The race tightens

More signs of a close contest come November: The online political futures market is adjusting to a tighter Bush-Kerry race in more post-debate polls, reports economic research outfit Informa Global Markets. Bush’s odds for re-election on Intrade have slipped to 60%, vs. nearly 70% before the first presidential debate. Likewise, the Bush winner-take-all contract on Iowa’s electronic market has fallen to 57% from around 74% odds before the debate--but still ahead of Kerry’s contract at 42%. Of course, with just under a month to go, the remaining Presidential debates carry greater weight. The first debate drew some 62 million viewers--34% more than the first debate in the 2000 election and the highest total since 1992. The next presidential debate is Friday, Oct. 8, right at the start of a long holiday weekend, and Informa notes there is some talk of fewer viewers as a result. But don’t count on public access TV-style ratings: Informa says the last debate on a Friday was back in 1976, and it still drew a decent audience.

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