Chart of the day: Did McCain ever have a chance?
This morning, I moseyed over to Iowa Electronic Markets to see what the futures markets were saying about tomorrow’s election. (If you’re not familiar with IEM in particular, or prediction markets in general, click here or here.)
Not surprisingly, people investing real money in election futures contracts give Barack Obama a whopping 90% chance of victory tomorrow.
What’s more surprising, though, is the chart depicting contract prices over the last 2+ years. Take a look at it below and click it so you can see it fully. The vertical axis is price, which is essentially proxy for likelihood of victory. The horizontal axis is time. Red shows the Republican candidate, Blue the Democratic candidate.
Since June 2006, well before the particular candidates were even selected, the futures markets have never predicted a Republican victory in the 2008 presidential race. Never. The two lines get close a couple of times. But for the last 29 months, the collective intelligence of thousands of investors have always put blue on top — again, regardless of the Democratic or Republican nominee.
In the next few weeks, we’ll likely hear people bash John McCain for having been a lousy candidate and having run a stumbling campaign. But if we look through a different lens, we might glimpse an alternative conclusion: Maybe the poor guy never had a chance.