states of the Northeast, but a split vote between the Electoral College and popular vote, while not what could be called rare, is unusual. The smart bet sticks with the winner of the Electoral College.
U.S. Presidential Election – Obama Popular Vote Over/Under
50.5% – Under
It’s going to be close. As mentioned above, Sandy is going to wreak havoc on this election. I live in New York City, and mobility has been affected. Turnout might be down significantly in New Jersey and New York on election day. These states will go for Obama, but they will not contribute the numbers they normally do.
U.S. Presidential Election – Colorado Result
Romney +135, Obama -165
Right at the top, an upset. It’s as good a state as any to pick for an upset.
U.S. Presidential Election – Florida Result
Romney -200, Obama +160
Florida has been in Romney’s camp for a while now. Big win for him. He’s going to need it.
U.S. Presidential Election – Iowa Result
Obama -350, Romney +275
Iowa has been a bit schizophrenic of late, but the president is solidifying his lead.
U.S. Presidential Election – New Hampshire Result
Obama -300, Romney +240
New Hampshire likes to be different, like how France once withdrew from NATO in a desperate attempt to hang onto relevance that was long dead. It’s a self-important state always trying to be larger than it really is. Just shut up and vote.
U.S. Presidential Election – North Carolina Result
Romney -500, Obama +350
It was an aberration when North Carolina went Democratic in 2008. Things return to normal this year.
U.S. Presidential Election – Nevada Result
Obama -1000, Romney +600
Nevada is one of the most fascinating states in the union to me. Of all the states that would seem ripe to embrace conservatism, Nevada has been a bit of a Democratic stronghold. It’s a conundrum. Every person in this country owes it to themselves to visit Nevada. Love it or hate it, Nevada is an amazing state, where everything great and horrible about America is on unapologetic display.
U.S. Presidential Election – Ohio Result
Obama -350, Romney +275
This is the state that could determine the outcome of the election. I think the auto bailout will squeak this by for the president. But I would not lay money on this state. This is like betting a Browns/Bills game.
U.S. Presidential Election – Virginia Result
Romney +155, Obama -190
The upset special, more so than Colorado. This is the state that could make me look stupid. In the state’s Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine is leading Republican George Allen in the polls, and should win. So what I’m betting on is a split between the presidential and Senate races, an unlikely outcome. This one isn’t objective for me. It’s a gut feeling, which is bad for gamblers.
U.S. Presidential Election – Wisconsin Result
Obama -700, Romney +400
The Romney people, along with many pundits and news organizations, have kept this state in the tossup category for a while now. Nope.
U.S. Senate Election – Control of the Senate
Democrats -300, Republicans/Split +220
The GOP had high hopes to take the Senate this year, but right wing nut jobs ruined it for them.
U.S. Senate Election – Arizona
Jeff Flake (R) -420, Richard Carmona (D) +300
U.S. Senate Election – Connecticut
Chris Murphy (D) -750, Linda McMahon (R) +450
Linda McMahon has spent more than 100 million of her own dollars to try and reach the Senate. She’s not going to make it. She’s running a far right campaign in the northeast, where liberalism reigns. I did see a great attack ad from her campaign this weekend, which showed Chris Murphy interviewing for his Senate job with someone from an HR office. It was very special, and would be effective if McMahon had more than a whisper of a chance.
U.S. Senate Election – Indiana
Joe Donnelly (D) -135, Richard Mourdock (R) -105
Mourdock dug his own grave here. He had this race in the bag, and made it competitive by wading into the abortion/rape debate. Good job, Mourdock.
U.S. Senate Election – Massachussetts
Elizabeth Warren (D) -430, Scott Brown (R) +310
This used to be Teddy Kennedy’s seat, and it was a huge upset when Scott Brown won it after Kennedy died. He was always a seat warmer for the next Democrat to come along, but credit is due to Brown for keeping the race competitive for as long as he did, even considering much of that was due to Warren’s inexperience as a candidate.
U.S. Senate Election – Missouri
Claire McCaskill (D) -750, Todd Akin (R) +450
This was the race the GOP couldn’t lose...until Akin opened his mouth and not just the whole state of Missouri, but the entire country could see how fucking stupid he is. Men of such colossal ignorance occasionally find themselves elected to the House of Representatives, but thankfully find their brand of stupid is generally not welcome on the other side of the Capitol. Generally.
U.S. Senate Election – Montana
Denny Rehberg (R) -210, Jon Tester (D) +160
Tester rode the anti-Bush wave of 2006 into office. He was vulnerable the day he took the oath of office, even though, surprisingly, Montana has a history of sending Democrats to Washington.
U.S. Senate Election – Nevada
I can’t find a line for this one, which is a shame. This is one of the closer races. Straight up or down, Dean Heller (R) beats Shelley Berkley (D), splitting the ballot with Obama.
U.S. Senate Election – Wisconsin
Tammy Baldwin (D) -155, Tommy Thompson (R) +115
Until Mourdock fucked up in Indiana, this was the best action in the Senate races. After what happened with Al Franken and Norm Coleman four years ago, these two candidates had better have coffee on hand. They could up all night, or longer.
Colorado Amendment 64
Pass -285, Fail +205
Heads rejoice. The hippie lettuce is about to be decriminalized for personal use in Colorado. The slippery slope of reforming our stupid cannabis laws continues after the disappointment in California with Prop 19 in 2010.