The predictions market site Intrade now puts former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the Republican nomination at 43 percent, a rise of over 3 percentage points since Thursday’s presidential debate. Texas Governor Rick Perry’s chances are now estimated at 27.1 percent, a drop of over 17 percentage points.
Political experts see Intrade as a reliable (if imperfect) indicator of a candidate’s chances. It allows users to buy and sell shares, or “contracts,” of the likelihood of a real world political or financial event occurring, and the site has been known to predict results more accurately than polling in some races.
“I’ve always found Intrade remarkably accurate,” New York-based campaign guru Bill O’Reilly wrote on his blog last June. “It’s amazing how objective people become when money is at stake.”
Perry, whose lead in the polls has been diminishing as of late, has been widely criticized for his performance Thursday night. The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol even went so far as to say it “was close to a disqualifying two hours for him.”
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is currently the third most likely person to be the Republican 2012 nominee according to Intrade, behind only Romney and Perry. Her chances are estimated at 7.9 percent. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who insists he will not run for president, comes in fourth with 5 percent.