Speculators Still Bullish on Bush

By John Tierney

The instant polls gave Senator John Kerry the edge in Friday night's debate. The punditocracy generally called it a draw. But the online speculators betting real money on the election - the ones who probably have the best track record at instant analysis - seemed more impressed by President Bush at the end of the debate.

They had turned bearish on Mr. Bush in the first debate, and they remained so early in Friday's debate, when he was shouting and waving his arm while Mr. Kerry remained steely. During that first half-hour, the price of a Bush futures contract in the Iowa Electronic Markets dropped a point, to 51 cents, meaning that investors gave him a 51-percent chance of a victory on Nov. 2, his lowest level since the start of the Republican convention. POLITICAL POINTS Speculators Still Bullish on Bush By JOHN TIERNEY

Published: October 10, 2004

he instant polls gave Senator John Kerry the edge in Friday night's debate. The punditocracy generally called it a draw. But the online speculators betting real money on the election - the ones who probably have the best track record at instant analysis - seemed more impressed by President Bush at the end of the debate.

They had turned bearish on Mr. Bush in the first debate, and they remained so early in Friday's debate, when he was shouting and waving his arm while Mr. Kerry remained steely. During that first half-hour, the price of a Bush futures contract in the Iowa Electronic Markets dropped a point, to 51 cents, meaning that investors gave him a 51-percent chance of a victory on Nov. 2, his lowest level since the start of the Republican convention. But by the end of the debate, the Bush price was back up to 55 cents.

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