jipkin’s PredictIt Preview – Week of 10/29/2018

One.  Week.  To.  Go.

Last week I put out a rough outline of what we’ll know when for election night.  But before we get there, we have one more week of polls.  One more week of breaking news.  One more week of markets drifting one way or the other.

Late Market Shifts?

In 2016, markets moved strongly towards Hillary on election day and the day before as it seemed people herded towards the conventional wisdom.  By the time the early vote was reporting in Florida she was at 95c!  Are markets wiser this time?  I honestly have no idea, but absent some major news break I do half-expect markets for D’s chances in the House to drift into the 70s by election day.  The same will also be true in many of the Senate contests – I wouldn’t be surprised if Ted Cruz hits 90c or something before any votes are counted.

Make a Plan

If this is your first election, let alone major election, betting on PI then I strongly recommend you go into it with a little bit more thought than just “I am betting on _____ to win”  and walking away.  Because you probably won’t just walk away…. you’ll be on the site, checking the prices, asking if you should buy more or sell or dump or whatever.  People tend to make worse decisions when they haven’t done any preparations (or at least I do).

So here’s a very non-exhaustive list of things you should think about:

  • For the election contract I’m trading in, are there other results that will influence its pricing before the actual votes are counted?  (i.e. If Braun is beating Donnelly, what happens to prices in McCaskill?)
  • Where are the votes coming from?  For most states, rural counties report before urban ones, tending to favor Republicans in the early going of election-day vote.  If you really want to prepare, have some county-specific benchmarks going in.
  • Does the race have early vote and election-day vote?  What fraction of total turnout will be in EV vs ED?
  • If you’re playing in the high-volume Seats markets (GOPHOUSE, DEMHOUSE, GOPSEN), do you have a solid handle of what districts and races are left to report results that could actually flip the current bracket?  (Hint: use The Spreadsheet as a starting point).


(New to tweet markets?  Read my guides starting here.)


It’s almost a full week of campaigning for Donny and Mike.  (And will be through the midterms).  Our President has been in the mood to tweet quite a bit but he keeps getting thwarted by tragedies that require him to exercise restraint and “tone it down”.  Not that that stopped him from offering up some baseball commentary two days ago, but there you go.  We have a schedule-less Monday for him right now and so far only three tweets to show for it.  The day is young of course but I think things are shaping up for a pretty standard middle-bracket war on Wednesday.

The rest of them are all going to do their best to clear the rather low B1 hurdles in front of them, but I won’t be shocked if one or two fail in that endeavor.  I’m rooting for a big surprise (as always) but feeling like it’s going to largely be a slow week in tweets.


(New to polling markets?  Read my guides starting here.)

538 TA | 538 Ballot | RCP TA | RCP Ballot | RCP EoM TA

With the final days of October upon us, we should expect a final round of pre-election polls from most of the big players (that said, it looks like Q is doing state polling).  A couple of the networks might sit it out or wait til early next week but I hope most will squeeze something out.  The new RCP ballot market interests me a lot as the numbers that get posted there this week start to actually matter for final resolution.  RCP October TA is probably cooked but let’s see what the Harvard-Harris fairy brings.



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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