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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 8, 2006

IEM Trading Continues Until Virginia, Montana Senate Races Decided

The 2006 political markets on the University of Iowa's Iowa Electronic Markets will remain open for trading until the U.S. Senate races in Virginia and Montana are decided.

The IEM's Congressional Control market and Senate Control market are both still undecided because the Montana and Virginia seats are too close to call. While the Democratic candidates lead in both, their margins are razor-thin and recounts are likely. Should the Democrat candidates maintain their leads, the Republicans will lose control of the Senate. If the Republican candidate wins one of them, that party will maintain control of the Senate.

"Two of our political markets - the Congressional Control market and Senate Control Market - can't be determined until we know who controls the Senate," said Tom Rietz, a professor of finance in the UI's Tippie College of Business and one of the IEM's managers. "Until we know that, we'll keep the markets open."

They could be open for a while. Virginia law doesn't allow for a recount until the vote has been certified, which won't happen this year until Nov. 27. Results of the recount may not be known until December.

Meanwhile, the outcome had little effect on expectations of IEM traders for the 2008 presidential election. The last trade prices in the Presidential Election Winner-Takes-All market placed the probability of a Democrat winning the 2008 popular vote at 56 percent on Monday evening and 55 percent on Tuesday evening.

To see the latest prices on the IEM's political markets, visit the IEM Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,