Day After the Debate: Intrade Odds of Republican Candidates Securing Presidential Nomination

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Image

Today, it seems that everyone has their own opinion on who helped themselves and who didn’t in last night’s Republican presidential candidates’ debate. And consensus is hard to come by, even in the same news room.

Take the Washington Post, for example. On its PostPartisan blog, first Richard Cohen wants us to think that Rick Perry was the “Big Loser” of the night. But then 90 minutes later, his colleague Marc Thiessen weighs in saying that Perry “had a very good night.” Rather than relying on Beltway journalists to decide who won and who lost, I figured: why not see what the market is saying? So I headed over to Intrade to take a look at the odds for who will wind up as the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee.

It does appear that Perry is slipping after last night’s debate. Even in the time it took me to put this blog post together, he’s lost a percentage point, going from 37.5% to 36.4%. While Mitt Romney has remained even so far today at 36.3%. These markets are of course fluid, but here’s a snapshot of the current Intrade odds for each candidate from last night’s debate, and how they’ve moved over the last week.

Rick Perry: 36.4%


Mitt Romney: 36.3%


Jon Huntsman: 7%


Ron Paul: 2.8%


Michele Bachmann: 2.6%


Newt Gingrich: 1.3%


Herman Cain: .6%


Rick Santorum: .2%

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  1. nottom says:

    If you just buy them all that only sums to an 87.2% chance to get the nomination which would amount to a 14.6% return if anyone in this list gets the nomination. Arbitrage opportunity?

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    • Erik Jensen says:

      I’m guessing that the 14.6% represents the implicit probability of a late entrant winning.

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  2. Brandon Griffin says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • YX says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Brandon Griffin says:

        Dear YX,

        Thanks for trying to flame me without identifying yourself. That’s very bold of you. I’m sure your political opinions are well-informed and intelligent.

        The presenter is responsible for accurate and truthful presentation, period. Do I want a graph 3 pages high? No. I want presentation that tells the truth. For example, the magnitude of the graph in Santorum’s case is unnecessary, and the change from .2% and .3% is irrelevant in the overall data, except as a joke (which I realize is a theme on this site).

        I also realize that these graphs are screen shots from another Web site. Still, they tell a lie.
        Given that this is a Web site, a distinctly interactive medium, the presenter might consider showing one graph with everyone’s data, and then using fly-outs for the tighter details.

        Do yourself a favor and read anything from this list of books:

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      • Horatio says:

        Brandon, gotta love a Tufte reference! You are so right about the scale mismatch making it difficult to read the intended message. I don’t think it is intentional. Probably just an ignorance of good data presentation techniques.

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    • MW says:

      It depends what information you’re trying to tell with the graphs. If it is “Who is most likely to be nominated?” then yes, the graphs are very poor. However, if the question is “Whose prospects were improved or worsened by the debate?” then we need to see how their ratings changed over a time period, which requires a scale for each candidate suitable for seeing how they changed. (In this case, we can still argue about whether a change from 1% to 2% should be plotted bigger or smaller than a change from 30% to 35%.)

      Here’s a suggestion: for each candidate, plot two co-centric circles, one with area proportional to their pre-debate rating, the other post-debate rating. Then fill the annulus between the two circles red if they lost rating, and green if they gained. Line the candidates’ circles up or plot them in an array to give the comparison. Or a variant – plot semicircles (with the same center but not overlapping) with left-hand side for before the debate, right hand side after. (In both cases, the price we pay for combining absolute and relative ratings in one plot is that we can only plot two time points for each candidate, instead of a time series. We also lose some resolution on the low rating candidates.)

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  3. dave gant says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  4. Chris Reed says:

    Why hasn’t this blog or another one with similar interests and resources looked into what happened to the Intrade odds on whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn would be convicted of a felony in the hotel case? In glancing at the site on the Friday that the New York Times broke the story that investigators had severe doubts about the credibility of the accuser, it looked like betting swang heavily toward the against bet hours before the first NYT report. It went from 4 to 1 he’d be convicted to 4 to 1 he’d be acquitted in short order.

    Which suggests insider trading of a most unique kind by people at the NYT, NYPD or NY District Attorney’s Office. This is super juicy. Please pursue!

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