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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Presidential' Market Bets On Clinton

WASHINGTON -- In the world of frozen pork bellies and oil futures, President Bill Clinton is a lock.

Since January, Clinton's worth has more than doubled on the "presidential futures" market, a meshing of politics, economics and technology developed by Iowa University's school of business administration.

The Iowa Electronic Market, or IEM, turns candidates into commodities and voters into investors. Election Day may still be three weeks away, but in this cyberspace futures market, where investors speculate on the popular-vote presidential winner, Clinton shares show no sign of decline.

In a reversal of their starting positions, Clinton currently averages 87 cents a share in the Presidential Winner-Take-All Market, while Bob Dole, listed only as "Republican candidate" has sunk to 13 cents. If Clinton wins, his investors will get $1 for each share -- not bad for anyone who bought a Clinton share at 30 cents two years ago.

Introduced during the 1988 presidential elections, the IEM has demonstrated the dynamics of futures trading for students. It was even applied to the recent Russian presidential elections.

The market has also drawn increasing attention -- 6,800 investors have equity worth $190,000.

California investor and statistician Neil Crellin said, "It's a real market using real money; you have to be a realist. My actual political views play a minimal role in how I invest, because if I invested in my beliefs, I'd lose a lot of money."