The latest aggregated polling trend from Real Clear Politics has Newt Gingrich at 31.3 percentage points to Romney’s 20.3 percentage points (a massive lead), but the prediction markets still give Romney nearly 50 percent likelihood of attaining the Republican nomination, precisely 48.3 percent, to Gingrich’s 32.7 percent.
In this article, I present three main scenarios for the first five primary contests, leading to six possible outcomes over the subsequent five weeks. One scenario leads to a long battle between Gingrich and Romney. One scenario leads to either Gingrich victory, a long battle against Romney, or a long battle against another candidate. One scenario leads to either a Romney victory or a long battle against another candidate. Weighting the likelihood of all of these scenarios, and their possible outcomes, the markets conclude that Romney is more likely to prevail, but both candidates are less than 50 percent to gain the nomination.