Cui Bono

Stable price levels in the real-money betting markets at and Iowa Electronic Markets suggest that the Abu Ghraib revelations haven’t hurt Bush’s reelection chances, which have been >50% at Iowa and around 60% at Intrade for the past several weeks. These markets aren’t crystal balls, and Bush’s reelection odds aren’t a perfect proxy for public support for the war, but I think the markets are pretty good indicators that the POW-mistreatment scandal isn’t the confidence-shaking earthquake that some of the press and Democrats make it out to be. Glenn Reynolds is absolutely right that public demoralization is the goal here. People should take notice of who benefits politically from it.

UPDATE: As of May 11 the midpoint of the bid/ask spread on Bush’s reelection odds has dropped by a couple of points. I don’t know if this is a significant shift but it suggests some weakening in the Administration’s public standing.

UPDATE 2: EconoPundit compares Intrade’s odds estimates to those derived from conventional opinion-polling.

2 thoughts on “Cui Bono”

  1. Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but aren’t InTrade’s numbers based on the investors’ opinions without taking into consideration how the electoral college effect a close race? I seem to remember Bush leading in polls up to election day…but the outcome was much closer than polls suggested.

    I’m putting my money on W., but there’s no reason yet to think that it’s going to be anything other than another nail biter like ’00.

  2. Intrade customers bet on whatever outcome a contract defines, in this case Bush’s reelection. The odds that are reflected in the current bid/ask level therefore discount all known considerations that might influence the election outcome.

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