Many seem mesmerized with the idea of political betting markets. Intrade.com offers odds on most political issues. Often you will see them cited, "the betting markets" expect...
They shouldn't get any creditibility. The "line" is always conventional wisdom.
Whem Martha Coakley was up 30 points in the race to replace Ted Kennedy in the senate, Intrade was extremely bullish on her and Scott Brown was a long, long shot.
When healthcare passed both houses, likewise. Now healthcare is in the 30's.
Intrade would have some value if the market came to different conclusions than an average person. This would show superior knowledge or conviction.
For example, imagine right now if the intrade betting line showed healthcare at 85% to pass, while the CW is what it is today? If they turned out to be right, then that would be a story.
But to be a reflection of the news cycle is not a market, it's gambling. It is degenerates wasting money.
Imagine with Coakley up 30 points, and no sign of any Republican hope in Mass., Intrade had the line at Coakley 52%?
Intrade's value is just to understand what the masses think today. On some issues, it could be interesting. I just haven't found them yet.