October 5, 2004 | Bloomberg NewsPresident George W. Bush's lead over John Kerry in futures markets shrank by almost two-thirds after their debate last week. Bush led by 12.5 percentage points on the Iowa Electronic Markets, a non-profit political betting system. The Republican incumbent was 34 points ahead of Kerry, his Democratic challenger, the day before the Sept. 30 presidential debate. In 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore lost a 38-point lead over Bush in futures trading on the Iowa market after the first debate. The day of the November 2000 election, Bush held a 66- point advantage over Gore. "The pattern is the same as 2000," said THOMAS RIETZ, a professor at the University of Iowa who helps run the futures market. "2000 says it's not unprecedented" that a candidate would lose a lead in a few weeks, he said.
Contact: Thomas Rietz