Gambling Predictions for Tonight’s Town Hall

Are you a betting person? Here are my lines on a number of bets.

  • Barack Obama Earns a Win From a Plurality of Those Polled (1/1): This will not be a beatdown along the lines of Biden’s performance last week (which was the easiest money going with most money flocking to Ryan pre-debate based on…nothing). Conservatives will never admit that Romney loses a debate, but if a plurality sides with the President this likely stems the already dwindling Romney gains from the first debate.
  • “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”/”Let the foreclosure process hit the bottom” (2/1): If no questions come up mentioning either of these Romney quotes I’d be shocked. Both comments are tailor-made for a question from a “real” American. I’d guess the latter is more likely given that the debate is not taking place in the cradle of the auto industry.
  • Mitt Romney Makes a Notable Gaffe (6/1): Mitt Romney is reveling in his successful first debate, but town halls are historically not his friend. For an awkward, emotionally distant “step-dad” of a candidate with a history of embarrassing gaffes when talking to ordinary Americans it’s a decent mid-range bet that we’ll be watching a cringe-worthy Romney sound bite tomorrow. If you want my guess, I think the “gaffe,” if it happens, will be in treating Candy Crowley like he treated Jim Lehrer — and deservingly alienating women voters.
  • Barack Obama Botches The Benghazi Question Again (10/1): This is probably the most interesting line of the debate. The administration has not advanced the ball on this issue in any talking points I’ve seen since the VP debate. Does that mean they have no answer or that they’re sitting on their answer awaiting the debate? Did Hillary Clinton really try to shield the President or was her answer a political non-event? It’s hard to imagine Obama outright botching this again, but you can collect big money if he does and you can go ahead and parlay that with a Romney Intrade contract.
  • Mitt Romney Tries To Make Snide Remarks About Joe Biden’s Demeanor (15/1): It wouldn’t be relevant. It would show disrespect for the serious questions from the audience. It would actually undermine Romney’s own plastic smile and chuckle demeanor. But the Romney campaign went on the air with a commercial suggesting that Biden was laughing at America’s problems and this would be red meat for Romney’s base. If he goes here it will underscore my belief that the Romney campaign is terrible at their job.
  • Someone Asks The Pot Legalization Question (40/1): Someone probably submitted it. Candy Crowley isn’t going to let it in. This also goes for “gold standard” questions. Basically any issue that you think Ron Paul would care about isn’t coming up.
  • Someone Asks “Boxers or Briefs or Magic” (1000/1): ‘Nuff said. Collect your money and then despair in America.

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