Mitt Romney's debate performance brings Betfair market to life. Whether or not he is doing enough to stand a serious chance of winning the presidency is another matter...
The first debate in the 2012 US Presidential Election lead to a dramatic night on Betfair as punters flooded the market with liquidity. The stats speak for themselves:
• More money was matched overnight than in any day in past four years (£5.5m now matched)
• Romney backed from 5.04/1 to 3.8514/5 overnight on back of strong debate performance
• Obama drifts from 1.21/5 to 1.364/11
• Current percentage chance: Obama 75% / Romney 25%
After a campaign that was threatening to become dull, one-way traffic, Mitt Romney has ignited Betfair's US Election Market with his strong performance in the first Presidential debate.
In recent weeks the Betfair market had been drifting slowly but surely in favour of Obama. Amid strong Democrat speeches and a series of gaffes from Romney, the majority of betting volume centred around the incumbent, and this had driven his odds down to 1.192/11 (an 81% chance). Romney's corresponding 19% last week was the lowest of any candidate at that stage of the race.
However, following last night's debate, betting activity has increased and notably customers have been more willing to side with Romney, with £20,000 worth of bets on him bringing his odds down to 3.8514/5 (a 25% chance).
This could be the start of an exciting last month in the campaign on the markets. But it is worth noting there remains some way for the ex-Massachusetts senator to go. Debates rarely settle outcomes, and perhaps sensing a buying opportunity, Betfair customers continue to back Obama- £71,000 was matched on the current President last night alone.
Betfair Spokesperson James Midmer said: "Having been solid Obama territory for the last two months, last night was the first time Betfair's market reacted positively to Romney. However, despite some of the hype surrounding his debate performance, the market reflects that there is still a sizeable gap to close among America's key demographics, which will take more than a decent 90 minutes in front of the cameras."