Political Markets Put Bush in Lead

The stock of President Bush literally went down during Wednesday night's debate, but the market still shows him with a substantial lead over John Kerry in the minds of investors -- a larger lead than reflected in voter polls. Online futures markets allow investors to bet on the presidential contest by buying futures contracts, somewhat akin to the way hog bellies and corn futures are sold. Two popular political markets are IOWA ELECTRONIC MARKETS, run by the University of Iowa, and Intrade, run by a Dublin, Ireland-based company. Sam Savage, a management and science professor at Stanford University, follows the political markets closely and believes they're just as accurate as polls. He watched the TV debate Wednesday while following the trading on his computer. "There was a significant run-up on Bush just entering the debate, and a significant drop just after the beginning of the debate," he said Thursday. Apparently, Bush wasn't doing as well as some traders expected. The newspaper serves San Jose, Calif.