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"In a match race between two horses over a course of one-and-a-quarter miles, a lot of things can go suddenly wrong.
Four years later, both Obama and Mitt Romney are heavily vested – each campaign employs more than 100 mathematicians and data scientists – in using data analysis to target and persuade voters.
So while Romney may lead in the polls, and he may have flipped a number of other key states -- such as Florida, Virginia, Colorado -- to his side of the ledger, our markets appear to believe that without Ohio he can't get it done." Strumpf adds: "I think the big message in this election cycle is that polls are giving conflicting answers, and unless you are willing to look at several state-level polls, it is hard to make sense of it all.
The prediction markets like Intrade cut through all this and give us a single number to focus on." Still, the consensus among gamblers isn't as strong as in the last two elections.
Oddschecker shows bookmakers to be even more bullish on Obama. "The answer highlights one of the main differences between the polls and markets like Intrade," Intrade's exchange operations manager Carl Wolfenden told me.
"The polls ask who you're going to vote for -- a question that requires an emotional response.