GOP faces a tough battle to win White House

2 political futures markets see Democrats winning at least the popular vote. Ireland's Intrade puts the odds of an Obama win at nearly 60%.

By Charley Blaine Mar 20, 2012 3:13PM
Charley BlaineThe Republicans may have started the presidential campaign thinking it would be easy to defeat Barack Obama. Money -- real money -- thinks the GOP has its work cut out for it.

Two political futures markets see Obama winning the election. But Democrats shouldn't get too cheerful. They may not retain the Senate and probably won't win back the House of Representatives.

According to Intrade.com, the Irish company that lets investors speculate on just about everything, including elections, Obama has a 59.7% chance of winning the election. That's down from 59.9% on Monday and 61.4% on March 12.

The Iowa Electronic Markets looks at popular votes and sees the Democrats winning 51% of the popular vote vs. 48.3% for Republicans. In a separate look at the election -- the chances of winning the most votes outright -- Obama has a 62% chance.

Both markets require you to put cash in to vote. Intrade won't take credit cards because the government regards speculating on political elections as gambling. Iowa gets around the problem because its sponsor, the University of Iowa's College of Business, uses the information for research purposes.

What makes both interesting is that they do come quite close to accurately predicting electoral outcomes. Intrade, for example, came closer to predicting the outcome of the Ohio Republican primary -- a narrow Mitt Romney win -- than nearly all pollsters.

It does give Romney a 96% chance of winning the Illinois primary and a 90.2% chance of winning the Republican nomination.

Intrade does not have a perfect track record. It wrongly predicted Romney would win the Iowa caucuses and Colorado.

Intrade has been in business since 2001 and opened its political markets in 2004. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the site has been a go-to source for reporters and political junkies since the 2008 presidential race, when it predicted Obama would win 364 electoral college votes. Obama ended up with 365.

The two markets graphically show how Obama's fortunes have changed. After the death of Osama bin Laden, the Intrade saw the odds of an Obama win soar to about 70%. The budget battle and financial turmoil last summer and early fall cut the odds down to maybe 46%. But the markets began to see Obama's chances improve as the caucuses and primaries got under way.

By early February, the odds of an Obama win hit 60% and haven't changed much since.

IEM's daily market data show a similar trendline.
54Comments
Mar 20, 2012 5:27PM
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Lets see......in 2008 Obama stated that the increase in the national debt under Bush was "irresponsible and unpatriotic".  Under Bush the debt increased from $4.9 Trillion to $10.63 T in 8 years.  Under our current president the national debt will have increased by 46.9% by the end of 2012 and is the largest increase under any former US president in a single term.  The projected annual budget submitted by the Obama administration last month projected the national debt to be $16.3 T by the end of this year.  Way to go folks.  So much for responsibility and patriotism.   
Mar 20, 2012 5:16PM
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Obama did not fix housing. Food stamps tp people who will never get off them and support themselves. Welfare galore for a dead beat America. Employment and good wages are needed to boost this country back where it belongs. Too many lies and hot hot air from Obama. Kicking a door in on Video because he did not get the vote to increase taxes shows lack of control. WE need to keep changing presidents until we get a good one.
Mar 20, 2012 6:29PM
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I can understand the futures markets favoring the incumbant before there is even a GOP nominee muchless the first debate with Obama.  If Romney (or whomever) makes issues of the record of this administration, it will be a very close election.  My hope is that we can have a fair and honest election (I know this won't happen) and that we can unite behind our elected leadership (this won't either) but we all know the chances of those things coming to pass.

Now that Obama has nearly a complete term under his belt he is probabaly qualified to be president - unlike 2008.  His inexperience can't be the key issue this time around.  His record will be and in that arena, he may have trouble.  He has boosted the national debt to the stratisphere and the only way out now is for the debt to be monitized.  How can someone be re-elected when that is the record on which the incumbant has to run?  Time will tell.

 

Mar 20, 2012 4:03PM
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I guess it depends on which occupant of the clown car one thinks is a viable alternative; the serial flip-flopper, the pompous, arrogant, last angry porker, the religious nut or the wing nut.
Mar 20, 2012 4:37PM
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I'd like to see any candidate say "if elected over the next four years I will work on nothing but the economy, and will veto any bill that does not apply to the economy." I think he/she would win in a landslide. Now is not the time to talk about porn, guns, pro choice or not, time to get our jobs back!

Mar 20, 2012 5:42PM
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I'm neither a dem. or a reblub. as far as obama is concerned I think he has helped the US of A  sink to a new low, I thought bush was a bad example, obama has no Q of what to do except spend money and have a good O time with his hoods. carter & obama will in as history wil show have been the 2 worst leaders we have ever had. 
Mar 20, 2012 7:46PM
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People, It wouldn't matter who was President either the right or the left the debt was going to skyrocket, we were broke when President Obama came to the Office of the President of the United States. Let's face it people,either way whoever was President was going to have to pay the bills acquired by the Federal Government, and just to keep the everyday occurrences functioning. I don't know about you, but I know my bills keep coming even if I don't have the money. So, the same thing occurs with the Government. Broke or not we owe people, and let's not forget the wars. The President no matter the party would have been in an unknown situation, going threw trail and error. The Government is not a business it is to big, so just because you ran a company may not be enough to help you thru the many facets of the Government. That's why they have Advisors.

