Nelson: Markets More Accurate Than Polls

Republicans will hold their majority in the Senate but lose it in the House, according to the current odds given by Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM), a wagering Web site that has proven to be more accurate than opinion polls in predicting election results. Started in 1988, IEM is the longest-running political prediction market in existence. Many experts believe prediction markets are more accurate than opinion polls because voters don't have the incentive to tell pollsters the truth. When their money is on the line, they do. "If I wanted a single best guess of the outcome of an upcoming election, I'd certainly look at a well-organized prediction market before I'd look at the polls," said FORREST NELSON, a director of IEM and one of its three founders. One study by Nelson and two others documented that prediction markets are "considerably more accurate long-range forecasting tools than polls across elections and across long periods of time preceding elections."