jipkin’s PredictIt Preview: Week of 8/27/2018

Well, uh, what a week.  Manafort convicted.  Cohen implicates Trump in felony.  And Pence is sending Americans on American rockets launched from American soil into space so that we can train the Space Force and also colonize the moon or something.  Anyway, let’s look into the week ahead:


So, like, is this gonna happen?  I run through my thoughts on the issue here.  The tl;dr is… maybe.  It depends on a lot of stuff!  If Ds win the House, Mueller’s timing, who Ds want to run against, the severity of what Mueller finds, if Trump does even worse shit in the meantime, etc.  Which is also what makes these noob-friendly markets so interesting!

August 28 Elections

Arizona and Florida go to the polls on Tuesday (and there’s a run-off for Oklahoma governor on the Republican side as well).  I have my usual brief preview up, and I’ll just reiterate here that the governor’s races in FL are the most interesting markets we have so far.  Decent flip potential on the GOP side while the D side is going into this thing with four candidates having some claim to viability (aka polling over 10%).  I do hope we get some MoVs, could be spicy.


RDT – The President is shook.  Rocked by the one-two Manafort-Cohen combo and just generally mad about not getting enough respect (RIP Aretha), he’s in as foul a mood as he’s been the past few months.  It was possible he would clam up, especially after Cohen.  But it seems he’s determined to tweet his way through this thing.  The question for the market is whether that’s limited to a spate of impotent “look at muh economy!!” tweets, an unfiltered barrage of anything and everything he sees on TV, or maybe even a return of the Retweeter in Chief.  So far we’re somewhere between options A and B.  We also have lots of races to tweet about Tuesday and congratulate on Wednesday so keep that in mind.

PT/WHT – It feels like the social media team has kind of lost their direction in recent days.  Not terribly surprising (this seems to happen when Trump is in particularly hot water) but it will be interesting to see if and how they recover.  What’s the next dumb thing to tweet incessantly about?  As for our good friend Scavino… is he on the mend?  I’ve plotted below the percentage of original WHTs that PT has retweeted over the past several weeks of markets.  Let’s see if the recovery continues…

PT RT percentage.png

VPT – Decent energy this past week!  I was pleasantly surprised anyway.  At one point we had an AFP next week, not sure if that’s still on.  But without other major known speeches (I will admit I’ve been slacking recently in my VP sked prep-work, so I may be in the dark) I would expect the market to be a little cautious early on.


Kinda get the feeling some pollsters have gone out in the field after this Manafort and Cohen business, no?  In any event, it’s the last week of August, which means one last chance for the stars to align to move the end-of-month market (one time, Harvard-Harris?).  Beyond that, it should be a pretty standard Quinnsday set-up for 538 ballot and the usual stuff for 538 TA and weekly RCP.

New markets

Aside from the Witch Hunt market, this week PredictIt focused on adding markets for competitive House races.  Which of course is a great excuse for me to plug my Spreadsheet again, a resource for you to compare the pricing on PI to what the models and forecasters are saying and to easily find markets you’re interested in.  As for the races added, we got CA-21, CA-45, IL-06, IL-13, NJ-03, OH-01OH-12, TX-07, and TX-32.


Wait – didn’t this just happen?  Well, yes.  But aside from watching to see if Trump impulse-pardons him on twitter, we learned the important news that the jury was 11-1 deadlocked on the 10 charges for which a mistrial was declared.  And apparently that probably increases the odds that prosecutors will re-try those charges, a decision they will make by Wednesday.  If they do decide to do so, it’s absolutely not out of the question that a second Eastern District of Virginia trial could happen by the end of the year, throwing the Manafort charges market into turmoil.

2018 Odds and ends

Orman survives a challenge to his signatures in Kansas, meaning that the race for governor there has an added wrinkle (conventional wisdom says he siphons more votes from the Ds than from the Rs).  Lamont has a big lead according to Quinnipiac in CT (but a smaller one in other polling).  Vukmir is surprisingly strong in Wisconsin.  And keep your eye on Menendez, who should be fine but is the cycle’s best shot for a Republican upset in the Senate.


Disclaimer: I probably have positions or intend to take positions in just about all the markets I 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.

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