Comments on elections

Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 11:28:44 MST

Today, November 7, is the U.S. Presidential election. A couple of

The Iowa Electronic Markets are real-money futures market where
players can bet on which candidate will win, shares of the vote, and
related issues in a number of races,
This morning's odds show Bush with a 70% chance of winning.
This figure has been stable over the past week. See the graph at

(Actually this market is just for which candidate wins the popular
vote totals. Some have predicted that Bush could win the popular vote
while Gore could end up as President via the electoral college.)

The other point I've noted is that Libertarian candidate Harry Browne has
been getting far more attention this time than in 96. I've seen him on
TV several times in recent weeks, and he's been mentioned in a number of
national polls. The LA Times ran a voter's guide last week and they had
five equal-size columns summarizing Presidential candidate positions,
for Bush, Gore, Nader, Buchanan and Brown. Squeezed in at the bottom
were Phillips and Hagelin. But Browne was up there with the "big boys".

Apparently Browne has actually been slightly ahead of Buchanan in some
national polls. Since the media have (in their group-think way) decided
that Buchanan is a respectable national candidate (of course he is a
media pundit himself), they are somewhat obligated to mention Browne.

I think also that Nader is helping too, by making low-polling third party
candidates more credible. He is a well known figure and probably the
most attractive ideologically for many in the media, plus his "spoiler"
role in some states has helped him get coverage. Given that Browne and
Buchanan are not that far below Nader (1% to his 5% or so), the light
cast on Nader gets reflected on the others somewhat.


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