May 07, 2006
Odds for a Horse Racing Weekend
On this Kentucky Derby weekend, I thought I'd post the odds that the TradeSports online futures market has set on the 2008 presidential candidates and other interesting political events. The numbers below are the percentage chances that the market has assigned to each candidate winning. If Feingold is at 3.7, that means that if you buy $3.70 worth of contracts on Feingold, your money will turn into $100 if he wins, and $0 if he loses. If you want to end up with $100 after a Hillary victory, by contrast, you have to cough up $45.20, which vanishes if she loses.
Clinton - 45.2
Warner - 23.8
Gore - 9.6 (you don't have to be running for people to bet on you)
Edwards - 6.5 (I own me some Johnny; I think he's worth 15 or so)
Feingold - 3.7 (I also own some Feingold, since I think he'll go up before he goes down)
Kerry - 3.6
McCain - 40
Allen - 18.1
Romney - 13.6
Guiliani - 11.7
Rice - 5.4
On the GOP side, I've bought AR Governor Huckabee at 2.1, where he stands now, and SC Governor Mark Sanford at 0.1. (Hey, thousand-to-one odds are fun.)
Markets are giving us a 20% chance of winning the six seats we need to take back the Senate, and a 47% chance of winning the House. On specific Senate races, we've got a 70% chance of beating Santorum in PA and a 52% chance of beating DeWine in Ohio. Montana is even money. We're at a 45% chance of winning Rhode Island (which I've got a little money on, since Laffey threatens to win the primary and lose the general), a 44% chance in Missouri, and a 32% chance in Tennessee. For those of you who are market junkies as well as political junkies, there may be some kind of arbitrage play available here that involves selling futures on Dem Senate control, and buying the Dems in all the targeted Senate races. But these markets are somewhat illiquid, so it'd be a bit of a hassle to pull off.
On more freaky topics, the market says there's a 13.2% chance of our killing or capturing Osama by the end of the year, and a 22.2% chance of our getting Zarqawi. (Yes, you can actually gamble on those things.) There's a 17% chance that Hamas recognizes Israel by year-end (?!?) and a 5% chance of a Palestinian state by the end of the year. 27% chance of the US or Israel running an air strike on Iran. 19% on Rumsfeld resigning and 9% on Cheney resigning. 23% on DeLay being convicted of laundering money and 30% of Libby being convicted of lying.
<spam>If you see a bargain above and you're interested in betting on this stuff, I can hook you up with a referral code that'll give you a bonus $25 to gamble with. It'll also let you bet on sports and American Idol and other stuff. My email address is at the top of my home blog.</spam>
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Half of this article sounds like Poindexter's "Terrorist Futures Market", which in and of itself is the most cynical sounding concept I think I've heard of in my young life, but my question is, what do you mean by "we" having a 20% chance of winning back the Senate? I mean, the Democrats are doing nothing but putting up DLC endorsed "triangulators" to run against self avowed Repugnicans. Bob Casey Jr. ? Come on. Harold Ford Jr.? Being a black guy myself, his lack of principle (Other than winning, and staying in Washington just so he can say "I'm a Federally elected official.") is almost comical. Sherrod Brown is the only one of the chumps with any kind of progressive polish.So anyway, even if "we" win, is it really anything worth celebrating?
Posted by: Maurice | May 7, 2006 3:08:59 PM
Ever see the original Star Trek episode where the crew encounters an alien race that has been reduced to nothing but betting on such wide ranging scenarios as these(quatloos instead of dollars)? Heh, the new economy.
Posted by: Steve Mudge | May 7, 2006 6:02:05 PM
Maurice, we've got some solid liberals in other states. Sherrod Brown (OH) is a liberal on just about every issue and is one of the foremost universal healthcare guys around. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) supports gay marriage and said he would vote for an Alito filibuster.
There's also the fact that getting to 51 in the Senate gives us a majority on every Senate committee. If it's Bob Casey puts us over the top, we'll still be able to block anti-choice judges, as long as Casey doesn't sit on Judiciary. I have an earlier piece on this issue, if you're interested.
Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | May 7, 2006 6:42:49 PM
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