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Immigration Restrictionists Lead Electability of Both Parties
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November 15, 2007, 04:44 PM
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Recently, I checked the market odds at the Irish betting market Intrade.

Now, I looked at the odds of each major candidate getting their party`s nomination vs. getting the presidency. What is striking here is that Al Gore is the most electable candidate the Democrats have—by far. Ron Paul leads the pack of Republican hopefuls:

CandidateNomination OddsElection OddsElectability
Clinton71.045.564.1%
Obama16.98.147.9%
Gore3.43.4100%
Edwards5.52.240%
Giuliani41.216.640.3%
Romney30.711.136.2%
Paul8.13.543.2%
McCain7.02.738.6%
Thompson6.22.641.9%
Huckabee7.12.940.8%

The odds of nomination and the odds of getting the presidency are both from active, real money markets that continually change. This technique has been shown to be better for predicting election results than polls. I got the "electability" measure by dividing the odds of getting the presidency by the odds of getting the nomination for each candidate. If we assume that none of these candidates would make a third party run, that is a pretty good indicator on how well each might do if they got the nomination.(This class of analysis is similar to Bayesian probability).

What do Al Gore and Ron Paul both have in common? Well ,they are both rather skeptical about the war in Iraq—and have a track record of both being cool on immigration relative to other serious candidates. (When Gore was a Senator from the state of Tennessee, he had an A- record on immigration. Thompson, as a Republican from the same state, got a C.)

Paul, of course, is an active candidate who raised $4.2 Million in his last major funding event—and will likely raise twice that amount in December during his Boston Tea Party event. The odds say that we are much more likely to see a Ron Paul candidacy than a Gore candidacy.

What the odds here also say in concrete terms, is that Ron Paul is the most electable major Republican candidate. This isn`t my opinion—or that of any one person. It is the evidence presented by a reputable, active, real money market. If folks think that market is wrong—they can place bets and make money. What is required now is that the masses of the Republican party be awakened to the fact of Ron Paul`s electability. We can fully expect to see some humiliating defeats for McCain in the not so distant future. McCain was supposed to be the electable candidate—but he has shown himself to be neither electable in a general election nor capable of getting his party`s nomination. If folks understand that Paul is the electable candidate, those people-and their money will have someplace to go.

Now, there are people in the Republican party who are deeply concerned about whether their candidate will be elected. Those folks generally don`t know it, but they should be supporting Ron Paul. Once McCain and Thompson are out of the way, they`ll have a choice between a candidate who may be greeted by his children making nomination speeches at the Democratic National convention and a man with a long family history of polygamy who denies his personal interest in that topic—both of whom are relatively non-electable—and a man with a serious track record of ideological integrity who has a more serious shot at getting the presidency.

One thing missing here: is an analysis of how the nomination of different candidates might impact the nomination of other candidates. I tend to think that a "Draft Gore" movement in the Democratic party becomes far more likely if Paul gets the nomination-because it is only then the Democrats will feel the need to actually do significant work to get their candidate elected.

I don`t think that Paul has really thought the immigration issue through yet. Likewise, I don`t think he`s fully thought through what he`ll do if his policies have rather different effects than he`s hoping for. Still, there is hope on that front—and right now, we have a country and a world that desperately need a little hope.