The Iowa Electronic Markets webpage has opened a futures market on the recall. The contract structure makes it a little tricky to go from the prices to predicted outcomes, but Davis is about a 70-30 underdog, and the market is predicting the recall will carry by about 10 percentage points; you can get an effective 20-to-1 against the election’s not being held in October. [*]
(That last bet seems tempting to me; if I were a judge, I’d have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that recounting some of the votes in Florida was an equal protection violation but running a governor’s race in California 40% of the usual polling stations closed isn’t an equal protection violation, especially since California has four counties covered under the Voting Rights Act.)
In Round II, it’s Bustamante 60% to win, Schwarzenegger 40%, rest nowhere; the market predicts that Bustamante will get about 45% of the vote, Schwarzenegger 35%, and the rest 20%.
I’ve been more pessimistic on Davis than 70-30, and more optimistic on Bustamante than 60-40, but not enough so to want to put any money down at current prices. Multiplying out, we get Bustamante with about a 40% chance of being governor when the dust clears, Davis and Schwarzenegger with about a 30% chance each. Update: Wrong! See correction [*] above.
If California’s political insiders agree, then Bustamante shouldn’t have much trouble raising the money he needs.
Too bad the market didn’t open a week ago; it would have been interesting to see what happened to the Schwarzenegger prices when Simon dropped out. The current vote-share prices seem to reflect a fairly strong belief that McClintock will stay in to the end.