Reporting from Washington — Iowa caucus-goers will deliver their verdict on their preferred Republican presidential nominee Tuesday night, but traders on the political futures site Intrade already are weighing in -- and their bet is on Mitt Romney for Iowa and the overall party nomination.
The former Massachusetts governor, who polls show is in a three-way race to capture the party's first presidential nominating contest, has a 47.6% chance of winning the Iowa caucuses, according to Intrade. That's well ahead of the other top two contenders: Rep. Ron Paul is at 29.8% and former Sen. Rick Santorum at 22.9%.
Romney's odds of winning the GOP nomination are far and away the best at 80.3% in early trading Tuesday, his all-time high and double where he was in late September. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is second at just 5.7%.
Intrade operates similar to the stock market, letting people buy and sell shares tied to certain events, such as the 2012 presidential race, based on their probability.