IEM Trading Leans to Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a decisive lead in the Iowa Electronic Markets heading into the final days before South Carolina’s primary election Saturday.

On Monday afternoon, Romeny’s contract in the Republican nomination market was selling for 89 cents, up from 83.5 cents about a week ago. The next closest candidate was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, whose contract was selling for 3.2 cents. The Rest of Field contract, which covers any candidate for whom no individual contract has been issued, including former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was selling for 5 cents Monday.

In the IEM’s presidential election market, President Obama’s contract was selling for 58.7 cents, meaning traders think he has a 58.7 percent probability of reelection.

The Iowa Electronic Market is a real money futures market operated by the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business that allows traders to buy and sell contracts based on what they think the outcome of a future event will be.