If they were companies, Huntsman would be trading up, Romney trading down.

Did you know that you can trade on the likelihood of a given politician’s chance of winning his (or her) election?

You can, at Intrade, the “World’s Leading Prediction Market.”Right now, with the likely entrance of former Utah Governor (and now former Ambassador) Jon Huntsman into the 2012 race for the White House, his shares are rising, while Romney’s are dropping.

The last check of the markets earlier in April had Romney’s chances of winning the nomination at 27.5%.  His most recent odds were down a bit at 24.1%, which is odd seeing that Romney officially announced his exploratory committee in the interval.

Jon Huntsman’s odds were at 4.4% earlier this month.  Now they sit at 5.4%.  Traders do think that Huntsman will get in the race.  He’s given a 67.5% chance of announcing his candidacy.

While it looks like Huntsman is gaining ground, it’s still quite a long shot and, apparently, at Romney’s expense. On the other hand, there’s the X factor that’s affecting them all: The Donald.

The most significant change is Donald Trump.  He wasn’t on the boards a few weeks ago, but now he’s given a 7.5% chance by traders.

Still, none of them are holding a candle to the current President, and I’ve no doubt that his announcement last night only strengthened him, and fairly so.  Early in his administration, if he and Woodward can be believed (I think they can be), he shifted the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially to the capture or kill of Osama Bin Laden.

Barack Obama is still the favorite to win re-election.  He’s given a 58.5% chance of winning a second term.  That’s down slightly from 59.4% a few weeks ago.  Mitt Romney’s chances of beating Obama sit at 12.5%, which is unchanged.  Jon Huntsman is given a 2.3% chance of being elected President in 2012 after not being on the boards a couple of weeks ago.

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of time between now and the first primary next year, not to mention the actual election in November 2012. However, the GOP is lacking a clear front running, Donald Trump is grabbing headlines with almost childlike ease, and President Obama is in an enviable position of strength heading into the election.

(h/t Political Futures Market Sees Romney’s Chances Drop, Huntsman’s Rise | Utah Policy.)

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3 responses to “If they were companies, Huntsman would be trading up, Romney trading down.

  1. It’s too bad, because Obama’s position of strength is due almost entirely to the weakness of the GOP field (though he did get a big foreign policy boost last night). He’s really had a pretty bad year. Seems like a golden opportunity for a challenger, and, thus far, the GOP hasn’t really provided one. But, it’s still early. Really early. Should be fund to watch.

  2. Those trades go up and down. Huntsman’s now at 12%. Trump’s down to 4.4%.

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