Odds of Romney Picking Paul Ryan as VP Double in Political Betting Market

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Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is soaring to the top of the pack for Mitt Romney's possible vice presidential pick on the political betting market Intrade .

Over the past 24 hours the probability that Romney will pick Ryan has doubled on the trading site, from 12.7 percent at the close of trading on Thursday to 24.1 percent at noon on Friday. On ABC's Political Stock Market, which analyzes social mentions and search data, Ryan has shot up 3 points in the past month, surpassing all other Veepstakes contenders except Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

The number of people pouring their money into the Wisconsin Republican has shot up as well, with more than 5,400 people placing their bets on Ryan Thursday. Prior to this week, no more than 2,045 bets had ever been placed on Ryan in one day.

Ryan's recent jump puts him in the No.2 spot behind Portman as the most likely person Romney will pick as his running mate, according to bettors on the Ireland-based Intrade market, most of whom are from within the United States.

As Ryan's chances soared on the market, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's probability plummeted this week. The likelihood that Romney would pick Pawlenty, who has been a frequent feature on the Romney campaign trail , fell from 25 percent last Friday to 17 percent today.

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The recent uptick in Ryan's chances on the Intrade market comes as conservatives and editorial pages speckle the airwaves with glowing reviews of the House Budget Committee chairman. The Wall Street Journal editorial page praised Ryan as one of the "the GOP's new generation of reformers" and compared him to Republican hero Ronald Reagan.

Ryan gained national notoriety for authoring a budget plan , dubbed the "Path to Prosperity," that cuts spending by $3.5 trillion over 10 years. His deep budget cuts and deficit reduction plans earned him the hearts of many Republicans and the ire of Democrats.

In an MSNBC interview on Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich touted Ryan as the "smartest strategic thinker" in the House.

"This is a guy who has thought deeply about the reshaping of the American government to make it affordable at a level that is really pretty courageous," Gingrich told Chris Matthews.