Since my crystal ball was bit cloudy, and since I'm a big believer in the power of gambling prediction markets, I bopped over to Intrade to check the betting on the 2008 race. Which helped polish up the old crystal ball:

  1. GOP nomination: Rudy and Fred are basically tied at the moment. Romney's third but well back. My take: Dog lovers will keep Mitt from winning. I like Fred. I think we did pretty good the last time we elected an actor President. But for most people, Thompson is more a Rorschach ink blot than a candidate. He'll blow up in the stretch. Rudy wins nomination. Dobsonites stay home en masse.
  2. Democratic nomination: Hillary is running away with it (the last price on her contract was 54). Sounds right to me.
  3. General election: The Democratic candidate is expected to win (last price was 56.6). Not that I would ever engage in any illegal activity, of course, but I'd probably buy a few contracts at that price if I were a betting man. Third party candidates could mess up key electoral college states, however. Suppose Nader and Bloomberg are both on the ballot. Do states like NY and California tip red? Would Florida go blue? This may be a case for betting on the starting price rather than ante post odds.
  4. House: The Democrats are expected to retain control (last price was 81+). No way the GOP gets control back this year, especially given the way donations are breaking. But given how high the Democratic contract is right now, I might take a flyer on a cheap GOP wins contract in hopes that Tom Delay's legacy of gerrymandering will come through.
  5. Senate: The Democrats retain control contract's last price was 78.5. There's no gerrymandering on this side of the Capitol, of course. No bet.

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