Today’s numbers: Thursday

Rasmussen national tracking

Kerry 34%

Dean 17%

Edwards 14%

Clark 12%

Lieberman 8%

Sharpton 4%

Kucinich 1%

Not Sure 11%

Iowa electronic markets winner-take-all nomination contract:

Kerry 68.3-68.6 (bid up 2.3)

Edwards 15.7-15.8 (bid down 5.3)

Dean 9.3-9.9 (up 0.8)

Clark 4.6-5 (down 0.2)

Lieberman 0.3-0.4 (even)

Clinton 1.1-1.5 (even)

Tradesports nomination market

Kerry 69.1-69.8 (bid up 8.6)

Edwards 15.2-18 (bid down 3.9)

Dean 11-14 (bid down 5)

Field (includes Clark) 3-5 (down 4)

Clinton 1.1-2.7 (up 0.1)

Lieberman 0.4-1.5 (down 0.6)

Tradesports Bush re-election

71-72 (bid up 3)

Three observations on the betting:

1. The markets are imperfect. Not only are some of the spreads wide, but there’s an arbitrage available between the Dean Iowa contract and the Dean Tradesports contract.

2. The chattering consensus is that Kerry is now very likely, and Dean very unlikely, to be nominated. I agree, and so do the markets.

3. The chattering consensus is that Kerry is a much stonger candidate in November than Bush. I agree, but the markets don’t reflect that view: Bush’s re-election is back to the low 70s from the high 60s. That could be explained by the fact that the odds on Clark, whom I still think is the strongest candidate of the bunch, have lengthened very considerably.

Naturally, the political professionals, who have a strong stake in being with the eventual winner early, are now flocking to Kerry. Since I’m not bound by the maxim “Don’t make no waves, don’t back no losers,” I’m sticking with Clark, for whatever my support is worth.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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