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Release: Aug. 17, 2000

IEM predict head-to-head contest for 2000 presidential race

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Contrary to current opinion polls that show George W. Bush leading in the presidential race, the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) have Al Gore and Bush in a head-to-head race approaching the November presidential election.

In the IEM, the University of Iowa's real-money market where traders buy and sell political futures, current market prices indicate that Gore will secure 48.6 percent of the popular vote while Bush will capture 49 percent, with the Reform Party candidate getting 2 percent.

According to UI accounting professor and IEM co-director Joyce Berg, the market has been predicting that the outcome of the election will be very close since mid-May. The recent Republican and Democratic conventions and the candidates' choices of running mates had no significant effect on prices.

"There's generally a sharp swing in the poll results during the conventions, but those sharp swings aren't in the IEM prices," Berg said. "To IEM traders, there was no news in the vice-presidential choices or the conventions so far that would affect the outcome of the election."

The IEM has forecasted election results with great accuracy, tracking the Democratic and Republican vote shares in the last three presidential elections within an average of less than 2 percent.

Six faculty members at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business operate the markets as a research and teaching tool. See the markets online at for the latest prices.

For more information on the IEM contact, Jeanine Alcocer, IEM Operations Manager at
(319) 335-0794.