The Models vs The Markets

For 2018, I’ve maintained The Spreadsheet, which I intended primarily to be a repository for links to markets to help folks on PredictIt find good places to spend their money.  But secondarily, I’ve found it very interesting where markets price an election compared to where modelers and experts do it.  Which will be the most accurate after the dust settles?  Of course, it will take a few weeks before we know the answer to that.  In the meantime, there are some interesting differences among the models and between the models and the markets.

The Big Markets are “Red-Shifted”

If a market’s price favors Republicans more than a model’s odds do, I consider that market “red-shifted”.  Long-time PI players are no doubt familiar with markets giving Republicans consistently 10c more value than they’re worth (Le Pen, Moore, even Trump in 2016 pre-election night).  This remains true in 2018: Democrats are at around 65% to win the House on PredictIt… and they’re easily at least 75% to win in an aggregate of all models.

In House Races, Markets Mirror Models on Average

Since I have the data, I can look at how PredictIt’s prices differ from what the models say at the level of individual elections.  For House races, that means averaging what The Crosstab, 538, and 0ptimus project (sadly I can’t use Harry Enten’s project or the others that predict margin rather than odds) and then comparing that average to the price the PI market gives.  Here’s what that looks like:

HouseR Superplat.png

Based on data from 10/13, you can see the latest model outputs and PredictIt prices just as in the normal spreadsheet.  All I’ve added is a column showing how much the models disagree with each other (“Model Range”) and another showing how much the market price disagrees with the average of the models.

You can see there are a few races that are more than 15c “mispriced.”  Many of these mispricings are more likely produced by outliers among the models than market stupidity.  For instance, The Crosstab is in love with Kara Eastman in NE-02 for whatever reason, meaning there’s an enormous 65c range between the most bullish and most bearish model there.  On the other hand, some are worth keeping an eye on.  IL-13, for instance, is priced at 16c (or was, anyway) despite being worth a little less than twice that according to the modelers.

There are also races where pricing currently favors the Dems:

HouseD Superplat.png

Here again inter-model disagreement drives a lot of the market-model disparities (oh how nice it would be to have more than three numerical models so that I could throw out highest and lowest numbers).  For instance, why is 538’s model so bullish on Peter Roskam?

But the most interesting thing to me is that if you then average all the price differences between models and markets for these individual House races you get…. -0.38 (the number you see at the top of that column in the images).  In other words, on aggregate PredictIt market participants are pricing individual House races just like the models!

In the Senate, Markets Are Very Red-Shifted

This is NOT the case in the Senate.

Senate Superplat.png

On average, PredictIt punters have the Senate races nearly 9c more favorable for Republicans than the average of models does.  And it’s even worse if you just look at the competitive races: AZ, FL, IN, and MT are effectively 20c “mispriced” and Claire McCaskill’s MO race is nearing that point.  And many of these we can’t really attribute to inter-model disagreement!

So…. why?

We’ve got a 10c disparity favoring Republicans in the big House markets.  Zero disparity in the individual races on net.  And a substantial disparity in the competitive Senate races.  How does that make sense?  Is this really crowd wisdom?

Here’s my pseudo-professional take:

  • For whatever reason, there are more people betting with their heart on Republicans than on Democrats.  (Maybe because online gamblers are overwhelmingly male?)
  • The kinds of people that bet with their hearts are lower-information casual traders.  They don’t seek out obscure individual House races.  They want a race where they can really get to know the candidates, hence the appeal of the Senate.
  • When Kavanaugh started moving things in favor of Republicans, that gave the green light for people to bet their heart on Republicans everywhere.  A bad poll for Bredesen is effectively a bad poll for McCaskill and Donnelly.  A hurricane gives people an excuse to justify pumping Scott higher.  Clips of Sinema being weird back in the Iraq War days are an excuse to throw her 20c underwater from where the models have her (extremely-online political gamblers frequently overrate how much of this stuff breaks through to voters).
  • Bettors loooooove to bet the trend.  If polls are improving for Republicans, what if they keep improving?  If the market is going up, what if it keeps going up?  Better get in now!  The best part about this reasoning (we all succumb to it to some degree) is that it occasionally is correct.
  • Models are lagging indicators since they need to wait for polls to come out, while markets can take advantage of breaking news in real time.  I actually don’t buy this one at all to be honest.  Usually markets and models both are reacting most strongly to polls, and they see those polls roughly at the same time (at least at the resolution of days).

