Romney regains commanding lead in Iowa (Originally posted on Yahoo!'s "The Signal" Blog)

A few hours before the Iowa caucuses begin, Mitt Romney is just over 50 percent likely to win this first-in-the-nation primary contest, according to data from the prediction markets Betfair and Intrade. This is a strong recovery for the candidate, who was trailing both Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul for much of December. And it is only one of four major changes that have taken place in the prediction markets for Iowa in the last few days.

Since last Thursday, Paul has fallen from a high of over 50 percent likelihood of victory to just about 25 percent. Rick Santorum has pulled away from the trailing pack of candidates to become a serious contender. And most interestingly, the markets that once gave Gingrich a 60 percent chance of winning have completely written him off, along with any other candidate, contrary to the polls that still have him at about 14 percent.

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