Squirrel and 7/11 Challenge Traditional Pollsters

Monday, 05 Nov 2012 11:55 AM

By Bill Hoffman

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If you are dubious about the endless parade of scientific polls telling you who will win the election tomorrow night, here are some of the more unorthodox methods being used to determine whether Mitt Romney or President Barack Obama will spend the next four years in the White House.

In the Republic of Ireland, the country’s top betting company has started paying out to gamblers who bet on Barack Obama to win a second term in the White House, despite polls showing the election is too close to call.

Paddy Power will shell out more than $800,000 to bettors who picked Obama to win over Mitt Romney because the firm believes the president will squeak by when the votes are counted.

"Romney gave it a good shot and is doing well in the popular vote, but we suspect he's had his moment in the sun and is likely to be remembered more for his legendary gaffes than presidential potential,’’ a Paddy Power spokesman said.

“The overall betting trend has shown one way traffic for Obama and punters seemed to have called it 100 percent correct. Despite Romney appealing to the large evangelical and senior vote, America's sticking with black and cool."

In the United Kingdom, the major betting firm, William Hill, said wagers continue to pour in.

"In recent days we have taken five figure bets for Obama from French, Belgian, Norwegian, and Russian clients, as well as British ones," spokesman Graham Sharpe said.

"But Mr. Romney is not without plenty of backers, so as we approach the final furlong the race still looks as though it could go either way — although financially we are rooting for Romney.’’

Spirit Halloween, which claims to have correctly predicted the winners of presidential elections since 1996 – based on how the candidates’ masks are selling — says Obama masks have outsold Romney masks 60 percent to 40 percent.

7-Eleven lets its customers “vote’’ by allowing them to choose between Obama and Romney coffee cups at their stores across the nation. The convenience store chain says as of last week, Obama cups outsold Romney cups 59 percent to 41 percent.

In South Carolina, a squirrel named Gnocchi, whose owner claims is psychic, is predicting a Romney win, after having eaten more nuts from a Romney bowl than an Obama bowl.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the taller presidential candidate has won 80 percent of the time throughout history. If this holds true, Romney, who stands at 6-foot-2, has a slight edge over Obama, who stands at 6-foot-1.

And finally, history shows that the candidate with the longer last name has won in 15 of the last 23 elections. If this holds true, Romney will squeak by, thanks to a one-letter advantage.

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