Of course, it could be that the models are more or less correct.  That there’s like 80c of expected value in Senate markets alone sitting out there, ripe for the taking.  Another 60c across all the House markets… or maybe we’ll find out on November 7 that the betting markets were right all along!

 

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.

jipkin’s PredictIt Preview – Week of 10/15/2018

The Midterms

Midterm spreadsheet | Other midterm resources

Three weeks to go!  Polling last week was a bit all over the place.  Great polls for the GOP for the Senate, mixed polling for the House, and strong polling for Dems in the national generic ballot.  My sense is that at least transiently the race for the House has tightened – there’s some mean reversion out there as districts that shouldn’t have been competitive for the Dems indeed start breaking towards the GOP.  NYT’s MN-08 poll for instance shows an eye-popping 16-point swing from early September in favor of the GOP.  (Their PA-01 poll is surprisingly strong for the Dems, though.)  CO-06 and VA-10 – at least so far – look like they’ve tightened as well, suggesting some GOP movement.

Is it all post-Kavanaugh bump?  October mean-reversion?  We’ll see how the polls go this week. Random thought: how much do the markets and midterm forecasts depend on Upshot/Siena polls?  Their breadth and frequency of polling makes them dominant source of new data each week, so kind of interesting to think about what might happen if their turnout models are just a little bit off in one direction or another.

Polling Markets

538 TA | 538 Ballot | RCP Weekly | RCP Monthly | Ras

538 TA, resolving today, is down to when and whether several YGs come out, what Gallup serves up, and maybe a few surprise polls.  Not much else to do today so I’ll be there.  As for polling in general, I half-expect a national Q, maybe a national Marist, and tons of House CDs courtesy of our friends at The Upshot.  Sidenote: last week we had great volume across the board in polling markets (and tweet markets) as Kavanaugh money spilled out.  Fingers crossed that this continues…

Tweets

RDT | PT | WHT | VPT

We’re in a classic RDT spot right now – the market wants B7.  It needs B7.  But I don’t know if it’s going to get it.  He’s obviously inhibited somewhat from shitposting too hard today with the hurricane visit – though staff tweets ought to make up for that.  The issue really is that he continues to be in a great mood.  He’s talking freely to the press multiple times a day, he’s giving big mainstream media interviews, he’s calling into Fox and Friends, he’s doing four rallies a week.  Mueller isn’t going to do anything in October so Trump is free to play.  That said, it’s not like there’s nothing out there for him to rant about.  I half-expect him to fire off a Pocahontas tweet this evening on the flight back home from Florida, given that she’s in the news cycle today.

The rest of the markets I tentatively expect to have light finishes.  Pence will be making his own trip down South to somberly gaze at hurricane damage and shake the hands of first responders (and also to finally get that Brian Kemp fundraiser in…), which will be reasonably tweetsy.  (And Trump’s visit today should generate plenty of material for WHT – so there will be tweets short term).  Beyond that, I don’t see a ton of official business or agenda items on the administration’s plate as the POTUS and VP are out there mainly doing campaign activity.

ICYMI

I’ve done a few little analysis pieces on some of the lesser-trafficked midterm markets.  See here for my latest take on how many women win their races this November, and here for what I think about turnover in the House.

 

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.

Midterms 2018: How many women prevail in House, Senate, and gubernatorial races?

As we head into the final three weeks of campaigning, let’s check in with the women running for office!

We have three markets now for how many women will be in the Senate, in the House, and in governor’s mansions in 2019 (the House market is new this week!).  I first wrote about the Senate and governors back at the end of July – and a lot has transpired since then!  Let’s take a look.

How many U.S. Senators will be women on Jan. 31, 2019?

  • (13) Not up for reelection/special election: Murray, Collins, Murkowski, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Hirono, Fischer, Moore-Capito, Ernst, Cortez-Masto, Duckworth, Harris, Hassan
  • (6) Very likely to win reelection/special election: Feinstein, Cantwell, Klobuchar, Smith, Hyde-Smith, Warren
  • (2) Certain to go to a female candidate of either party: AZ (Sinema or McSally), WI (Baldwin or Vukmir).
  • (1) More likely than not to win reelection/election: Stabenow (though she does have a reasonably strong likely challenger in John James).

