October 31, 2004 | Capitol Hill BlueIf the up-and-down swings in the presidential polls have left you dizzy, maybe you should look at the political betting shops instead. They're volatile, too, but they tend to be more accurate than most polls. People answering pollsters' questions have no particular reason to be truthful, even if they do know their own minds, while people who have real money on the line have good reason to make thoughtful and informed decisions about what is likely to happen. Since 1988, the Tippie College of Business at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA has operated the Iowa Electronic Market, which among other issues tracks the presidential race. As of Friday, contracts for a Bush win were trading about six cents above contracts for a Kerry win. The spread was wider for a while in September, but has consistently favored Bush since the end of August. There's a separate contract for share of the popular vote, and it is saying that the vote is likely to be agonizingly close. But we knew that.
Contact: Forrest Nelson