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IEM Gave Bush Clear Edge In Election

A number of Internet gambling sites are taking bets on who will come out of the upcoming cardinals' conclave as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Some bricks-and-mortar bookmakers in Britain, Ireland and Europe are also in on the game, though Las Vegas and Atlantic City have shied away from the Vatican action. The official papal selection process begins in Vatican City on Monday and is expected to choose a successor to John Paul within a few days. Betting markets have outdone pundits, polls and the press in predicting other elections. During the past four U.S. presidential campaigns, economists at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA have operated an Internet-based futures market where anybody who wants to can bet on one of the two major-party candidates. In the extremely tight 2004 election, for example, virtually every authoritative source considered the race too close to call right up to election night. But the Iowa market gave George W. Bush a clear edge from the end of the Republican convention in early September.

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