And now – the winner

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Continuing my Intrade interpretations. They are based solely on the predictions of the Intrade markets. Prediction markets, in my view, are the single best source of information available to the average person as to the likely political outcomes. They impound all the many idiosyncratic sources of polling and other data that are continually being generated. They also reflect the volatility inherent in politics. Today’s predictions can quickly become outmoded as new information arrives about how people may vote.

The Iowa caucuses provided new electoral information to the markets.

On the Republican side, McCain is far and away the clear gainer. He stands at 70.0 in the NH primary now (a big jump), while Romney, from the neighboring Massachusetts, dropped sharply to 24.3. We know that McCain got the boost also because he now leads in the Rep. Presidential nominee category with the big loser there being Romney.

So McCain is the “winner” and Romney the “loser” in terms of going ahead.

On the Dem. side, there are only two contenders: Clinton and Obama. Clinton dropped sharply and Obama gained sharply, with Clinton maintaining her lead (54 to Obama’s 43.)

It doesn’t matter much which of the two the Democrats nominate. Either of them is still running much stronger as ultimate Presidential winner than McCain. The Democrats still appear slated to win the 2008 Presidential derby. Therefore, at this time it is a Republican error to nominate McCain.

Huckabee has gotten a boost and stabilized his fortunes. This shows up in Field gaining in South Carolina. Is this the evangelical vote? Could be.

While Paul got 10% of the Iowa vote, he has once again retreated to the area of 5% (or 19-1 odds for being nominated.) He needs to regroup if he is going to vault higher. The Iowa election dealt him a blow but not a fatal blow.

Now for my own opinions:

My advice to Paul is to take direct aim at McCain. Sharpen the differences between the two camps. Show how McCain is a loser against either Clinton or Obama.

Emphasize strongly that the electorate is aiming to pick Clinton or Obama at present (this is very clear!) Then sell yourself as the only Republican who has a chance to beat them by mobilizing both young people and independents and democrats.

Republicans want to win elections, but they have lost their libertarian soul and gained a harmful war-supporting evangelical component. They must be steered away from their instinctive support of people like Huckabee and McCain and toward a more strategic view of who can beat Clinton and Obama. In a sense, go above the heads of the Republican primary voter to the general electorate.

What positions should be emphasized that will resonate with the public? Make every effort to find out, and then focus on no more than three of these issues, such as (1) ending the Iraq War and avoiding other such debacles, (2) putting the economy in order and taking down the horrendous government debt, (3) avoiding the coming crash of Medicare and bringing great medical advancements by freeing up the health care system. I do not know what these issues are, I am guessing, but any successful politician has to find and stress them.

It matters a great deal how these issues are framed. The public at one time responded strongly to debt reduction, even though the key issues there are to reduce the spending and rationalize the banking system. Tax reduction tied to military spending reduction is a good one too.

9:28 am on January 4, 2008