This baseline of 22 remains the same – only maybe John James pulling off the upset vs Stabenow (he did out-raise her in Q3) can drop the baseline to 21.  So again, we’re looking at

where the odds have changed quite substantially since July!  Heitkamp is considered dead in the water after a couple 10 point deficits in the polls; conversely Blackburn is considered a shoo-in after spiking leads of the same or better (Upshot/Siena’s poll is a particularly big eye-opener).

Basically, if you think things break towards the Republicans, buy 23 (the Blackburn victory).  If you think things break towards the Dems, 24/25 are the opportunities.  If you think things stay relatively close, 24 is probably the buy.  I can see reasonable cases to be made for Blackburn + McCaskill + Rosen…. but those universes are not too far away from Blackburn alone or Blackburn + one of the two.  This will be a fun one on election night!

How many governors of the 50 states will be women on Jan. 31, 2019?

Now the picture here has clarified substantially since late July in many ways, and remains up in the air in many others.  Here’s my breakdown:

(There are several other races I haven’t bothered to list which could surprise – NH, VT, TX, etc but I seriously doubt it).

As I look at it, 10+ is in real trouble barring a run of the table.  5 or 6 seem easy to get to. Beyond that we simply have to wait until the the results come in I think!

How many U.S. Representatives will be women in the 116th Congress?

Ok, this market is A LOT to digest.  So I pulled the top two candidates in each district by the odds 538 gives them and manually went through and tallied up all the women.  The result is this spreadsheet, which ranks all the races by the odds of a woman winning the seat.

WomenCongress.png
These are the races that will determine how the market shakes out.

About 83 or so seats are all but guaranteed to go to women (again, according to 538’s classic model).  Another 10 seems easy to come by.  After that, performance is strongly correlated with how well Democrats are doing overall (most of the women running are Democrats).  In the top right, you see the number “97.65”.  This is the cumulative probability of women winning divided by 100 which should give you roughly the expected break-even number of women-held seats, at least as 538 sees it.

Hope this helps your decision-making in these complicated markets!

 

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.

 

jipkin’s PredictIt Preview – Week of 10/8/2018

The Kavanaugh saga ends…

What a crazy few weeks that was!  Last week, I wrote

What those senators do care about are polls – and we will get several.  Now – it’s an open question how far Kav’s numbers would have to move before Collins, Murk, and Manchin decide against him.  Right now, they plan to vote for him assuming that the FBI investigation won’t turn up anything they don’t know (and they can hide behind that fig leaf).  To shift them away requires either a major new shoe to drop, some kind of indisputable ding to his credibility, the FBI investigation to find something that indicates he lied under oath, or a substantial drop in public support.  Otherwise, he’s on the court.

And I think I was at least half-right.  Polls didn’t move that much.  No new shoes really dropped.  And The senators I thought would break for Kav did with the exception of Murkowski.  Now, did I know that Steve Daines was going to be walking his daughter down the aisle on Saturday, thereby necessitating him skipping the vote?  Nope!  But there’s always something like that that crops up.

It’s also worth noting how incredibly high volume these markets were (terrific for PredictIt).  And how much of that was new MAGA money coming into town (including some hilariously dumb QAnon money, as fellow Predictor Dmp observes).  And that new money (well, not the Q money) won as Kavanaugh was confirmed.  We now get to observe what would have happened on PredictIt had Roy Moore prevailed.

…and the MAGA money moves into the midterm markets

Checking my notifications Friday night, I was befuddled to discover someone had sold me 726 Jim Jordan NO at 67c to be next Speaker (he’s not worth 33c, that I can tell you).  Others reported getting similar crazy offers filled (I also got hit at 35c in MN-08 for the Democrat, which is a good deal for a toss-up race).

This is undoubtedly a good thing, since the only people previously playing in all these ancillary markets seemed to be left-biased (or so the prices would indicate).  And as you go around the site… literally everything feels cheap right now.  Of course, Republicans did have a solid week in the polls (tenuously attributable to Kavanaugh) and they could continue to narrow the gap in the generic ballot and so forth.  But there are also markets like FLGOV and AZSEN where Gillum’s and Sinema’s persistent strength should have prevented their prices from drifting… yet drift they did as the MAGA money came crashing in.

Tweets

RDT | PT | VPT | WHT

Where or where has our shitposter in chief gone?  He turtled up during the Kavanaugh drama and has yet to emerge from his shell (despite a few odd gems here and there).  Part of this, I think, is that he’s entering into a relatively rally-heavy schedule.  Not only does that necessitate more travel (breaking up his morning TV routine) but it also gives him another outlet for getting things off his chest.  So while the RDT market desperately needs a non-B1 week after a string of boring markets, it doesn’t seem like this is going to be that week.

