jipkin’s PredictIt Preview: Week of 9/17/2018

The Eye of the Tweetstorm

It’s raining tweets!  Bill Shine’s comms department has gone all in with retweets of various governmental storm-related entities (along with some originals).  Pence (of course) has gone nuts.  And, wouldn’t you know it, the President (who had seemed determined to just shitpost as usual through the whole thing) dusted off the ol’ retweet button and went ham this morning.  Well, the brunt of the storm is past us, but we’re still going to get some more action from the backside of this thing.  Trump and Pence will both be looking to visit the region, look Presidential (at least in Pence’s case) while distributing various goods (will we see more airborne paper towels?), and effusively thank the First Responders.  (Then probably off to a Henry McMaster or Brian Kemp fundraiser).

RDT – I think he is going to keep tweeting.  And maybe retweeting.  Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t own B7 and I’d like nothing more for it to lose to a bewilderingly sensible Presidential silence, but the man fired off 18 this morning and was trashing John Kerry last night as storm surge was inundating the barrier islands.  Manafort just pleaded guilty (more on that below), polls are annoying him, and there’s probably something going on with NAFTA and China that he wants to blather on about.  And they’re probably not going to let him go golfing this weekend.  That said, let’s hope he keeps it just quiet enough to be interesting.

PT/WHT WhiteHouse, welcome back.  But don’t go TOO crazy, please.  Two things to consider here.  First, the incessant retweetery associated with Florence will dissipate as the tropical storm fizzles out and flooding subsides (which, to be fair, might take a little while).  After that we’ll get a steady stream of “look at our competence we are being very competent” material.  Second, even if tweet frequency falls off with fewer storm-related retweets, their energy pre-storm was already pretty good this past Monday.  All this to say, we’ll probably see some little swings and panics but don’t get shocked if B7 cruises to victory nonetheless.  As far as Scavino goes…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

VPT – The Vice President will stay focused on the storm through at least Tuesday I’d imagine (if not longer).  As mentioned above, he’ll probably visit.  But by the end of the week, I suspect he’ll be itching to get back on the campaign trail.  We’ll see what breaks schedule-wise, but this seems like the kind of week where everyone is just waiting to see when and whether the hurricane tweets die down.

Manafort Mayhem

Sadly, I led you all astray last week when I forgot to write that a Manafort plea might come down this week.  Fortunately, there’s still time (at least as of this writing) for you to get in on the action.  Manafort as you all know was convicted of 8 counts in Virginia.  He has now officially pleaded guilty to at least two more in his DC case.  But he also agreed to his guilt on the 10 addition counts that the Virginia jury was hung on.  But he did so under “Other Acts” in the Statement of Offenses referred to in the plea agreement.  But actually it was just seven of ten, and there’s still room for more things to happen in Virginia.  But also maybe it doesn’t have to be a formal conviction because the market rules say “federal criminal offenses” and I mean the dude IS admitting his guilt pretty clearly here.  But also….

Listen if you like debating pointless minutiae and getting into surprisingly heated arguments with people on the internet, the Manafort Charges market is the place to be.  At least until PredictIt steps in and issues a clarification.  Oh, and you might also win some money if you solve the riddle.

Finally there’s the issue of whether you think his full cooperation with the probe will affect the chances that he is pardoned this year.  (The market moved pretty hard in favor of NO today).

Supreme Showdown

It’s time.  When will Collins announce her decision?  (If she says YES, Kavanaugh is getting through, almost regardless of anything else).  How many Democrats break ranks and how quickly?  Do Republicans manage to hold to their timetable and get Kavanaugh confirmed by the end of September?  And what’s the deal with this Me-Too allegation from his high school years?  Will something happen to dramatically increase the odds that it disqualifies him?


The usual and the usual.  Not much left out there aside from NBC and maybe CBS (do they still do, like, national polls?).  The big story now are the awesome NYT/Siena live polls (for which we might get markets) and all the various individual race polling that’s coming out all the time.  We’re also at that point in the month where any new poll is more likely to stick for resolution in RCP EoM TA.

House Turnover

I put up a stealth blog post this week on the House Turnover market.  While I think I’ve gone through the various ins and outs there reasonably thoroughly, there’s always that nagging sense that maybe you’re missing something when the data tell you one thing but the market tells you another…



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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