The wagerers at Intrade agree with my assessment that the rise of Herman Cain's candidacy (combined with the collapse of Rick Perry's) is the best news yet for Mitt Romney's candidacy. He had hovered in the 30-35% range on the probability of winning the Republican nomination until the last month; now he's given a 67% chance. Perry, who for a brief period was seen as having a better chance of winning the nod, still has second highest at 14%, Cain is at 8%, and the others are quoted at less than 5%.
In terms of the Presidency, President Obama's chances of winning the 2012 election are rated at 47%, while the Republican nominee, whoever it will be, is at 49.5%. Romney is granted a 34% chance of becoming the 45th President. Perry quotes at 7%, Cain at 4%, and none of the others are even close to that.
The betting is leaning heavily toward the view that each house of Congress will have a Republican majority: 77% for the House of Representatives, and 75% for the Senate. I am less convinced about this than the majority of Intrade wagerers seem to be, but more on this later. In what will surely be one of the highlighted races next year, Scott Brown's chances of holding his Massachusetts Senate seat for the Republicans next year has fallen sharply, from 65% to 35%, since the entry into the race of his nemesis, Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Finally, on the Republican VP nominee, Marco Rubio leads the betting, but only at 27%--Cain is second at 8%. Rubio's chances are the only one of those I've named here that I'd actually bet on--even, from the point of gambling investment, Barack Obama's.