Nate Silver does a very thorough analysis of all the 2012 Republican contenders (Iowa Caucus is only a year away) and puts it all in a cool graph to boot!
Well worth a read. The size of the circles represent the chances of winning the nomination based on current trading prices at InTrade. I’m not sure if there’s a way to make money off the fact that people are willing to give Michelle Bachman and Newt Gingrich (and Donald Trump?!) among others, non-zero chances of winning, but if there are, you might want to get on that. Actually, the most money to be made might be off of Daniels or Huntsman, who I’m thinking might actually make the better presidents out of this group but are clearly to liberal to ever win over the Republican primary electorate. In fact, my thinking has been for a while that anybody sane and centrist enough to beat Obama– in an election not-entirely determined by the state of the economy (i.e., if its bad enough, even Michelle Bachman could beat him– though we might be living in caves if it’s that bad)– is very likely to sane and centrist to win the Republican nomination. A number of bloggers have also been noting how unusual it is that not a single Republican has actually officially declared just a year out from Iowa. I do think there may be something to the fact that the smartest of the potential future Republican presidents realize their best chance is in 2016.
Oh, actually there is a really easy way to make money off this– buy contracts on Romney, Huckabee, Palin, Pawlenty, and Thune (the only one’s I see having any actual chance). The total will be well under a dollar, but the likelihood of one of this group being the nominee is pretty damn close to 100 in my opinion. Time to set up my intrade account, I guess.
UPDATE: I did just go to Intrade. Worth mentioning, that the US anti-gambling rules are really annoying. You cannot even set up an Intrade account via credit card– need to send a check to Ireland.