Mar 20, 2012 4:00PM
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Here's my two cents.....Whether you believe the numbers or not, the government reports unemployment at about 8.3%        If, in late October, the unemployment rate is at 8% or below, Obama is a shoo-in.  If unemployment is at 8.5% or higher, he's toast.  As that little weasel from Louisiana used to say, "It's the economy, stupid!"
Mar 20, 2012 4:32PM
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what a bunch of BS....yeah lets listen to an Irish company speculate about what's going to happen in America...
Mar 20, 2012 6:19PM
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This country is really in poor shape...unintelligent, lazy, entitled, and a ton of other adjectives that explains why unemployment is high and other reasons that "we" as americans are in bad shape.  To blame Obama for decades of bad trading patterns and lack of saving in bank accounts is not right.  Take it upon yourself to help fix our current situation.

 

Don't blame Obama for American entitled attitude.  Our society is lame!!  Corporations run this country.  The middle class is getting smaller and smaller...this has been happening since the 60's.

 

At least Obama represents Americans as an intelligent figure.  He will get my vote above these silly REpub's.

Mar 20, 2012 4:10PM
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NoPolitic4Celebrity  ...and you should learn grammar and spelling before you post because you come off as another Repulsican moron!
Mar 20, 2012 3:39PM
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Sounds much like wishful MSN employee thinking...but I do agree that the house and Senate will be GOP
Mar 21, 2012 6:20AM
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If Obama is re-elected make it down.. this country will have more sorry check drawers in it than ever before... Us the middle class are taxed to death from the city to county to state, school, sales, federal, gas etc... and for what???  So a person that is milking the system gets free health care, the same clothes you and I buy with the vouchers they get, Free food, free cell phones, free car repair. In some cases free cars, When Obamacare kicks in if you SALE YOUR HOUSE 4% GOES STRAIGHT TO MEDICARE FOR THESE PEOPLE.  Energy cost are the highest they have ever been. Not due to supply and demand but becasue of the epa shutting down minning in the coal fields. Caterpillar no longer makes truck engines do to the clean air act. How many jobs did that cost seeing how at one time they held 95% of the market.... Any person thats votes for Obama is voting for the middle east and check drawers.... This has to be the worst president we have ever had. Lies, and empty promises are all we have ever heard from this man.  Gas was 3.50 when he went in office... and now its right at 4.00... yep.  I guess he thinks that working people will just keep working and paying taxes ... I dont know about you but I work to have things and pay bills. When it gets to the point im working to keep up a check drawer who has it better than I do. Not being able to buy things I work for... Ill stop... Its not worth it... we are a capitalistic country.... Not a socialist one... FOR THE LOVE TO GOD.... VOTE THIS MAN OUT AND GET THIS COUNTRY BACK TO WORKING AND CUT THE WASTE WITH THE CHECK DRAWERS THAT ARE MILKING THE SYSTEM AND THAT DONT DESERVE OR NEED IT IF THEY WOULD GET WORK..
Mar 21, 2012 1:43AM
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Well DUH,,, Block all the voter ID laws the states are trying to implement and you have a bunch of voters who couldn't find thier a**hole in the dark with both hands deciding the fate of our country.

 

Hows that Hope and Change working for ya???

Mar 20, 2012 6:16PM
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This debt problem is nothing new in history. Many civilizations have not managed their economies and have disappeared from history. The big question is do we Americans  have what it takes to solve the problem. Higher taxes, cut spending, dramatically improved productivity, major reorganization of government spending and etc.  Where is the leadership, where are the economist with the plan. Do we the American people have the brains and guts to handle our economic problem.
Mar 20, 2012 5:30PM
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Tour guy.....your numbers are mostly right. No president SINCE ROOSEVELT has been re-elected with unemployment higher than 7.5%.

Probably because since 1944, the unemployment rate has only been higher than 7.5% ONE TIME leading up to a presidential election, and that was in 1976 when it was 7.9% in October.

 

per BLS unemployment statistics

Mar 20, 2012 6:11PM
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anyone saying Bush (either) is a "better" president then Obama is just plain dumb...but I guess a lot of Americans are...that's how we elected GW Bush 2X.

 

Vote Obama 2012!

Mar 20, 2012 4:49PM
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Can you imagine the fallout in this country when Obama wins the popular vote and the supreme court picks someone else as they did when Gore won and the Court went against the will of the people!
Mar 20, 2012 4:52PM
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Tour guy.....your numbers are mostly right.  No president SINCE ROOSEVELT has been re-elected with unemployment higher than 7.5%.   Roosevelt's re-election unemployment numbers were at 16.6% in 1936, and 14.6% in 1940.  Leaving the blame game aside, I think reasonable people can agree that Obama came into a pretty sorry situation.  (whether he made things better or worse is obviously a hotly debated item)  I think if the PERCEPTION is that things are getting better, than Obama is re-elected.  Even if unemployment is close to 8.0%
Mar 20, 2012 6:29PM
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people want to cut taxes, but fix the defict and debt issues?!  HUH?!  So, the country takes in less, but we pay off others??  With what $$??
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