Snapshot Polls, Popular Vote, and Intrade
by Mitchell A, Thu May 22, 2008 at 08:34:12 PM EDT
I have grown increasingly frustrated as the day has worn on. I keep seeing supporters, especially of Senator Clinton, referring to recent polls as evidence that she is more electable. The fact is that we don't know who is more electable right now because there are simply too many variables, including what the months ahead have in store. One thing is fairly certain, given the mixed and changing results in snapshot state and national polls, the Democrats would be foolish to select a candidate based on them.
Further, in spite of what we hear from the Clinton people, there is no such thing as a national popular vote. http://msa4.wordpress.com/ Too many apples and oranges. There are caucus and non-caucus states. There are states that have included independents and those that haven't. Some have allowed party cross-overs and some have not. These election results can't be combined into one figure, and especially not into a figure that will satisfy everyone. Bottom Line: if the Democrats back off from using the delegate count in nominating their candidate, and try to substitute a bogus national popular vote, they will be courting calamity. (Few believe that such a substitution will actually take place. But as long as people keep talking about a popular vote, it pushes closure off into the horizon.)
If you really must have some numbers at this time, the odds are that the results from Intrade are probably more accurate than any one set of polls. Of course Intrade isn't always accurate and its traders change their minds. But it has a pretty good record. Interestingly, in the face of all of the current polls, as of 12:00 AM, May 23rd, the traders think Obama is going to beat McCain. http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contr
Notice that there have been hundreds of thousands of trades, that is, "bets."
The figures in order refer to:
Contract Bid Ask Last Vol Chge
Barack Obama to win 2008 US Presidential Election M Trade 57.3 57.4 57.3 157381 +0.9
John McCain to win 2008 US Presidential Election M Trade 38.1 38.3 38.2 202761 -1.8
Hillary Clinton to win 2008 US Presidential Election M Trade 5.8 6.7 6.8 294285 +1.0