Wall Street starts shorting Romney futures

By Xavier Bremner

Cable TV political pundits are dicing and splicing polling data, critiquing stump speeches and generally bloviating endlessly about every scrap of information related to the U.S. presidential race. Right now, national polls generally give President Obama a 4 to 5 point edge, though Republican candidate Mitt Romney certainly could still turn things around by November.

So how does the generally pro-Republican Wall Street crowd view the race? Bespoke Investment Group just published two poll and the results are illuminating. In the first, 52% of the 445 respondents surveyed say they plan to vote for Romney.  However, in the second canvassing of 410 users, some 71% predicted that Obama will get a second term.

Meanwhile, traders wagering on the online prediction market Intrade think there is a 75.7% chance (as of early afternoon on Sept. 27) that Obama will win.  Romney supporters take heart: Intrade investors failed to predict that the Supreme Court would uphold ObamaCare. So this is no sure thing.

This post from Politico suggests that Wall Street financiers and CEOs are starting to do contingency planning in case Romney comes up short.  “It looks right now like it’s probably going to be Obama, so you have to start planning for that, even if it’s not what you would prefer,” Politico quotes one CEO anonymously as saying.