People who know seem to be fairly certain that prediction markets – in which people are putting money where their opinions are – are pretty accurate. The example often given is Intrade’s persistent prediction that Bush would win in 2004, even while the polls were showing Kerry. Intrade even predicted the anointment (is that the right word?) of Cardinal Ratzinger as the Pope. It predicted Palin as VP, as well.
So why does mainstream media, at least in Britain, so rarely refer to prediction markets? I’ve just finished reading Dan Kennedy on the media’s negative reaction to John McCain’s awful speech last night, and nowhere in it does he mention a very salient fact – that after the speech, Intrade’s price for McCain becoming president increased significantly, while Obama declined.
Can’t find a mention of that anywhere today, but it’s interesting, no?