Monday, August 22, 2011

ron paul and michele bachmann are marginal candidates

Jon Stewart and others have wondered why the media is ignoring Ron Paul. It is easy. He is a very marginal candidate with little chance of being nominated. Michele Bachmann is only marginally better as a marginal candidate.

This is not my opinion. It is in the polls and it is what the smart money is saying.

Check the Real Clear Politics poll summary shown above (click image to enlarge). Even though Bachmann is getting all the press, she is way down in the polls at 9.6%, way behind Romney (20.2%) and Perry (18.4%) and even trailing non-candidate Sarah Palin (10.0%). Bachmann is barely ahead of non-candidate Rudy Giuliani (9.3) and the rightfully overlooked Ron Paul (8.8). Ron Paul's support has been in single digits, steady, and not growing. Not a good trend. These folks are the minor candidates with Bachmann at best being the pick of a bad litter.

I do not pay much attention to political polls. If I want a good gauge of what is likely to happen, I go to the prediction markets. These markets are forward looking, in that they show what people bet will happen rather than looking backward to what potential voters were thinking last week. In prediction markets, people are putting their money where their mouths are, rather than just answering the phone and giving their opinion. Prediction polls have a much better track record of predicting outcomes than public opinion polls.

The smart money has Bachmann and Paul as even bigger losers. The bets at predict Perry has a 35.3% chance of winning the nomination with Romney following closely at 31.0%. Sarah Palin is a very distant third at 7.6%. Jon Huntsman is fourth at 5.8% followed closely by Bachmann at 5.3% Where's Ron Paul? At a lowly 4.0% and in sixth place.

You think your know better? Then put your money where your mouth is. If you are so smart then you can make a profit, but only if you are right.


Jamie Sinclair said...

Intrade is very interesting. Two thoughts:

First, I must admit, I am very unsure of whose going to win this thing...I'd be hesitant to put any money down. I just checked the intrade site, and the "highest bid" for every major candidate (right down to Pataki and Gingerich) is LOWER than the "lowest offer". If I'm reading that correctly, it doesn't look so hot for anyone in the field right now (in terms of growing support + following).

Second, I'm surprised at how much support some people have. Take Ron Paul for instance (the candidate I support). I'd give him close to zero percent of winning...but he gets more on this on Intrade (maybe because supporters buy his stock in spite of chances?). Of course, part of why I give him such low chances is because of the way he's covered by the media (the "electability" argument is at least *somewhat* self-fulfilling--people don't vote for unelectable candidates thus ensuring they aren't elected).

(Of course, I'm not blind...a significant reason his chances are low is because he's not a great orator. And he has little to no backing by big business.)

I'll keep an eye on Intrade, very cool idea.

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