Oh, and there’s also a hurricane coming.  Will hurricane tweets hit PT/WHT/VPT hard?  This one doesn’t look as apocalyptic as Florence did on approach (and Florence stalled out for a while, giving us a few more days of extra hurricane tweets).  But I do expect Michael will bring us at least a day’s worth of FEMA retweets, so be on the lookout for that.  Beyond that, the official schedule is campaign event heavy for both Trump and Pence, with only a few tweetable events on the horizon.  Still, we have to get at least one interesting tweet market this week, right?  I feel like we’re owed one anyway after the last three weeks…

Polls

538 TA | 538 Ballot | RCP TA | Rasmussen

The polling markets are one thing, but I’m actually most interested in what polls say as we start getting now fully into October and whatever energy Kavanaugh provided Republicans last week recedes.  Nate Cohn has a very straightforward rundown of where things stand in the polls – the tl;dr being that small shifts in the polls from this point forward can result in big swings in the odds for both the Senate and the House.  Keep an eye on my spreadsheet (I’ll be giving it a weekly update tonight) to see how the experts/modelers are moving their forecasts based on new data. | Rasmussen

 

 

 

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.

jipkin’s PredictIt Preview – Week of 10/1/2018

What an exhausting week.  Profitable for my readers – I hope – but also just emotionally draining.  Let’s re-charge a bit and have a look forward as the Kavanaugh process plays out for one week (and those midterms draw ever closer).

Kavanaugh

I wrote the following in my preview post for the hearings (where you can still find links to all the markets):

My guess is that she, as a professional academic, is going to be fine speaking.  I doubt she’ll be overly emotional, but who knows.  As for the markets, assuming that she does come across as sincere, I expect them to drift in favor of Kavanaugh NOT being confirmed (and for the committee vote to be delayed, etc).

The reverse is true when Kavanaugh speaks – is he sincere?  Does he get flustered when asked about drinking in his youth?  If he comes off well, the markets will drift back into his favor.  If he doesn’t, then GG.

I didn’t expect that markets would take Kavanaugh to 60-65c before Dr. Blasey began testifying.  But then as I predicted, they flipped against him during her testimony.  And again as I suspected, flipped back in his favor when he spoke.  (But I am not going to even pretend I thought it would be because he would testify like that.)  G. Elliott Morris has a nice graphic summarizing price changes in the Economist, or see his tweet with the image here.

What’s going to happen this week?

Republicans are afraid of more shoes dropping.  I give this a relatively low chance, but you never know.  More likely we get stuff akin to the recollections of his college classmate Lynne Brooks, who states quite definitively that he drank a lot more than he let on.  We might get reporting from what classmates of Kavanaugh really thought the terms Devil’s Triangle and “boofed” meant.  All of these things will directly attack his credibility, but I’m unsure how much they ultimately weigh on the senators deciding his fate.

What those senators do care about are polls – and we will get several.  Now – it’s an open question how far Kav’s numbers would have to move before Collins, Murk, and Manchin decide against him.  Right now, they plan to vote for him assuming that the FBI investigation won’t turn up anything they don’t know (and they can hide behind that fig leaf).  To shift them away requires either a major new shoe to drop, some kind of indisputable ding to his credibility, the FBI investigation to find something that indicates he lied under oath, or a substantial drop in public support.  Otherwise, he’s on the court.

Midterms!

So next week is, like, October already.  Democrats remain the favorite to take the House, and the Republicans the favorites to retain the Senate.  We’ll get into various races and election night strategy and planning later in the month, but for now I’ll just share my spreadsheet with links  to all the markets, their odds, and the odds indicated by other forecasters.  Though it won’t be a huge factor this week, pay attention to what happens if and when a lot of the money being bet on Kavanaugh wins and gets spent around the site.

Tweets

RDT – He doesn’t tweet much when big things are going on and he’s needed to be silent.  He also can’t bear being silent forever.  Unfortunately he’s dug himself into a pretty massive hole to start this week off.  Barring a Category 5 Retweetstorm we’re not making it out of B1, I’m afraid.

PT/WHT – The official communications apparatus of the WhiteHouse has continued churning out content (they were quite diligent with UNGA material) at a reasonable rate.  Yet as we get into October and there are fewer and fewer items on the agenda and the one thing they DO want to tweet about is Kavanaugh (whom they can’t tweet that much about)… I’m basically expecting them to be a little bit lighter and hoping I’m wrong.

