Prague Twin

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Money Where Your Mouth Is

One of the things I like to follow is the selling of contracts on political events. While people were haggling about whether or not the Democrats would take the Congress in '06, I was following the odds makers and was confident that they would, in fact, take the Congress because rarely are the players that wrong. Now, one could have made a pretty penny on the Democrats taking the Senate, because that did surprise almost everyone, I think. The true believers got well.

So if you are interested, go to Intrade and have a look at both primaries and of course the general election. The number you see next to the candidate's name is the amount in cents you would have to pay to get a $1 return. Bid are contracts that people are trying to buy, and offer are contracts that people are trying to sell, so if you want to bet on a candidate, look at the offer price. If you want to bet against a candidate, look at the bid price. It is also possible to "job" the market by bidding or offering within the spread. It is likely that your bid or offer would be settled relatively quickly if you did that. Also, you can click on a candiates name to get the historical price of the contracts.

You will notice that Clinton is the hands-down favorite for both the primary and the general election. You can get just barely over 2 to 1 for her to win the primary, but Obama is a reasonably close second at just over 3 to 1. Incidentally, while Giuliani is the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination, the current odds of that are about the same as Obama's odds of winning the Democratic nomination. So the Republican primary is way more wide open than its Democratic counterpart.

Another interesting tidbit is that Obama currently holds better odds of winning the general election than does Giuliani.

Finally, for all of you out there who think Edwards has a chance to win the primary, you can buy a $1 contract today for only 8.3 cents. I say to you: put your money where your mouth is.


  • Great, the suspense is over. It'll be Pres. Hillary and VP Obama after they trounce Rudy :)

    Interesting site. Funny how this kind of prediction is often more accurate than all the political pundits and columnists.

    By Anonymous Tom Harper, at 8:52 PM  

  • You've hit upon my point precisely Tom.

    The markets are much better indicators of reality than, well, anything. That is why I trust them.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:55 AM  

  • I say to you: put your money where your mouth is.

    On Edwards? Not a chance, and I didn't need a bookie to tell me that. ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:08 AM  

  • Ah, finally a lefty with some common sense. I like that.

    Thanks Kvatch.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:19 AM  

  • I don't think Edwards has a chance. It's between Clinton and Obama with a slight chance for Gore if he decided to enter.

    I'm not sure HRC is the foregone conclusion however. It's early yet, no matter what the gamblers are saying. I wonder who led the race early on in 2003? Probably wasn't Kerry.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 1:40 PM  

  • Ooops. Did I say "lefty". I really shouldnt post when Ive been drinking.


    Indeed good points all around. I don't think Clinton is a shoe in at all, but she is the favorite.

    Gore is favored only slightly over Edwards. Who was the favorite in 2003 anyway?

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 3:05 PM  

  • praguetwin, you wrote:

    "You will notice that Clinton is the hands-down favorite for both the primary and the general election."

    She's likely to win the nomination. But if you want to make some money on the outcome of the presidential election, bet against Hillary, if she's the Democratic candidate.

    She's likely to pull in as many votes as John Kerry, which is not enough votes to win.

    By Blogger no_slappz, at 6:59 PM  

  • Well, I have to give up 4 to 1 odds to bet against her.

    No thanks.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:19 AM  

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