Archive for January 5, 2012
From June to December, we gave you a rundown of the Republican field for the 2012 Presidential nomination. These “Stampeding Elephant” features (see image at left) used to come about mid-month. For the next few weeks, or at least until the nominee becomes clear, we plan to update these weekly on Thursdays (weakly stampeding elephants?), as the results from Saturday and Tuesday votes come in and are digested by the punditry.
The Iowa Caucuses didn’t change things much in terms of placement of Republican contenders, though it did whittle the number down by one. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was the big beneficiary on Intrade. There is now a 75 point gap between Romney, with an 81 percent chance of winning the nomination, and second-place former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, at six percent.
We started the monthly recaps in June with 11 candidates and potential candidates judged by Intrade investors to have better than a one percent chance of securing the Republican nomination. Nine candidates met the one-percent threshold in July and August. In September, the number of maybe-viable candidates dropped to six. October’s rundown had seven candidates at greater than one percent on Intrade. In November, there were still seven candidates, with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in the first and second positions, Texas Governor Rick Perry fading fast in third, and Representative Ron Paul (R-Lake Jackson, TX) and Jon Huntsman tied for fourth. Herman Cain was still in the race last month, but dropping fast in sixth place, and Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater, MN) in seventh.
At the time of our last rundown, 21 days ago in mid-December, the “Not Romney” was Gingrich, but his “Not Romney” surge lasted no longer than a month. Former Senator Rick Santorum had the good sense to mount a “Not Romney” surge in late December, just in time for the Iowa Caucuses. That brought him into a tie with Romney (who presumably is unable to mount a “Not Romney” surge). At last report, Romney led by eight votes, 30,015 to 30,007, so I’m comfortable calling that a tie because it’s a margin of 0.0066%, well within the margin of error of any voting system with over 100,000 votes cast.
This close to the caucus, Real Clear Politics aggregated poll averages aren’t going to help us much. RCP is currently aggregating polls from mid-December to January 3, so there hasn’t been time for the aggregated polls to react to the news of the Santorum Surprise. However, Intrade investor/bettors have had time to digest and act on the Iowa news, so let’s once again focus on those numbers. (more…)