“I don’t think he wants a repeat performance of ‘American Idol,’” Randy Voller, North Carolina’s Democratic Party chair, said of Aiken. Flipping a seat controlled by the opposition party in the midterms is a heavy lift, and in a district where the president remains unpopular, it’s next to impossible.
Aiken also has the benefit of a potentially divisive Republican primary. Most celebrity candidates who have won political office, such as Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Duffy and Heath Shuler, ran in areas that aligned with their profiles and political leanings. Jones, a cast member of the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard”, defeated then-incumbent Rep. Ellmers has drawn a primary challenge from former banking executive and current radio talk show host Frank Roche. Ben Jones (D-Ga.). Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), and Rep. He is from nearby Raleigh, and could bring a familiarity with the district and its issues to the campaign trail. In 2010, Ellmers won her seat from a Democratic incumbent by less than a single percentage point, just before redistricting transformed the 2nd into a fairly safe Republican seat. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Rep. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato continues to list the district as ‘Safe Republican’, while political handicappers Stu Rothenberg and Charlie Cook have yet to deem the race as being in play.
Aiken’s candidacy comes as prospects for Democratic congressional candidates appear less than ideal. And unlike Jones, Aiken will be running in a district made Republican through redistricting in an non-presidential year election.
Aiken’s candidacy, however, still has a few things going for it. Democrats also hold a slight registration edge in the district, which has an African-American population that is several points larger than the national average.
Singer Clay Aiken has been exploring a bid for Congress, but history suggests he may face an uphill battle if he runs.
There are currently only three Democratic representatives in the House whose districts voted for Romney by comparable or higher margins than Ellmers’: Rep. Although no polls conducted in the district thus far have included him as a candidate, the area’s voting history does not bode well for a Democratic challenger.
Aiken’s fame could trump the district’s demographic and political leanings, but there is little precedent for the circumstances surrounding his potential run — a celebrity Democratic candidate campaigning in a heavily Republican state and district.
Recent reports say the former “American Idol” star has been laying the groundwork to run for the House of Representatives this year. But he not only ran against a scandal-plagued incumbent — an advantage Aiken is unlikely to have — he also lost his seat four years later. All three representatives had the benefit of an entrenched incumbency in 2012, and each represents a district that was fundamentally altered by redistricting in 2010 to lean more Republican.
But while a run against Ellmers would garner national and increased media attention, the numbers alone are not encouraging for Aiken, a registered Democrat. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.). Roche has indicated that he intends to run to Ellmers’ right, attacking her vote to raise the debt ceiling and her support for immigration reform. Renee Ellmers (R) in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. “I think he wants to finish first, not second.”
These advantages have yet to convince some onlookers, though. The president’s low approval rating can have a correlative affect on his party’s candidates, and the president’s party almost always loses congressional seats in midterm elections. Pat Swindall (R) in a conservative Atlanta district in 1988. In 2012, the district voted for Mitt Romney over Obama by 16 points, while reelecting Ellmers by 14 points. Aiken reportedly has already met with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee leaders and is currently hiring campaign staff to prepare a run against Rep. An arch-conservative Republican nominee could provide the Democrats with just enough room in the middle to win.
. In addition, Aiken has a decade’s worth of show business connections that he could parlay into fundraising.
The district, which encompasses part of the Raleigh suburbs as well as a swath of the central and eastern parts of the state, voted for John McCain over President Barack Obama in 2008 by a 13-point margin.
The candidate in recent electoral history whose success Aiken may most want to emulate is former Rep
If North Texas is his best bet on a Saturday then that is his bet.
“The biggest mistake that amateur bettors make is they increase their bets when they are losing,” Sevransky says. Chasing losses is the fastest way to the poor house.”
However, Konik adds that there are some bettors who actually know how to beat the bookies.
“In an average season, fewer than one bettor in twelve turns a profit,” Gordon says. Also, being “in action” can make a dull late-afternoon game (Buffalo vs. The NFL, for example, will have very similar numbers at most of the betting shops you visit. “Common wisdom says that over the course of a long football season the average man or woman will pick approximately 50 percent winners.
6. “The key to proper money management is to be sure not to bet more than you can afford to lose.”
Also, it’s probably a good idea to disregard advice from the myriad of ex-players and football experts you see on television each week. “Because alcohol clouds your judgment and usually helps you to make rash decisions you usually wouldn’t otherwise make. The only locks that exist are those that need keys to open them.”
10. There are almost an infinite number of scenarios that can happen in a single football game. The only touts bettors should consider are the ones who talk about the long haul and realistic winning percentages, which are in the upper 50 percent to lower 60 percent range.”
While these tips don’t guarantee you’re going to win, hopefully they can make you a little less square and a little more sharp in your picks this season. So underdogs tend to be slightly undervalued – except by the sharps.”
And remember, in the immortal words of “Fast” Eddie Felson, “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”
But that doesn’t mean you have to bet like a “square” and throw away your hard-earned money.
“The standard bet requires gamblers to lay $11 for every $10 they want to win with the extra $1 or 10 percent known as the juice,” Konik says. “Thus, the bookies love and cherish the squares.”
3. On college you will be able to find different lines at different sports books. If you want advice about sports betting, find someone who has a successful track record. If you like an underdog, it is best to get your bet in as late as possible, where there is heavy action from squares on favorites. Slim underdogs regularly win outright. Avoid Exotic Bets – “For very skilled handicappers, with a proven track record, there can, at least in theory, be value in betting parlays,” says Gordon on the type of bet that combines two or more individual wagers. And why not? We have unconditional love for the sport and betting $50 or $100 on a game adds an extra rush of adrenaline. Otherwise, you’re better off doing your own research.”
