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Obama picked to win on political futures trading site

November 06, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney laugh at the conclusion of the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney laugh… (Michael Reynolds / Associated…)

WASHINGTON -- The votes of traders in political futures have been pouring in for months, and they say President Obama lands a second term in Tuesday's election.

The chances that Obama is reelected stood at about 71% on Tuesday morning on Intrade, near a one-month high and up about 3% for the day in early trading. The chances that Republican Mitt Romney wins the presidency were about 29%, close to a low for the past month and down about 4%.

Most people buying political futures on the site also apparently believe that Republicans will retain control of the House and Democrats will hold on to their majority in the Senate.

Intrade's futures have an excellent track record. They accurately predicted the result in every state in the 2004 presidential election, and all but two in the 2008 contest, according to CNNMoney.

This year, Intrade gives Obama a 73% chance of winning the crucial battleground state of Ohio, with Romney at about 27% as of Tuesday morning. And the site predicts that Obama will win 294 electoral votes to Romney's 235.

The market will remain open all day, "until a winner is clearly known," an Intrade spokesman said.

Intrade bettors correctly predicted in January that Romney would win the Republican nomination, but at no point in the 2012 presidential campaign did the political futures traders have Romney beating Obama.

That's somewhat surprising given that Obama's odds of winning plunged in the summer of 2011 to about even money after the contentious battle over raising the nation's debt ceiling and the Standard & Poor's credit downgrade that followed.

But Romney has closed a huge late-September gap on Intrade's presidential election market, when Obama's reelection odds neared 80%.


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