I like using Intrade's gambling site for politics mostly because because it works in odds, like the Daily Racing Form. It's weird that Romney surrogates are now touting Intrade as more reliable than scientific polling because its not.
It's Easy to Manipulate
We're not talking about a Las Vegas book here. Intrade is a small operation with low volumes of cash flowing. If you are willing to throw $20,000 a day at an Intrade bet you can pump up the odds. In horse racing the term is "pool manipulation." If Romney's camp are touting Intrade you can bet they are doing this, it's cheaper than a Detroit media buy.
Betting Is Not Favoring
Intrade has a betting line whether the US or Israel will start a war with Iran. The current odds are better than 2 to 1. While some may be betting on it because they want another war (John Bolton) most, probably, don't. Just because you love UCLA doesn't mean you won't bet on Kentucky to beat them. People can bet that Romney will win the nomination because of his bottomless pit of money and sleazy campaign tactics without wanting it to happen.
Intrade Show Romney Declining
Mitt's current odds are 1 to 3 to get the nomination. Just one month ago he was a 1 to 10 favorite. Santorum is currently 5 to 1, up from 99 to 1 last month.
Intrade, right now, is probably close to correct. Mitt's chance of becoming President was 1.3 to 1 in January and is just 2.3 to 1 today (Santorum is 17 to 1). Barack Obama's chances of reelection are up from a 9 to 10 favorite last month to a prohibitive 2 to 3 betting choice today.