According to bettors on Intrade.com, the following are the probabilities that each of the top four candidates will win the Republican primary:  Romney: 85.3%, Santorum: 3.6%, Gingrich: 2.2%, Paul: 1.4%.

This morning marks approximately the halfway point of the primary season.  Specifically, 22 out of 50 states have held their primary election or caucus.  Suppose you were asked a year ago, “At the halfway point in the primary season, what would you guess will be the probability that one of the top-two candidates will be the eventually winner?”  I would have said something like 99%, and maybe something like 99.7%.

At present, this clearly is not the case.  The probability that the winning candidate won’t be one of the current top two (Romney or Santorum) is about 11%.  Perhaps more surprising, the probability that the winner won’t be one of the top four is 6.5%--about 15 to 1 odds.  The latter is a long shot, but not a huge long shot.  I’ve seen lots and lots horses with longer odds win at the track.

Some very interesting events may be in store between now and the last day of the Republican convention.

Joined
May '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

If Romney wins MS, as Rasmussen's polling suggests, that breaks him through in the South.  That's his last vulnerability...where Mormon candidates used to get clobbered.

Then, while it will go on for a while because of proportional representation, the money game difference will get the fat lady warmed up.  Donors like to know that their money is well spent.  Most don't take "flyers" on 15-1 odds by betting "the field."

Edited on March 10, 2012 at 6:33pm

Joined
Apr '11

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

Nate Silver has a great post outlining the possible futures. According to the model, there is no longer a serious chance of a candidate other than Romney winning through an unbrokered convention. For the brokered convention to be reached, Santorum needs to go up in the polls by 10%, Romney down by 10%, from Nate's predicted results. This involves Romney coming third in Hawaii, Santorum winning in Oregon, Delaware, and all sorts of other difficult results, as well as consistent big wins in more Santorum friendly places.

With today's two and a bit races in, Romney has already beaten Nate's predictions, meaning that he would have to lose even more severely in the future.

Do you think Nate's model inaccurate, or do you think that Santorum's chances of doing well enough to win Oregon are as high as 11%?

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

In American politics, anything can happen.

Joined
Apr '11

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

 Paul A. Rahe: In American politics, anything can happen. · 2 hours ago

Kansas and the islands have all had pretty surprising results today, for instance.

Joined
Oct '11

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

1.4 percent for Paul seems a little high.

Joined
May '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

I would put the odds of Romney being the nominee above 95%. But he's still not my guy and I still want to see the process continue, because if Romney is going to be the nominee, he'll be a stronger and better one for having had to learn how to fight in the hustings.

Joined
Aug '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

The only reason Mitt hasn't wrapped up the nomination yet is because of the change in primary rules from 2008, when most primaries were winner take all.

The GOP wanted to drag this thing out for whatever reason and that is exactly what is happening.  I seriously doubt anyone but Romney will be the nominee - to suggest otherwise is mere boredom masquerading as political insight.

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

"I’ve seen lots and lots horses with longer odds win at the track."

Oh, Tim, yet another way in which you're just a perfectly glorious anomaly in American academia.  In spite of holding a fancy chair at a big-time university, you're a Nascar fan...and you love a good day at the track.

Only you--and only on Ricochet.

Edited on March 11, 2012 at 2:42am

Joined
May '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

I know that we shouldn't listen to Dana Milbank.  But read him anyhoo.

They wanted an extended contest, they got it.  But I do think we should all stop watching primary election returns and go to the track.

I'm still curious for someone to tell me what perfect, heretofore neglected, perfect knight in shining armor would be drafted by the famous "brokered convention".  Maybe Bill Kristol has himself in mind, since Paul Ryan won't run?

Joined
Apr '11

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

Oh come on. Really? I just don't see there being any shift in opinion big enough to move this nomination away from Romney. I don't trust those Intrade numbers, people often make bets on the outcomes they want to see. This happens in sports all the time. You will never get die hard fans to bet against their team even when they clearly are in no position to win. I think that is what you are seeing in these probabilities for Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, the indefatigable hope of true believers tipping the odds.

Maybe a miracle will happen and some how Romney implodes, but we all know the odds are virtually zero for that. This is now a war of attrition between the last three, and Romney can just wait them all out.   He might not get the KO but Romney will win this on points when it gets to the 15th round.

Joined
May '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

Come on.  It's over.  Stop trying to be mini-Charles Foster Kanes.  You're looking exceptionally silly.

Joined
Sep '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

What would you have guessed would be the probability that none of the top candidates would have entered the race?

Joined
Feb '11

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

 liberal jim: What would you have guessed would be the probability that none of the top candidates would have entered the race?    · 5 hours ago

Brilliant, liberal jim. Thanks!

Joined
May '10

### Re: Some Things to Ponder About the Republican Primary

As I said above, who are those mnagic top candidates who are sitting this one out, but would be RR-reincarnated, both on the stump and in office?

If you are telling me that the answer is Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush (my personal favorite), or Huckabee, my answer is that they each have at least one major flaw that is at least as problematic as those of any current candidate.

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