The next US President will be. . . .

Don’t get caught off guard like Mitt Romney did in the last US Presidential election. “Why was Romney so surprised that he lost?” This article is representative of his shock. . . .

Mitt and his campaign managers neglected (or didn’t believe) one particular website that would have clued them in — they could have avoided what they called a “sucker punch.”

The revelation that he had no chance to win even six months before the election may have been sad news for Mitt Romney, but it would have been good information for anyone who didn’t want to throw away their money by donating to a losing campaign.

Intrade was the website. It allowed people to bet on the outcomes of the US elections. Unlike the random election polls conducted over the phone and at the polling booths on election night, Intrade’s results were based on people who put real money on the line. If they lost, they lost big.

Intrade also had another advantage: much larger sample sizes. This results in more accurate statistics and smaller margins of error.

With the exception of a few brief instances, Romney was never the favored winner. You can perform a Google Intrade image search and find archived screenshots of the odds graphs over time:

Google Intrade Presidential Election 2012 image search

Unfortunately, Intrade was shut down after the election. It correctly predicted all but two electoral outcomes:

Fortunately for us, though, there remain options available. One is Ladbrokes:

There are others.

So, who’s going to win the 2016 Presidential election?

The private markets have been marching in solidarity for some time now: Hillary Clinton.

In these matters, I trust the law of large numbers and the wisdom of crowds. I don’t share their enthusiasm for gambling — a zero-sum activity that transfers wealth instead of creating it — but I trust their wisdom when it comes to putting real money on the line.

It saves me time. And emotional exasperation. It means I spend less time talking about, and worrying about, things beyond my control. That means more time focusing on things that are within my control.

Maybe the people who gamble on these outcomes can help you, too. If you don’t trust them now, reserve judgment until after the election. See if they were right. Then make a decision.

What do you think?