• Debate & Tackle: Place Your Bets

    Tonight, three Democratic presidential primary candidates — and four guys who are being allowed to stand on stage beside them — will debate pressing fatuities in the City of Brotherly Lust: Las Vegas! (Nevada, not Honduras.)

    Now, you may have a candidate that you want to win the nomination, but do you actually think he'll win? You might believe in his or her message, but do you believe in his chances? Would you really being willing to put down a stack of your own money on, say, Kucinich? Dodd? Edwards?

    It turns out there are a lot of people willing to push their chips toward a particular candidate — in the hopes of gaining financially if not civilly. Slate has been collecting data from several different presidential betting sites, and a quick look at the way the bets are shaking out is somewhat illuminating.

    As of today…

    • People are willing to pay more than $70 (in the hopes of winning $100) on the chance that Hillary will win the nomination, but less than $20 to win the same money on Obama. Even though she's only polling about 10% higher than him. Apparently, many Obama supporters are smarter than they look.

    • Edwards is doing far worse, going for less than $6. That means that if you throw down under $60 today, you could walk away with $1,000 if Captain Haircut pulls an upset.
    • Al Gore's chances are going for $3.40, even though he's stated a bazillion times that he has no intentions of entering the race. That means that you could take $34, throw it out the window and have a better chance of actually hitting Al Gore on the sidewalk than you would of winning $1,000.
    • Dennis Kucinich is selling for 10 cents. Ten pennies! That's even less than Richardson, Dodd and Biden, who are all selling for less than a dollar. This is your Hail Mary bet. Put down $100 today, and never win $100,000 tomorrow.

    And the Republicans?

    • This is a much more exciting table, with Giuliani going for more than $40, and Romney going for a little more than $30. (Although, to be fair, Romney threw down most of those bets himself.)

    • McCain is somewhere between $7 and $10 depending on the betting site. (If McCain does run away with the nomination, bettors are encouraged to donate their winnings to the gas fund for the Straight Talk Express.)
    • Ron Paul is selling for less than $8! What's wrong with you Pauliacs? Why aren't you throwing down crazy bets on your candidate to skew results? It's the same principle as an online poll, just with real, actual money. Get on it!
    • Uncle Fred Thompson, the next Ronald Reagan, savior of the Republican Party, is selling for less than both Paul and Huckabee — $8 or less. But, you know, whenever he wakes up, those prices are gonna skyrocket.

    Tags: Al Gore, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, Debate & Tackle, Dennis Kucinich, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

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