Shortly after the debate ended, mainstream media exploded with their “expert” opinions on who won the debate. Most outlets claimed that Mitt Romney won the debate with his combative style that he adopted in the two debates in Florida last month. We demonstrated with data that this style did indeed help Romney in the Florida debates, but how did his strategy fair in last night’s debate? Did he actually win the debate?
Notice that Mitt Romney had the largest increase in his Intrade price. His probability of winning the presidency increased by 2% as a result of his performance in last night’s debate. On the surface it appears his strategy worked again.
Newt Gingrich had no net change in his price during the debate indicating that Intrade users felt that his debate performance had a neutral effect on his chances of winning the presidency.
Rick Santorum’s Intrade price plummeted in the debate. His debate performance decreased his probability of winning the presidency by 1.2%.
One interesting thing to note is that Barack Obama’s Intrade price increased during the debate. This is highly interesting considering Intrade fluctuations from February 1st to February 19th. Note, also, that Barack Obama’s performance isn’t typically analyzed in debates he did not participate in by many media outlets. But people’s perceptions of how likely he is to become president are always fluctuating based on events such as these debates. Please take note of the graph below. The left vertical axis (primary axis) shows Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s Intrade prices. The right vertical axis (secondary axis) shows Rick Santorum’s Intrade price. Santorum was given a secondary axis to better illustrate his surge.
So how can an increase in Romney’s price occur simultaneously with an increase in Obama’s price? Some reasons we can think of include:
We don’t know causality but can certainly identify the correlations. You decide the causality.
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