June 2, 2004 | Union LeaderAt this point, presidential polls are volatile and meaningless. There's another way to predict the winner, and, while it's not foolproof, it's proven far better that polling. Ask traders on a specialized exchange -- similar to a stock market -- for whom America will vote on Nov. 2. One such exchange is called the IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, founded in 1988 by the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business (http:/tippie.uiowa.edu/iem/). Anyone can trade by betting up to $500 to predict the outcomes of events like governors' races and Federal Reserve policy. Results have been uncannily accurate. Academic papers have found that the IEM, on average, has whipped the polls soundly. For presidential elections, the IEM's margin of error on the brink of the vote was just 1.5 percent, compared with 2.1 percent for Gallup. Three-fourths of the time, the IEM has been more accurate than the average pollster. The paper is based in New Hampshire.
Contact: Forrest Nelson