Just before it was announced that a woman and her attorney, Gloria Allred, would be holding a press conference Monday, the prediction markets gave Cain a 6.8 percent chance of becoming the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. By the time the press conference ended, Cain’s chances in the prediction markets had dropped to 3.8 percent.Continue Reading
Gingrich is now the third most likely Republican nominee–still way behind Romney, but just behind a still falling Perry. Thanks to his tenure as House Speaker, Gingrich is the most thoroughly vetted of all of the potential nominees. Of course, Americans have notoriously short-term memories when it comes to politics; Gingrich resigned in 1998 amid very low popularity following the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996 and the perceived hypocrisy surrounding the Monica Lewinsky scandal and President Clinton’s impeachment. You can still expect his far from scandal-free personal life to be a major issue for the religious right as social conservatives weigh his candidacy going forward.
Yet, despite such baggage, the good news for Gingrich is that the field of likely anti-Romney candidates is steadily thinning–leaving him the likeliest candidate for reconsideration among conservative GOP voters. Ron Paul is a libertarian and while he has maintained consistent support and attracted a passionate following, he has not broken into the mainstream of Republican conservatism. Jon Huntsman has been running as a moderate, gaining no traction with the Republicans. And Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum have positioned themselves as hardline conservative candidates–in a way that has so far prevented them from garnering serious support outside the social-conservative camp.Continue Reading
What do you regard as the most important factor in the health care debate? If I wade into this question, would you prefer to hear more about what the public thinks, what the likely outcomes ahead may be–or what the law itself is likely to accomplish going forward?
What people believe about the likely impact of a given piece of legislation can be markedly different from its actual impact. It seems likely that the Affordable Care Act, if fully implemented, will end up creating benefits for a great deal more than the 18 percent of Americans who think it will based on the new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.
Also, what people want to happen can also be very different from what will happen. At the present juncture, Congress and the White House have very little to say about the future implementation of the health care law; that’s much more the province of the courts.
These subtleties are really important if you are planning for the impact of this law on your business–or if you are thinking about campaigning or voting for or against this law.
On paper, of course, Perry could absorb a defeat in Iowa without it turning into a fatal blow. After all, Iowa distributes less than 1 percent of delegates to the Republican National Convention. And across the board, the RNC assesses delegates on something close to a proportional basis–meaning that Perry’s home state Texas, for example, which has delivered him the governorship by impressive margins, weighs far heavier in the balance than a less-populated state such as Iowa or New Hampshire do. Nevertheless, because Iowa is first, it plays an outsize role in shaping the race’s momentum–and in media horse-race accounts of who’s up or who’s down in the battle for the nomination.
Thus, it is not surpising that the markets suggest that losing Iowa would be fatal to his already low likelihood of wininng the Republican nomination.
Mitt Romney is considered the likely winner of each one of the first five primary contests, but the judgment of the markets in two of the first three–Iowa and South Carolina–is extremely close. As the likely winner of the first five caucuses and primaries, Romney is, not surprisingly, also the likely winner of the Republican nomination. As of today, the markets give Romney about a 2 out of 3 chance of heading up the Republican ticket in November.Continue Reading
All indicators in the debt crisis pointed to a political dustup that presented very few long-term, real-word consequences for things that genuinely concern most people. Yet press coverage of the crisis often lost sight of both the kinds of outcomes that would really matter in people’s lives, and which indicators people could productively consult to learn of likely outcomes. And, same as politics, ordinary citizens should keep in mind a simple caveat lector disclaimer: Always think about what you really want to know–and about what the information you are seeing is actually telling you.
Check at the attatched chart to see how the U.S. had increased short term borrowing costs at the height of last summer’s debt cieling crisis. But, long term borrowing costs continued to fall through the entire event.Continue Reading
Herman Cain is rising in the polls of Republican primary voters, but prediction markets are not buying into the Cain surge. On Wednesday evening, MSNBC led its web page with the breaking news that the network’s latest poll showed Cain atop the GOP presidential field, with 27 percent support; Romney was a close second at 23 percent, and Rick Perry placed third with 16 percent.
Yet the prediction markets, where users can buy and sell contracts on who will ultimately win the Republican nomination, are still very skeptical of a Cain victory. The real-time markets assessing the likelihood of the Republican nomination still have Romney enjoying a commanding 65.7 percent lead, with Perry trailing at 12.5 percent and Cain at 10.1 percent. Here is a look at how the leaders have progressed over the last few weeks:
Polls are important. You see a lot of them during a campaign season. The question is, what do they really mean?
The quoted margin of errors are large and significant. And, the real error is much larger and more significant than the quote margin of error!
Yet, despite this margin of error and the daily fluctuations, polls are a very meaningful source of information in understanding and predicting an election. You just need to be clear on what a poll means and how best to use it.Continue Reading
The obvious takeaway at this early stage of the primary cycle is that the “generic Republican” is a more effective candidate than any specific Republican. In part, that’s because there’s a bit of a built-in bias in polling for more abstract forms of political allegiance. In these surveys, respondents are registering their reactions to Obama as a known political quantity, with a full array of perceived electoral strengths and weaknesses. Yet for the no-name Republican, “Respondents get to project the person they think is the most electable actual Republican or even an imaginary Republican that is not in the race,” as Wharton economist Justin Wolfers has observed.>Continue Reading
Despite the always-long odds against a Christie run, an actual Christie candidacy would likely create a big impact on the battle for the GOP nomination; even without entering the race, the markets forecast that he had a 10 percent likelihood of winning the nomination. Where did that 10 percent go when confirmed he was not running?
The short answer, shown in the chart above, is that Mitt Romney got most of it, and he got it fast. As Christie quickly headed toward a 1 percent likelihood of attaining the nomination, Romney jumped approximately 10 percentage points–from 45.3 percent to 55.3 percent likelihood, where he is right now. Many people saw Christie as the last major new Romney adversary, and his non-entry may be close the door on any other late challenge to the current field.
A look at the race for the Republican nomination just before and after Christie dropped out: