Here come the elections: Taiwan

The country has its own prediction market and these are the current forecasts. 未來事件交易所目前對2012年總統選舉預測. The green line is the opposition DPP candidate, the blue the ruling KMT candidate, and the orange a third party candidate from the PFP.

If you want to see more contracts, they break things out to the city level and much more. Here's the link to the xFutures Exchange. Coverage of the presidential race is here. An English blog post explaining the exchange can be found here: The Exchange Of Future Events. (I'm also adding their blog to the Daily Reads on the right, at least until the election is over.) Polls still have the Guomindang (KMT) candidate Ma in the lead, but the prediction markets have the Democratic People's Party (DPP) candidate Tsai in the lead. A third party candidate has jumped in the race, Soong, and he may pull more from Ma or end up being neutral.

In case you have not followed Taiwan politics, the Communist party in China much prefers the KMT to the DPP and relations have warmed over the past 4 years. Social mood predicts both a loss for the incumbent party and a turn inwards by people and nations. The DPP has opposed teaching Chinese history in favor of Taiwan history. In earlier elections it also captured younger voters, which also works in the DPP's favor. It's not purely demographics though, it's related to the history. The KMT draws support from many people who fled Mainland China and have direct ties, whereas the youth feel a greater Taiwan identity.

Leaving Taiwan to check on the U.S., Obama is still way down in the polls, but isn't this headline surprising? Ron Paul’s 19 percent in Iowa may indicate a path to the nomination. Ron Paul still has a small chance of winning, but social mood makes it possible that a candidate intentionally ignored by the media and ridiculed by the elite of his own party stands a shot at winning the first caucus of 2012.

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