I have a bet with my wife that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the next president.
My wife supports her position by pointing to the strong negatives Clinton elicits from a substantial fraction of those polled.
I support my position with three arguments.
First, the "market forecast" makes Clinton the front-runner among candidates for the Democratic nomination and makes the 2008 race a toss-up between the Democratic and Republican candidates. Check out the current betting at tradesports.com (go to the category Politics and then the sub-category 2008 U.S. elections).
Second, consider the following "electoral math." To a first approximation, red states are red and blue states are blue. That means the electoral outcome in 2008 is likely to approximate the outcomes in 2000 and 2004. New York and California will go for the Democrat regardless. Texas will go for the Republican. And so on.
So Clinton needs to change the outcome in only one or two large swing states to pull off a victory in the electoral college, even if she does not win the popular vote. Al Gore would have been president had he won Florida in 2000. John Kerry would have been president had he won Ohio in 2008.
Third, none of the Republican wannabes will be a compelling candidate. John McCain (the front-runner according to tradesports) is a flaming lefty on a few issues but a hard-core conservative on others. The voting public will find that confusing, and the conservative base of the Republican party will not embrace him with enthusiasm. Giuliani has similar problems. Romney and Allen are still relative unknowns.
So, Clinton is virtually a lock.
Note, however, that the stakes in my bet consisted of all my wealth against all of my wife's. When she suggested I agree to make the bed every day for a month if Clinton does not win, I passed.