2. “Teams play inspired ball at home. Drinking and Gambling Don’t Mix – “There is a reason the casinos in Las Vegas supply you with free drinks while you are gambling,” Moseman says. He is not taken in by being involved in USC-Notre Dame just because it is the biggest watched game of the day.
4. “Squares usually bet later in the week and they tend to pick the favorites. Giving 11 to 10 odds is almost always the cheapest price you can give.”
“A square or recreational player might have a vague plan, but after two Corona’s he will definitely run to the window and make a hasty decision on the USC-Notre Dame game because he wants to be involved in the party atmosphere,” Vaccaro says. But, when you’re struggling, that’s when you want to reduce your bet size until you get out of your slump. In fact, sports bettors must pick 52.4 percent winners just to break even.”
. “The sharps are usually members of a betting syndicate privy to the most up-to-date information on injuries, weather, game plans, and, most important, the real power of the teams involved. “If you listen to their advice, you are sure to lose.
Another difference between squares and sharps is how they approach betting on game day.
Moseman agrees and especially likes home underdogs. “He is not jaded by teams and does not bet with his heart. Avoid Chasing Bets – “Don’t do it! There is no worse way to mismanage your bankroll than to chase your bets after a losing day,” cautions Moseman on the dangerous practice of trying to immediately win back your losses. “As for me, the best bet in football is betting the point spread or over/under totals on individual games.
Ted Sevransky, a well-known Las Vegas gambler and sports consultant with Sportsmemo.com, agrees.
But even though the math says it’s virtually impossible to win on a consistent basis, Americans continue to bet on football. Big underdogs often find ways to cover the spread and they rarely give up toward the end of a game in front of the home crowd.”
“The bookies fear and despise a tiny coterie of professional bettors known as ‘the sharps,’” Konik says. “For example, if you have a $1,000 bankroll for the season, you should generally bet no more than $50 a game.”
“The talking heads on TV know nothing about sports betting,” says Sevransky.
So, how much are we gambling each football season?
Even Hollywood is not immune – think Two for the Money with Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey.
And where does all that money go?
“Most people with an understanding of football gambling bet between 3 percent and 5 percent of their bankroll, increasing when they win and reducing when they lose,” Vaccaro says. Money Management – “This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting on sports and possibly the most neglected,” says Morey “Doc” Moseman, a professional gambler and sports consultant with DocSports.com for nearly 40 years. Shop For Numbers – “Another important aspect of betting on football is shopping for the best number,” Moseman explains. Thanks to the juice, the only one who profits in this scenario is the bookmaker.
Michael Konik, a sports writer and best-selling author of The Smart Money (Simon & Schuster 2006), explains why it is so hard for the recreational gambler to win at betting on football.
8. These books change their numbers according to the betting patterns of their customers, so it is not entirely uncommon to find two or three point differences in the lines.”
So, how much should you bet a game?
Betting on football games; whether it’s through a local bookie, an offshore Internet site or a Nevada casino (still the only legal place in America to make football bets), most of us have done it or know of someone who has. “When you’re in a good rhythm and winning, you want to increase your bets. Not all games work according to this formula, but it is usually a good rule of thumb.”
7. “There will be more discrepancy in the numbers at different sports books. To be a successful sports bettor you need to operate with a clear mind.”
Certainly not back into the pockets of the average bettor.
“A sharp or smart has a plan of what he wants to do,” says Vaccaro, the director of sports operations and public relations at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas. “Over the course of several seasons, the percentage of bettors who turn a profit is minuscule.”
Although exact figures are impossible to calculate, according to Jimmy Vaccaro, widely considered to be Las Vegas’ most influential bookmaker, Americans probably wager more than $50 billion a year on NFL and college football combined. “In the NFL, a game will often be totally turned around by one or two plays, or even a single penalty. Locks Don’t Exist – “Anyone who has watched sports for about a month realizes that the difference between winning and losing, especially against the spread, can be infinitesimally small,” Gordon says. If you are going to go with a favorite, it is best to place your bet early in the week when the sharps are laying heavy money on the points. Consider Underdogs – “In the long-run, it’s easier to win betting on the underdog,” Konik says. Focus on Conferences – “The best way to win money betting football is to develop a niche and follow it closely,” Moseman advises. He loses year after year, according to Dan Gordon, a top football handicapper and author of How to Beat the Sports Books (Cardoza Publishing 2005). Bet at the Right Time – “The sharp bettors tend to bet underdogs, and they tend to bet them early,” Moseman says. Research Football Services – “Most sports services realize that most people who sign up with them are insecure,” Gordon warns. “If you become an expert on a smaller conference like the WAC, you have a good chance to beat the house because sports book operators do not have the time or resources to follow this conference the way you can.
“A square is the average, unsophisticated gambler whose decision making is based on hunches, media manipulation, or spurious systems that cannot overcome the bookmaker’s inherent mathematical advantage,” Konik explains. The payout is just the same as far as he is concerned. “In trying to bamboozle potential customers, many services make claims about having scouts all over the country that give them inside information and promise 70 or even 80 percent winners, as if the bookmakers were the biggest suckers in the world. There is a wealth of information on the Internet; it is just up to you to find it and research it daily.”
Newspapers and popular sports sites routinely publish the lines or point spreads for games, and football insiders offer their picks to viewers each week on ESPN and other cable networks.
“There is probably no better bet in sports than playing an underdog at home,” Moseman says. “Most people prefer to bet on the ‘better’ team, the one that will probably win the game.
So, is it possible for the average square to become a little sharper in making football bets this season? According to professionals like Vacarro, Konik and Gordon, amateur bettors have the best chance to win if they demonstrate a little patience and follow the 10 basic tips below. They use powerful computers that can process millions of bits of data and produce a more accurate point-spread line than the bookmakers.”
1. Oakland comes to mind) seem like the Super Bowl