VPT – Pence is in a similar spot as WHT and PT this week.  He’s largely in campaign-mode and there’s no agenda to press.  The one thing to watch for is if he returns to retweeting WHT diligently of if that was just a temporary UNGA-related phenomenon.

Polls

As I mentioned above, we’re going to get some to measure Kavanaugh reaction.  I think weekly RCP TA will be the one to play this week, as 538 TA ends a bit before the deluge would begin and 538 Ballot just barely moves these days no matter what.

Requiescat in pace

In memoriam: the “Will a SCOTUS nominee be confirmed in September?” market.  Given a fatal diagnosis two weeks ago, it nonetheless carried on bravely until the end, with a peak of 120k outstanding shares.  The veterans of PredictIt thank you, YES holders, for your collective donation of (at minimum) $20k.  Remember, you can always deposit more to win it back on the midterms!

 

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.

Crunch Time for Kavanaugh Markets

We’re down to it now folks!  With the hearing seeming like it’s going forward tomorrow (though many are still betting that Dr. Blasey doesn’t show), we’re entering into a realm wholly unknown to PredictIt.  Thursday’s live, televised testimony determines whether Kavanaugh is confirmed or isn’t.  This is like trading an election market during a debate, except if the outcome of that election almost entirely hinged on the debate.

The Markets

Will the Senate confirm a SCOTUS nominee in September?

Will Dr. Blasey testify?

Will Judge Kavanaugh testify?

Will Mark Judge testify?

Will the Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh in September?

How many votes will Kavanaugh get in a confirmation vote?

Will Kavanaugh be the next SCOTUS justice?

Will any Democrat vote for Kavanaugh in a confirmation vote?

Individual senator votes on a confirmation: Flake, Corker, Jones, Paul, Murkowski, Collins, Tester, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, Capito.

Because there’s a chance: How many tie-breaking votes will Pence cast in 2018?

Buzzword bingos – Kavanaugh: “Biden“, “Swetnick

(We may get new markets today on the specific date, and possibly buzzword bingo markets for the hearing; I’ll try to keep this up to date.)

The Hearing

Will it happen?  Will both show?  Both markets lean yes, though they’re more confident in Kavanaugh appearing.  My sense is that the hearing is almost certain to happen, barring some Avenatti revelations that suddenly up-end everything. (Random Prediction: Avenatti’s victim client isn’t alleging anything against Kavanaugh, but does have something against Mark Judge.  Just reading between the lines a bit.)  UPDATE: As I drafted this, Avenatti released the sworn affidavit of his client, alleging that she witnessed Kavanaugh/Judge do bad things.  Let’s see what happens I guess…

The big question is what happens during the hearing.  The politics – and the markets – will react to how “believable” Dr. Blasey is.  This is obviously subjective, and partisan eyes and ears will slant their takes (as will your own).  I have no advice for you other than to pay attention to twitter and see how the hive mind is reacting.  My guess is that she, as a professional academic, is going to be fine speaking.  I doubt she’ll be overly emotional, but who knows.  As for the markets, assuming that she does come across as sincere, I expect them to drift in favor of Kavanaugh NOT being confirmed (and for the committee vote to be delayed, etc).

The reverse is true when Kavanaugh speaks – is he sincere?  Does he get flustered when asked about drinking in his youth?  If he comes off well, the markets will drift back into his favor.  If he doesn’t, then GG.

Folks I really don’t know how the trading is going to go down tomorrow.  I don’t know what big moments to expect.  I don’t know what facial expressions Flake will make when listening to Dr. Blasey, or whatever else will influence our interpretation of how the testimony influences Kavanaugh’s odds.  If you’re a buy-and-hold player, enjoy the show.  If you like flipping, good luck!

The Vote

Republicans – Most are YES.  Murkowski is comfortable voting NO if the hearing warrants it.  Collins wants to vote YES but is open to changing her mind.  Flake is in a similar position and needs a good excuse / fig leaf to vote YES.  Corker wants to vote YES.  There are a bunch we haven’t heard from (Sasse, Capito, Rounds, Rubio, etc) who were YES but probably don’t want to take this vote.  I have no idea how Fischer and Ernst are taking this one.

