To the investors on Intrade, there was little question who came away from Wednesday night's presidential debate on top: Mitt Romney.
Intrade is a prediction market that allows investors to wager on the outcome of events. In this case: the presidential election. (Watch video: The debate in 99 seconds)
Earlier this week, the site's users placed the odds that President Obama would win re-election as high as 79%. Just before the debate began, the odds were at 74%. But in the minutes after the debate finished, the index showed Obama's numbers had fallen to 68.9%. An hour later, the odds had dropped further, to 67%. And by 10 a.m. Thursday, they were down to 66.1%.
Intrade's odds of Obama's re-election fell nearly 8 percentage points since the open of trading Thursday. That's the biggest daily drop for the Obama during this election cycle. The next biggest decline came on Aug. 20, 2011, but that was only a 2.7-point decline. That drop came two weeks after Standard & Poor's had downgraded the U.S. credit rating, prompting a sharp slide in U.S. stock prices.
The numbers may well change as more trades come in, but the figures suggest Romney improved his chances of capturing the White House. Of course, there is a long way to go, and at least two more presidential debates, before Election Day.
Intrade works by letting users swap contracts on events with a yes or no outcome. President Obama will win reelection, or he won't. A correct prediction moves the value of a contract to $10. A miss leaves you with $0.
But Intrade isn't just about betting. Its users are -- taken together -- shockingly good at correctly forecasting election results. Intrade bettors correctly picked the winner of every single state during the 2004 presidential election. In 2008, they missed two -- wrongly calling Indiana for John McCain and Missouri for Barack Obama.
And that is way, way more accurate than most single polls -- to say nothing of the predictions offered by the professional pundit class.
Related: CNN's full coverage of the debate
Despite a wave of disappointing economic reports, President Obama is still likely to top Mitt Romney on Election Day, according to the latest forecast from Moody's Analytics.
According to the model, which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data, Obama is on track to capture 303 electoral votes. (270 are required for victory.)
Moody's is predicting that Obama will win several important battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado and MORECharles Riley - Oct 2, 2012 8:24 AM ET
President Obama's re-election chances rose in July on stronger employment data, according to an election forecasting model created by Moody's Analytics.
The group's model -- which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data -- currently predicts that Obama will capture 303 electoral votes and another term.
Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger, is projected to win 25 states and 235 electoral votes. Romney's chances had improved in recent MORECharles Riley - Aug 23, 2012 12:14 PM ET
Mitt Romney is gaining ground in key swing states, according to the latest election forecast from Moody's Analytics.
The group's model -- which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data -- shows that Romney's chances improved last month in seven of the 10 swing states that Moody's currently forecasts will be won by President Obama in November.
But Romney's positive momentum was not enough to change any MORECharles Riley - Jul 26, 2012 2:08 PM ET
President Obama is still on track for an electoral victory this November, according to a forecasting model produced by Moody's Analytics.
But his advantage over Mitt Romney is narrowing. According to the model, which produces a state-by-state prediction based in part on the latest economic data, Obama is on track to capture 303 electoral votes.
That's more than the 270 required for victory, but if economic growth slows further, the model could MORECharles Riley - Jun 29, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Mitt Romney told our friends at TIME on Wednesday that he will get the unemployment rate to 6% by the end of his first term. (CNNMoney and TIME are both owned by Time Warner.)
"Over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower," Romney said. "It depends in part upon MORECharles Riley - May 23, 2012 3:22 PM ET
What is the average American to think of private equity?
The industry, which used to never get mentioned in the pages of political rags or on talk shows, is well on its way to becoming a campaign touchstone.
Just this week, President Obama declared private equity a legitimate campaign target. His campaign released a two minute ad focused on Bain Capital's takeover of Kansas City-based GST Steel. Vice President Joe Biden added MORECharles Riley - May 23, 2012 12:24 PM ET
President Obama has made one thing very clear: He will be talking about Bain Capital a lot between now and Election Day.
"This is what this campaign is going to be about," Obama said Monday after drawing a distinction between what Mitt Romney did as CEO of Bain Capital and what is expected of a president.
Obama's comments came at an unlikely venue -- a NATO summit, of all things. But they MORECharles Riley - May 22, 2012 3:33 PM ET
President Obama has a super PAC problem.
After outspending Sen. John McCain by a wide margin in 2008, the incumbent president is in danger of losing the 2012 money race to Mitt Romney.
Of course it's early, and Obama has a powerful fundraising machine. But the balance of power may well be upset as Republican super PACs have brought in much more money than pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.
That group, which MORECharles Riley - May 21, 2012 11:39 AM ET
After winning primary votes in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island on Tuesday night, Mitt Romney bid adieu to his Republican opponents and turned his attention to President Obama and the general election.
In his victory speech, Romney argued that the president's economic policies have failed, and invoked Ronald Reagan's famous query to voters: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Here's what Romney said:
Four years MORECharles Riley - Apr 25, 2012 12:09 PM ET
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