jipkin’s PredictIt Preview: Week of 9/3/2018

And so August comes to a close, and the post-Labor day sprint to the midterms begins!  Of course, we still have some primaries to get through including Massachusetts and Delaware next week (we only have one primary market for these so far that I know of: the race for the Democratic nominee in MA’s 7th district).  But hopefully we’ll get a couple more and if so the usual preview post will be forthcoming.

Midterm Prepwork

This is around the time in the election cycle where the various election markets start to tick up in volume.  For those of you that like to churn shares for pennies, this is your moment.  True to PredictIt tradition, the new money coming in is right-shifted and really wants to bet on the Red Wave.  For instance, the 60+ GOP Senate seat contract hit 15c last night (and with volume!).  There are plenty of interesting opportunities like this out there (I got hit for some Tina Smith YES at 75c yesterday as well) so set your offers out and see what happens.  I’ll be bringing you some more midterm-related content this week as well, hopefully focusing some attention on the turnover market which has so far been woefully neglected by most traders.

PredictIt v2

There’s a whole new version of PI!  Log in over here and see what you think of the new design and features.  While the font choices take some getting used to, the addition of new features like live updates (including live updates to the order book) along with notifications are simply too good to miss out on.  Highly recommend you start adapting yourself to trading on the new version.


RDT – Quiet this morning, quiet tomorrow on account of McCain?  But what happens Sunday onward?  We don’t have as many primaries to tweet about this week (maybe a quick bash of Pocahontas?), but I get the sense he’ll find his stride again at some point.  Plenty is still agitating him and he can’t have enjoyed sharing the spotlight with McCain all week.  The fate of NAFTA and various trade deals (and how to message about that) is also near the top of his mind so I expect we’ll be hearing a bit about that.  Not to mention the looming decision on what to do with $200 billion in proposed tariffs on China.

PT/WHT – Well for a while there it seemed like things were going back to normal.  Then the wheels kind of fell off the wagon for both WhiteHouse and Scavino.  I’m cautiously optimistic they get into their groove again next week with more coordinated messaging pushes and so forth… but we also have the holiday slowdown to contend with.  WHT is already in that B1 hole and will have to fight hard to escape it.  And who knows what Scavino will decide to do.

VPT – Pence will be quiet this weekend, and the week ahead is likely more of the same that we’ve been getting all summer (some campaign events, some attached events, some sitting around DC doing nothing).  B1 has quite the low threshold (29 tweets), nevertheless I expect it will flirt with glory at some point this week (if not achieve it).


Well how about that ABC/WaPo?  Kind of brutalized 538 TA, which now seems to be pretty dead barring a miracle (and who knows if the 538 people will even be updating over the holiday).  538 Ballot meanwhile promises to be quite fun indeed, and I hope you all enjoyed the two-bracket swing we had this week on the McLaughlin will-it-post (this time, it did).  And we get weekly RCP back!  So there’s that to look forward to as well.

New markets

Who will replace McCain in the Senate? – This one will heat up this weekend as rumors begin circulating.  Haven’t done my work yet here, but definitely time to start looking up the connected Arizona reporters and setting up your tweetdeck columns.  These are the kind of markets that can provide some juicy negative risk at times (though you’re always in danger of getting caught on the announcement until you get it).

Will the Pope vacate the papacy by year end? – Probably not?  He’s dealing with an accusation from an intra-Vatican rival that he covered up sexual abuse (or participated in or knew about a cover-up).  Have not looked much more into it than that, but the payoff is handsome if you think you can find some clue that indicates his papacy is in real trouble.

Will the Russell Office Building be renamed for McCain? – Schumer proposed it, McTurtle has pumped the brakes.  Market favors McTurtle at the moment (perhaps the Georgia senators don’t want to have to vote on this?).  Well who knows?  I imagine a Politico story will emerge on this at some point in the next couple of weeks, so be on the look out.

Who will win in CA-50, VA-07, PA-01, and IA-01?  Can the FBI-indicted Duncan Hunter survive in his nominally Safe R seat?  Can Dave Brat and other VA Republicans survive Trump’s proposed freezing of federal worker pay?  Does Fitzpatrick survive his new district?  And can Rod Blum survive, uh, idk, Trump’s trade war(s)?  As usual, you can compare PI’s prices with what the various modelers and raters are saying with my handy spreadsheet.

Bits and Bobs

Walker and Begich are splitting the vote in AK as predicted, giving Dunleavy the edge in the governor’s race.  Siena has Faso (R) by 5 in NY-19, Tenney (R) down two in NY-22, and Katko (R) by 15 in NY-24.  PPP has the Kansas gubernatorial race all tied up (with Orman in the single digits) and has Gillum up five in Florida.

Polls will be coming fast and furious over the next two months.  Follow @Politics_Polls for slightly delayed reporting in your twitter feed, or bookmark the new polls pages on 538 and RCP to keep yourself updated.


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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