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, 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.
Mar 22, 2012 10:40AM
The whites got fooled ONCE   NOT twice, He's GONE!!!
Mar 21, 2012 12:29PM
I wouldn't vote for Obama for anything in the world!! The media would like us to believe this hype! No Way!! No Obama in 2012! Can't wait to cast my vote!
Mar 21, 2012 11:24AM
If only this idiot had killed Bin Laden...What a scam that was on the American public...Can you imagine helicopters coming in the dead of night and making a surprise landing in Bin Laden's back door without anyone hearing them? This entire sceme was thought up to give Obama a lead...Goodness, what our government won't do for a vote...
Mar 21, 2012 10:48AM
At 0954 hrs manipulators called for the first wave of selling and it was just accelerated at 1045 hrs...As you may see folks, we are going down. Why? Because they can, because they can manipulate this market at will when they have the numbers....Will be another long day...More later.
Mar 21, 2012 9:38AM
Nothing to get excited down here this morning, yes, the futures were up a bit but as you know, futures mean very little, after the bell they become the past....We see too many manipulators ready for action so...Play it safe...Scumbags once again trying to take control early....More later.
Mar 21, 2012 6:20AM
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

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 7:46PM

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 7:36PM
only persons that received stimulus money and want more would ever vote for America's greatest embarrassment!!
Mar 20, 2012 6:29PM

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 6:29PM
Flip Flop..Flip Flop Mitt went up the clock (on Nov 6)... the clock spoke  Obama... and Mitt came tumbling down and all the king 1%ers got together went to watch one of their football teams or Nascar teams.  Vote Obama 2012
Mar 20, 2012 6:29PM
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 $$??
Mar 20, 2012 6:29PM

InTrade might be right, at this moment in time.  The important timeframe is 3 weeks before the election.  Ronald Reagan was behind Jimmy Carter up till the last week or so.


It would be weird if the Dimocrats actually made the 8+ unemployment rate as less than the 5% during the Bush presidency.  Oh well.  The republic will stand, still has to work at doing worse than some of the historical presidents.


Good data, thank you.

Mar 20, 2012 6:27PM

"WE" must raise taxes!!  This shows how ignorant people are in this else do you provide for the sick, poor, old, and unemployed??  WE pay hardly anything compared to other nations...come on!!


Greedy people...spend on the longterm health of this country.  The rich should pay more, but I think "we" all should pay a higher tax rate and raise min. wage to a living standard.


Wake up!!

Mar 20, 2012 6:19PM

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 6:16PM
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 6:11PM

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!

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