SCOTUS Recap and the Week Ahead

Disclaimer: I probably have positions or intend to take positions in just about all the markets I will discuss herein.  You should always do your own research prior to making any investment decision. You should consider my advice and knowledge I share to be fundamentally biased in its presentation and selection by my own financial incentives.  While I do not knowingly lie I certainly do knowingly omit information that I think gives me an edge.


What a day yesterday was! And what. a. market.  With over $1M traded back and forth yesterday, it was a huge day for PredictIt as well, with hopefully plenty of new faces showing up and learning what the fun is all about.

In the end, it was always Kavanaugh

But it took a while before the market figured it out!  The day started with Barrett making a run into the 30s (of course), before morning reporting by the NYTimes suggested that Trump was mainly making his mind up between Hardiman and Kavanaugh.  And while Barrett would retreat to the low teens initially, it wouldn’t be til the denouement that she capitulated for good.

Meanwhile, Hardiman and Kavanaugh jockeyed for the top spot, with Kav the early favorite.  Hardiman surged, as Nate Silver noticed, following reports by the WSJ that Hardiman’s allies had been told to prepare for his roll-out.

But much like after his famous gas-station pit stop in 2017, Hardiman’s odds couldn’t stay high forever.  It was an eagle-eyed tipster’s report to Peter Baker that elevated Kavanaugh to the lead he wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the market.  Further reporting on the DC Circuit’s unusual decision to rush out a Monday decision sealed the deal.

SCOTUS drama ain’t over yet folks

Now that we got a nominee, we’ve got other markets to consider.

How many votes will Kavanaugh get? (From senators – Pence doesn’t count so technically 49 or fewer can still resolve even if Pence breaks a tie).

How will Manchin, Jones, Tester, Collins, Murkowksi, Donnelly, Heitkamp, and Paul vote?

And can McTurtle get it all done by the end of September?

I plan to do a deeper look at this and share my thoughts later, but for now I hope you all have a gander at these markets and throw a few offers out.

The weeklies

SCOTUS Tweets?  NATO Tweets?

I wrote last week that I was afraid RDT would end up a boring B1 week, but that he was getting just enough energy to make it interesting in the end.  And after a solid post-inhibitory retweet-fest this morning (I’m writing around 10 am), he’s well within striking range of making B2.  Or maybe he’ll go silent…  A classic drift spot.

PT is looking dangerous enough to escape B1 as well (though that might change if NATO energy is low).  WHT has no clue what to do with itself (as I wrote earlier, easily the swingiest potential market).  And VPT is sort of cautiously bullish.  Look for that market to break one way or the other today.

Polling world

I anticipate a relatively normal week polling-wise from this point forward.  We got WaPo/Schar, we got Emerson, feels like we probably can’t ask for too many more one-offs.  But next week should bring a lot of polls on Kavanaugh reactions (and there’s a chance some enterprising pollster tries to squeeze a quick one out for this week).

So as usual, pay attention to what the Reuters fairies bring us today, what Morning Consult does in the morning tomorrow, what YouGov does, etc.  There may yet still be some good action in the 538 ballot market, especially given that the overall spread is pretty high at the moment.

Midterm polling

Some interesting data here from a month-long Axios/SM poll.  Not sure I trust that TNSen number but who knows?

Gravis is also out with AZ and TX.  And they did NJ as well but I haven’t looked around to see if that’s out yet.

Turmoil across the pond

As I wrote a couple days ago, something is going on with Theresa May.  The market had her at 70c to survive through til the end of the year then.  Now it’s 50/50.  So hopefully you faithful readers gave it a look!  The latest movement is on the resignation of her Brexit secretary and her foreign secretary.  This kind of upheaval may eventually lead to a conservative challenge to her leadership, or maybe an election, or maybe who knows.  I don’t pretend to have insight here, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

Will Strzok show?

If he does, as is expected, this market goes to 99c Thursday.  If he doesn’t, it probably goes to 50c if not lower.  So there’s guaranteed money there one way or the other this week…

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