The Best “Survey”

Are you ever annoyed to see survey results reported on TV, not knowing how the questions are asked and how many people participated, etc? I am frequently annoyed because there are many ways survey results can be manipulated. You may have seen survey results that involved as few as 200 participants. Anyone who has had a basic statistics class knows that sample size, and how a question is posed, is critical. Statistics are very easily manipulated.

You may have heard Ann Coulter refer to a website called “Intrade” — There is a reason for that. It is historically accurate. It is a market of political votes. What does that mean? All “voters” on this site pay money to make their predictions. In effect, people are “putting their money where their mouths are.” On a given day, the number of trades is usually in the thousands. For example, the number of trades predicting Gingrich will be the Republican nominee reached near 15,000 predictions (for and against) in recent days and weeks.

Here is a quote from Wikipedia on Intrade: “Intrade has offered since 2002 the widest range of markets for political events, such as ‘George W. Bush to win 2004 US Presidential Election’. In the 2004 presidential election, the market favorite won the electoral vote in every state. This occurred when, even as late as election day, many pollsters and analysts were predicting a John Kerry victory. In Florida, a number of polls put Kerry ahead in that state, or said the race was too close to call. The betting markets, however, correctly and consistently showed Bush would win Florida comfortably.”

Why does “market voting” carry more clout than other surveys? The presumption is that “investors” putting money on the line possess as much information about the subject “market” as is possible. Obviously, there is no perfect way to predict future events, but people investing real money “to vote” is a much truer form of survey than anything being collected over the phone. The person answering the phone for a survey may not know anything and may not really care.

As of this writing (12/10/11 at 2:30 PST), Intrade is predicting Gingrich will be the nominee at a 32.5% probability, with Romney at a 47.4% probability. It also shows that the probability is increasing for Romney and decreasing for Gingrich.

So, when you are annoyed at all the noise coming from the pundits — spouting their predictions — just go to your favorites tab, click on and look at what the markets are predicting. And you will be far more informed than all those who are repeating the noise of the talking heads. To get a thorough understanding of how Intrade makes its predictions, click on the tab HOW IT WORKS for a complete explanation. It is a very simple, but efficient market. It is a great way to get a quick view of “the market” for Governor Romney.

About Victor Lundquist:

Victor is a businessman working in the healthcare industry. He and his wife of 33 years have five children and four grandchildren. Vic has been blogging for Mitt Romney since 2007.
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9 Responses to The Best “Survey”

  1. Brian says:

    Vic, what you’re failing to note is that earlier in November, Romney was at 70% on InTrade…he’s gone down 30 points.

  2. Susan Ralston says:

    Watch out for the “formers “of our opinions in the msmedia…they worked very hard to get rid of Romney and insert a lukewarm
    McCain in 2008 and now they’re up to no good again…because as I see it , the harder they want Gingrich the more I want Romney; a sincerely strong and likeable with a high trustability factor that we the everyday people need can identify with and count on….

  3. Graham says:


    Yeah, he was enjoying a comfortable/commanding lead there for a while. Back when Perry got in, he was bouncing around between 20 and 30. He didn’t get a real challenge until Gingrich came along, so that ate up a lot of the percentage.

    Now he’s maintaining about a 10-15 point lead over his next closest challenger, which is more realistic than the 60-point lead he had last month.

  4. zefi says:

    Cain drops in polls, numbers go to other man, both (shall I say three) of them experienced the same
    thing in the nineties . An ex adulterer in the oval office and a first lady who had an affair with a married man. Is this the kind of role model that we want our children see? Hypocracy is the buzz word here.
    Protect our children. They are not political ( pandering, expediency, etc), and they need a God fearing leader in the white house as their role model.

  5. Swamp_Yankee says:

    Honestly, intrade can be easily manipulated. The amount of money managed by a campaign dwarfs can easily manipulate that market.

  6. Abe in TX says:

    Good point, Vic. Intrade is the best guide, better than any poll.

  7. Johnny-Come-Lately says:

    Overnight, just hours after this post was published, Mitt Romney has dropped to 40.2% on Intrade, and Newt Gingrich has surged to 37.9%.

    Egg. Face.

  8. Deg says:

    Still much better for Romney than the actual national polls that are being currently published.

  9. Gary Alan Chidester says:

    Rick Perry said, “If a man cheats on his wife, he would probably cheat on his business partner.” Was he talking about Newt Gingrich? Is it true that Newt cheated on his first wife, and his third wife was a home wrecker? I’ve heard that Newt Gingrich has so much baggage, that Obama’s political crew is actually having Democrats switch over to the Republican Party, in so much as to vote for Newt in the Iowa Caucus and the early Primaries, just so they can use Newt’s baggage to bring him down before the 2012 Election. How can the majority of Americans be totally blind to what is going on? Obama’s second term is already ‘In the Bag!’ Is anybody out there? Can anybody hear my voice?