Forget The Polls…Follow The Futures Market To Learn The Next President

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As everyone knows, polling is an imprecise system. It has become popular to make composite polls from various sources and use them as a predictor. However, as prediction/futures markets have developed, they have shown an uncanny track record for getting an election right. These markets became popular with the development of the Iowa Electronic Market. With a prediction/futures market, an investor puts money down on the future. The markets are often considered more reliable because the speculator wants to make money at predicting the likely outcome, thus reducing the impact of his or her beliefs on those decisions.

A major player in the prediction/futures markets now is Intrade. Amazingly, Intrade picked the 2004 Presidential election perfectly up to Election Day. It picked all 50 states and the District of Columbia accurately until Drudge and other internet sites leaked exit poll results. The exit polls were notoriously wrong that year. Of the 16 exit polls, 15 overstated Kerry’s strength. Normally, this information would not be released until voting closed, but that did not happen on that Election Day. 

If Intrade repeats its 2004 results, then when voting starts on Election Day, the Intrade leader should be the next President of the United States.

Here are the current Intrade predictions:

(from Foolocracy.com)