Can Rick Perry afford to lose in Iowa? (Originally posted on Yahoo!'s "The Ticket" Blog)

On paper, of course, Perry could absorb a defeat in Iowa without it turning into a fatal blow. After all, Iowa distributes less than 1 percent of delegates to the Republican National Convention. And across the board, the RNC assesses delegates on something close to a proportional basis–meaning that Perry's home state Texas, for example, which has delivered him the governorship by impressive margins, weighs far heavier in the balance than a less-populated state such as Iowa or New Hampshire do. Nevertheless, because Iowa is first, it plays an outsize role in shaping the race's momentum–and in media horse-race accounts of who's up or who's down in the battle for the nomination.

Thus, it is not surpising that the markets suggest that losing Iowa would be fatal to his already low likelihood of wininng the Republican nomination.

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Romney is the likeliest nominee, but Perry is stronger than you think in Iowa (Originally posted on Yahoo!'s "The Ticket" Blog)

Mitt Romney is considered the likely winner of each one of the first five primary contests, but the judgment of the markets in two of the first three–Iowa and South Carolina–is extremely close. As the likely winner of the first five caucuses and primaries, Romney is, not surprisingly, also the likely winner of the Republican nomination. As of today, the markets give Romney about a 2 out of 3 chance of heading up the Republican ticket in November.

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Prediction markets show that Perry’s early surge is not the same as Trump’s was (Originally posted on Yahoo!'s "The Ticket" Blo

Perry is no Trump; he has risen to the top in the prediction markets, as well as the polls. This is an important indication that Perry is getting a serious hearing not just from GOP voters, but from political insiders as well. Still, the prediction markets are not quite so bullish on Perry thus far as GOP voters appear to be. Perry is way ahead in the polls (up by six, eight, and twelve points over Romney in the three most recent national polls), but only tied or slightly behind in the prediction markets. This suggests that even though political insiders are giving Perry his due as a legitimate candidate, they are still predicting that his relative strength will wane and Romney will close the race up before the end of the primary season …

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How can we handicap Obama’s re-election chances? (Originally posted on Yahoo!'s "The Ticket" blog)

I posted a blog piece on Yahoo on the likelihood of President Obama's re-election (which is currently at 50.9%). Click Here for Full Text. As you can see, as bad economic news has arrived over the last few months, Obama's re-election likelihood has also plummeted.The chart is here:

Obama Re-Elect

and the real-time table is below: