InTrade Has Romney Inching Closer To Nomination Inevitability

Mitt Romney

Photo: Jessica Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Mitt Romney has been considered a leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination for over a year now, and as his rivals’ campaigns fizzle out, odds-makers on the betting site Intrade are starting to think a Romney win is practically guaranteed.Romney’s stock surged earlier this month when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced  that he would not join the GOP race, putting his odds of winning the nomination up over 50% for the first time. Now, just a few weeks later, and following the complete implosion of Rick Perry’s campaign, Romney’s odds of winning the party nod has risen to over 66%.

Intrade’s odds aren’t exactly scientific; they reflect the whims of gamblers betting on who will ultimately lock up the nomination. However, they do provide an interesting picture of who is rising or falling at a given time.

Mitt Romney

Intrade odds: 66.8%

Romney has consistently polled in the top tier of the GOP race. While several other candidates have surged to the front for their 15 minutes -- think Donald Trump or Michele Bachmann -- Romney has hung around. His odds of capturing the nomination have steadily climbed over the past month.

Check out the trend line:

Rick Perry

Intrade odds: 14.9%

Perry's stock plummeted after his disastrous performance in a string of early GOP debates. It's recovered modestly since then, though Perry still trails far behind Romney.

Check out the trend line:

Herman Cain

Intrade odds: 8.0%

Cain has enjoyed two boomlets this election cycle. The first came shortly after he formally rolled out his campaign. The other occurred over this month as Cain surged to the front of several GOP primary polls behind his catchy '9-9-9' tax plan and strong debate performances.

However, Cain's sudden emergence prompted a media backlash, with even conservative commentators blasting the 9-9-9 plan as misguided or deeply flawed. On top of that, Cain has stumbled through a number of serious gaffes -- such as implying that he was pro-choice, and saying he was unfamiliar with the neoconservative movement -- which have sent his stock tumbling slightly.

Here's Cain's trend line:

Newt Gingrich

Intrade odds: 3.3%

Gingrich's stock has been slowly falling for most of the year. However, Rick Perry's implosion has opened up a slim window for Gingrich, propelling him from the back to the middle of the pack in recent weeks.

Jon Huntsman

Intrade odds: 2.6%

Huntsman peaked at around 18% over the summer as he rolled out his campaign. He's since bombed in the debates and struggled to gain media attention, dropping his stock precipitously.

Ron Paul

Intrade odds: 2.5%

Paul's odds have remained strikingly consistent all year. He opened 2011 with about just over a 2% chance of winning the nomination, according to Intrade.

Michele Bachmann

Intrade odds: 1.2%

Bachmann topped out at around 18% in July. However, her campaign withered under the media spotlight, ending her brief stint as a frontrunner.

Check out the trend line for her campaign:

Rick Santorum

Intrade odds: 0.5%

Santorum has only cracked 1% on Intrade a handful of times in 2011.

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