Mike Kueber's Blog

February 8, 2012

Santorum’s sweep

Filed under: People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:50 pm
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Yesterday, Rick Santorum won convincingly in Minnesota and Missouri and edged Mitt Romney in Colorado.  Including his previous win in Iowa, these wins reveal that the guy connects well with Middle America.  Although Romney remains the prohibitive betting favorite, Santorum has replaced Gingrich as the anti-Romney.  According to betting site Intrade.com:

  • Mitt Romney – 78.0%
  • Rick Santorum – 12.5%
  • Newt Gingrich – 3.3%
  • Ron Paul – 2.4%

There will be pressure for Newt Gingrich to drop out and let Santorum going mano-a-mano with Romney, but Gingrich will almost certainly hold out until the ten South-heavy contests on Super Tuesday next month on March 6.

January 2, 2012

Intrade v. Latvian-based betting site

Filed under: Politics — Mike Kueber @ 10:55 pm
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I have previously blogged about the odds of various candidates to win the Republican presidential nomination.  To learn those odds, I have relied on a foreign betting side called Intrade.  Today there was an article in the San Antonio Express-News on the same subject, but it relied on a so-called “Latvian-based gambling site.”  This is how the odds compared

Candidate      Intrade.com   Latvian-based site

Romney           79.3                 2/7

Gingrich          5.3                   17/2

Santorum         4.3                   12/1

Huntsman        3.4                   25/1

Paul                 3.1                   9/1

Perry                1.5                   35/1

Bachmann       0.6                   50/1

Although the odds are mostly in the same ballpark, they aren’t nearly as similar as the sports-betting odds that you will find in Vegas.  The major discrepancy is that Intrade makes Paul the 5th most likely to win the nomination while Latvia has him almost tied for 2nd.   In Vegas, I think people could make money on these discrepancies, and I wonder if the same sort of arbitrage-like practice would work here.  I’m not a gambler, so I will leave that possibility to others.

December 26, 2011

Are voters paying attention yet?

Filed under: People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 1:39 pm
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Although the media continually carps about how little the public pays attention to politics, it is amazing how dynamic public opinion has been toward the Republican presidential candidates.  For several weeks at a time, we have had a so-called flavor of the week – from Bachmann to Perry to Cain to Paul and most recently to Gingrich.  As soon as candidates become the flavor of the week and are scrutinized, they inevitably shrivel up like a raisin.

The scrutinization of Newt has been unprecedented for the past two weeks, with a barrage of negative ads from other candidates and super-PACs.  So if the voters are paying attention, you would expect his chances for winning the nomination to be dropping precipitously, and you would be right. 

According to the latest Intrade.com odds, Mitt Romney now has a 70% chance of winning the Republican nomination, whereas Gingrich and Paul have dropped to about 8%, Huntsman – 5%, Perry – 2%, and Bachmann – 1%.

Looks like I won’t need to drive to Iowa this week to save Mitt’s bacon.

November 16, 2011

Who does Intrade.com currently pick to win the Republican presidential nomination?

Filed under: Politics — Mike Kueber @ 6:32 pm
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As widely reported in the news, Newt Gingrich has risen remarkably in the polls, but that surge has not affected Romney’s position on Intrade.com as the 70% favorite to win the nomination.  The following are their odds as of November 16, 2011:

  • Mitt Romney                     69.8%
  • Newt Gingrich                   12.5%
  • Ron Paul                              3.7%
  • Jon Huntsman                   3.8%
  • Herman Cain                      3.4%
  • Rick Perry                            3.2%
  • Michele Bachmann         1.2%
  • Rick Santorum                   0.4%

Almost as surprising as Gingrich’s rise is the fall of erstwhile frontrunners Herman Cain and Rick Perry.  They have fallen so badly that they currently trail Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.  That suggests that the smart money has concluded that Cain and Perry are already mortally wounded by their recent scandals and gaffes.

November 10, 2011

Another debate; another Perry gaffe

Filed under: Issues,People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:41 pm
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For some reason, last night’s presidential debate on CNBC slid under my radar and I missed it.  My first notice of the debate was a slew of media reports headlined with Perry’s “Oops” moment.    According to most of those reports, the gaffe confirmed Perry as a laughingstock who was singularly unqualified to be considered for the office of the Presidency.

After watching videos of the gaffe, I concluded that the pundits were being exceedingly harsh on Perry.  His gaffe consisted of being able to recall only two of the three federal departments that he wanted to eliminate – the Commerce and Education Departments.  Despite casting about for an awkward minute or so, Perry couldn’t remember the Energy Department.

The important thing is that the videos revealed Perry handling his brain freeze with relatively good humor.  I think most Americans put more stock in how a person deals with the brain freeze than in the fact that he had one.

So, with the Perry’s brain freeze and Cain’s women, how does the Republican race look this morning?  According to Intrade.com:

  • Romney 71%
  • Gingrich 9.6%
  • Cain 5.7%
  • Paul 5.3%
  • Perry 4%
  • Huntsman 3%
  • Bachmann 1%

An interesting quality of Intrade.com is that it acts like the stock market.  The stock market doesn’t reflect the current state of the economy.  Rather, it reflects the best judgment of what the economy will be like in the future.  Similarly, the Intrade.com numbers don’t reflect the current candidate polling, but instead suggest what those polling numbers will look like in the future.  It has obviously built in a steep decline for Cain and Perry.  Gingrich is certainly in position to be the final anti-Romney candidate, and I suspect Mitt Romney is happy to see that.

As a pundit noted yesterday, Cain and Perry had the charisma to seriously challenge Romney.  Gingrich does not.