• If you're curious why the candidates were tripping over themselves to out-praise Marco Rubio, Florida's Republican junior senator, at the last debate, look no further than the political market Intrade, where Rubio is in first place to be second fiddle with a 24 percent chance of being the eventual winner's running mate. (Meanwhile Joe Biden is the overwhelming favorite to remain Obama's choice.)

    But who gets the would-be VP nod depends greatly on who is the nominee. As Newt Gingrich's odds of winning have spiked and dissipated twice in the last two months, the market for vice presidential candidates has reacted. Because the movement happened over a fairly short time period -- I analyzed the past 90 days -- and because not much else seems to have occurred to impact the veepstakes picture during that time, we can guess that most of the changes in the VP market are driven by the shifting fates of Romney and Gingrich at the top. With this assumption, we can compute estimates of which pairings are most likely.

    If Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, my model estimates that he is 25 percent likely to pick Chris Christie as his running mate, a popular moderate governor from New Jersey who himself flirted with running for president before strongly endorsing Romney. (This in spite of the fact that you'd have two Northeasterners on the ticket.) The market puts Christie's overall chance of being the VP of any Republican nominee at only 14 percent, but because his odds tend to rise in tandem with Romney's, my model boosts his chances to 25 percent in the scenario where Romney is the nominee. Rubio is a close second to be Romney's right-hand man at 22 percent. Rubio's VP odds actually drop whenever Romney's go up (they are anti-correlated), but because Rubio's such a likely overall pick, he's still the second-most likely Romney pairing. Rubio so far hasn't endorsed a presidential candidate and has repeatedly said he's not interested in the VP job. No other candidate rises above single digits as Mitt's pick for a-heartbeat-away.

    Read More »from Romney-Christie, Gingrich-Rubio are most likely ticket pairings
  • Just after the South Carolina primary, where Newt Gingrich won a dominating victory, the former speaker inched up to an almost 30 percent likelihood of winning the nomination, according to prediction market data. At the time, it was a major foray in Romney territory; the markets had given the former Massachusetts governor as high as a 90 percent chance of snagging the nomination in mid-January. Now it appears that Gingrich's surge is dying. As of Thursday afternoon, he was back down to a 10.9 percent chance in the markets heading into the Florida primaries this Tuesday.

    Gingrich's plummeting odds correlate with a drop in the polls in Florida. Shortly after South Carolina, several polls gave him a meaningful lead of 9 points, 8 points, and 5 points. (And of course, like South Carolina, Florida borders Gingrich's former home state of Georgia.) But more recent polls look increasingly promising for Romney, showing leads of 2 points, 8 points, and 8 points. The two large leads come from the same organizations that gave Gingrich 8 and 9 point leads just a few days prior. The markets also now favor a Romney victory in Florida, as the follow graph demonstrates:

    Likelihood of Winning Florida Primary_Jan26

    Sources: Betfair and Intrade

    Read More »from Gingrich faltering as markets reconsider Romney (again)
  • As he prepares for his third State of the Union address--and, he hopes, not his last--Barack Obama's likelihood of reelection has soared in the last few days to 56.8 percent, the highest it has been since last July. This movement correlates with Newt Gingrich's increased likelihood of gaining the Republican nomination, now at 29.7 percent, up from about 5 percent. This upward trend also correlates with a simultaneous downward movement of Mitt Romney's likelihood of winning the presidency if he wins the nomination, now at 44.0, down from about 48 percent. We utilize prediction market data for these likelihoods.

    Likelihoods from 2012 Presidential Election

    Sources: Betfair and Intrade

    In short, the markets think Obama is more likely to defeat Gingrich than Romney, so when the former speaker's fortunes elevate, so do the president's. Over the last week, Gingrich's likelihood of winning the nomination has climbed from about 5 percent to about 30 percent. Currently, Gingrich is about 39 percent likely to defeat Obama if he makes it

    Read More »from As Gingrich’s fate rises, so does Obama’s


(177 Stories)

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The Signal is the Yahoo! News predictions blog featuring real-time forecasts and sentiment on politics, economics, and more. MEET THE TEAM: David Pennock, David Rothschild



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