Saturday, January 16, 2010

Want to Know Who Will Win in Massachusetts?

Everyone in Washington is fixated on the special election in Massachusetts next Tuesday to replace Ted Kennedy. Some polls now show the Republican, Scott Brown, in the lead, which is a shocking result even if Martha Coakley eventually wins. A GOP victory doubtlessly would make Democrats very nervous about ramming through government-run health care, so Republicans are celebrating new polling data showing Brown in the lead.

But if you want to know who is going to win (or at least have a very informed opinion), don't pay attention to polls. Instead, check out the Intrade betting market, which predicts winners based on people putting real money at risk. Intrade does show a large shift away from Coakley in the last week, but it's still a very close battle.

Here's some more interesting Intrade data showing the betting on the 2008 presidential election. It shows that McCain actually took the lead right after the GOP convention, boosted perhaps by the Palin selection. But when McCain rushed to Washington to support the bailout - and made a public spectacle of screwing over taxpayers - his numbers fell through the floor and never recovered.

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