The Iowa caucuses on Monday night came up with a number of surprises. The kind of support Marco Rubio managed to get is one of those. While many wrote Rubio off amid an “obvious” contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Florida almost finished at the second spot.
Bookmakers have now found a favourite in Rubio. They believe he is quite likely to win the GOP presidential nomination.
On Monday, Rubio had a 1-in-3 chance of winning the nomination, according to bookies. However, since the results came out, betting odds for the Republican nomination significantly favour Rubio.
According to Oddschecker, almost all odds for Rubio are shortening which happens when bookmakers reduce the odds offered in the face of heavy betting. A lot of betting portals are offering 5/6 or 4/5 odds for Rubio. Some others are offering 8/11. The numbers are quite different from what was offered before the Iowa caucuses.
Rubio, meanwhile, has a long way to go. Cruz and Trump won more delegates in Iowa than he did. He also trailed big time behind those two in recent national polls.
However, economists believe betting odds are better at predicting election results than polls. According to The Washington Post, people are less likely to get swayed by “fickle media” attention when there is cash on the table.
Media coverage may influence polls, but people who put money on candidates are generally more aware of their strengths.
Rubio (23 percent) finished quite close to Trump (24 percent), unlike popular notions about the real estate mogul’s potential as a candidate. The Florida senator reached Manchester, New Hampshire at 2 am on Tuesday with newly gained confidence from Iowa results.
According to Ryan Fattman, Rubio’s “army” has been operating silently in New Hampshire. He said around 350 volunteers had been recruited since July 2015 to help Rubio’s campaign.
“I think their ground game has been kind of a hidden secret,” The New York Times quoted the state senator from central Massachusetts as saying. “Part of the campaign’s brilliance is not advertising everything it’s doing.”