On the day of the Iowa caucuses last week, the prediction markets Intrade and Betfair gave Mitt Romney a 44 percent chance of winning the South Carolina primary. After barely winning Iowa and handily winning New Hampshire, Romney's chances in the Palmetto State now stand close to 70 percent.
But Romney's rise does not necessarily reflect growing affection among conservatives in South Carolina, or any major shift in opinion away from Gingrich or Santorum, who have both fared well there at various points. Romney is winning mainly because, well, Romney is winning. If he does win in South Carolina, his odds of a clean sweep of the first five states--Florida and Nevada come next--will rise as high as 95 percent, according to the markets.
At The Signal, we sometimes draw analogies between politics and football, and here is a great example of how the two sports differ. When the 13-0 Green Bay Packers lost to 5-8 Kansas City, as they did in week 15 this year, the Packers' odds of winning theRead More »from If Romney wins South Carolina, he’s 95% likely to win Florida and Nevada too