Eighteen minutes in, markets abandon Santorum

David Rothschild
The Signal

Just 18 minutes after voting began in Iowa's 99 counties at 8 PM ET, participants in the prediction markets began dumping Rick Santorum shares in droves. The vast majority of them threw in their lot with Ron Paul instead as the preferred Not-Romney candidate. Paul's market share has continued to climb since, enjoying a second surge shortly before 9:00 PM ET as both entrance polls and preliminary results trickled in, pushing him ahead of Romney into first place.

Source: Betfair and Intrade. All data is ET.

But don't count Santorum out yet. His support is spiking up and down like an EKG, and as those playing the markets glue themselves to the broadcasts just like the rest of us, they may heed the present three-way dead heat and give the former Pennsylvania senator another look. Stay tuned!

Follow along on PredictWise for the real-time likelihood of the presidential election, the Republican nomination, and the specific primary contests.

David Rothschild is an economist at Yahoo! Research. He has a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation is in creating aggregated forecasts from individual-level information. Follow him on Twitter @DavMicRot and email him at thesignal@yahoo-inc.com.