August 28 Primaries Recap

Wow!  Gillum!  Based on the polling last week, I wrote in my preview that I thought Putnam would be more likely to flip his market than anyone on the Democratic side.  As our President might say, WRONG!  (What I actually wrote wasn’t that egregious).  The night was highlighted by the hilariously premature call from Dave Wasserman for Graham.  If I had to guess, I’d surmise he was only looking at AP results and simply didn’t wait long enough to see just how big the E-day shift to Gillum was vs the early vote.  But man did the markets bite on his call!  And then the flip back when it became clear he was wrong…


Congratulations to those that bought the dip.  I managed to sell Graham at peak and caught a few scraps of Gillum in the 30s (and later the 60s) on the ride the other way but missed out on anything notable profit-wise.

The MoV market was a treat as well… I legit bought 10+ at 65c early on in the night (and then sold it at 75c).  That market really explored the full range of possibilities before settling out.  If you don’t play MoVs that often – markets like that are why we love them.  A good trader (I don’t include myself in this category since I was too lazy to do this) would have spotted the E-day vs EV shift early on and would have been able to capitalize on that information quite handsomely.

Buh-bye Kelli and Joe!

Elsewhere, things went mostly according to expectations with the favorites winning.  This included Martha McSally crushing the opposition in AZ-Sen.  The margin here is a bit unsettled – I’m not particularly sure how many votes are left, but typically in states with lots of vote-by-mail there are additional votes left to count after election day.  So keep your eye on this market and particularly on Maricopa county.

Think of the implications

Several markets moved contingent on the primary results last night.  Firstly, conventional wisdom has it that Democrats have ceded a perceived advantage in the Florida governor’s race (and that market has flipped now in favor of the Rs).  Given that Gillum has this weird FBI thing hanging over him, that might not be so far off the mark.  Secondly, the victory of Stitt in the Oklahoma run-off actually gives Democrats a decent chance in the Sooner State, so don’t sleep on that market.  Finally, Graham’s defeat is a blow for the higher brackets in the female governors market – you can read my (somewhat dated) analysis of that one here.  There are still 10 women with a reasonable shot or better to win their state’s mansion, but that means you need them to run the table or better to get to 10 or more.

The rest of the week

Trump has gone quiet after a busy-ish morning.  Pence is doing travel for fundraising stuff, but also likes rapid-fire bursts now.  WhiteHouse is WhiteHousing, and Scavino is sort of doing his job?  The 538 ballot market is in a fun spot as well if you’re looking for action today – several polls un-added and we usually get some random new one or the other on Wednesday.  Today is also the day we should learn whether or not Manafort gets re-tried on the hung charges from his first Eastern District of Virginia trial, so have this one open too.

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