By Anjali Athavaley and Gina Cherelus
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The chances that the Republican Party will decide its nominee for the November presidential election through a brokered convention have increased since Super Tuesday even as front-runner Donald Trump has racked up primary wins, according to two online betting sites.
According to PredictIt, the probability of a brokered convention stood at 43 percent as of midday on Wednesday, following primaries in five states, including Florida and Illinois, the previous night. That was up from 35 percent on March 2, the day after Trump won contests in seven out of 11 states, according to the website, which is run by Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
According to Ladbrokes PLC, another online betting site, the chances of a brokered convention were 4-5 on Wednesday, down from evens on March 2. That means there is a 56 percent probability of a brokered convention, up from 50 percent.
Trump's chances of winning the general election dropped to 5/2 from 2/1 despite his victories on Tuesday night, but Ladbrokes attributed the result partly to a large single bet of nearly $20,000 that skewed the results. That gives him a 29 percent probability of winning, down from 33 percent.
The billionaire New York businessman has emerged as the clear leader in the Republican race. On Tuesday, he scored big wins in primaries in Florida, Illinois and North Carolina, knocking out rival Marco Rubio and bringing him closer to the 1,237 convention delegates he needs to win the nomination.
But he lost the crucial state of Ohio and left the door open for those in the party trying to stop him from becoming the Republican nominee for the Nov. 8 election.
That means that Trump might fall short of the majority required, enabling the party's establishment to put forward another name at the July convention in Cleveland to formally pick its candidate.
Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's chances of winning the presidency fell to 4/9 from 8/15. That increases her probability of winning to 69 percent from 65 percent following Tuesday's primary victories in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. Those wins cast doubt on U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders' ability to overtake her for the Democratic Party's nomination.
(Reporting by Anjali Athavaley)