Basically, McTurtle has been bluffing / pumping all week that he’s going to have a vote to keep his caucus at least quiet if not necessarily behind the nominee.  But if the hearing goes south for Kavanaugh (the Fox interview was a bit rougher than expected for him), it’s absolutely not out of the question that McTurtle pulls the plug, the committee vote gets delayed, and Kavanaugh withdraws and like twelve markets at once die.  It’ll be a lot more interesting, of course, if he pushes forward.  Especially since there’s a chance the nomination dies at cloture and we may have a BCRA 2.0 in the markets with how much new money is around.

Democrats – First, read Dave Weigel.  Next, know that Jones and Tester are almost certainly NO.  Manchin wants to vote YES, believe it or not, so he’s hoping the hearing goes really poorly for Kavanaugh so that he can comfortably vote NO.  Heitkamp can vote NO now without a bad hearing because Kevin Cramer, her opponent, has almost gone full Todd Akin.  Donnelly is in an interesting spot, similar to Manchin’s I would say except that he has a narrower lead to work with.

The Aftermath

If the Kavanaugh vote happens and fails, I expect a transient bump in the “Red Wave” contracts as folks that have bought into the theory that this will increase Republican turnout go and spend their money.  So pay attention to GOPSEN and GOPHOUSE.

If the nomination does falter, who will Trump pick next?  Thapar?  Barrett?  Larson?  Kethledge?  Hardiman?  I really hope this happens, as it will make PredictIt quite fun during the lame duck…

 

 

 

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.

 

jipkin’s PredictIt Preview: Week of 9/24/2018

Okay, so uh the last week of September is going to be a lot more insane than I was thinking…

Kavanaugh

Will Dr. Blasey testify?  Will Kavanaugh testify? How soon after will the committee vote?  Will Kavanaugh be confirmed by the end of September?  What about at all?  How many votes will he get now?  Will Ed Whelan find the right floor plans to bust this thing wide open?  And then there’s all the individual vote markets…. my goodness what a feast.  High volume, breaking news markets are what PredictIt is made for outside of elections.

Things are fluid, but here’s my take as of Friday afternoon:

  • Both will testify publicly, Kavanaugh probably takes on some water as a result (but it all comes down to the moment).  If he’s going to sink, he sinks shortly thereafter.  The committee vote will be scheduled swiftly after – but could get postponed if things don’t look good in the hearing or if Collins/Murk signal they are out.  September confirmation is virtually out of the picture unless testimony talks completely break down.  October and eventual confirmation?  Feels like mayyyyyybe Manchin comes over from the Dems but otherwise I’d say if he’s getting confirmed it’s 51 or 50.  Not sure about Donnelly tbh, so I suppose 53 is still alive.
  • But really, Dr. Blasey testifying believably as to her experience probably does irreparable damage to Kavanaugh.  We’ll see how emotionally invested Trump becomes (his statements about Kavanaugh are eerily reminiscent of how he handled the Ronny Jackson episode), but I can see a sudden withdrawal by late next week or over the weekend in the cards.  After that it’s off to the races in who gets nominated next, and hopefully PI gives us that market quickly.

And here’s my take as of Saturday morning, post-ultimatum and extension:

  • OMG is she going to testify or not??  It seems she’s genuinely torn and stressed.  I think she comes around to it in the end but today is the day we find out.  Good luck out there.

Rosenstein

Well that was a fun little boomlet.  I doubt Rosenstein is canned by the end of the week – I mean if Hannity, Lindsey Graham, and Matt Gaetz are all out there pumping the brakes then there’s no way.  He may still be gone at a later time, of course.  And I really doubt he’s getting impeached, especially if Rs lose the House.

Tweets

RDT – So it’s never going to be B1 ever again, eh?  A fun start to this week with B1 hitting 60 on the opening day only to get brutalized by a few retweet storms two days later.  And of course B7 hit the 40s because why not?  All brackets remain in play as we start this quiet Saturday morning – B1 needs him to clam up for the weekend and for the UN trip to keep him occupied.  B7 needs him to go hard on retweets at some point or another (and I’m not really sure whether his recent little bursts were him or Scavino).  And the rest need some combination.  Kavanaugh, Rosenstein, trade and China, the U.N. (for staff tweets, but also for keeping him occupied), a few nights in Trump Tower (last year he tweeted a lot there).  Should be a fun four days!

PT/WHT – All U.N. this week, with a potential side helping of Kavanaugh, should Dr. Blasey choose not to testify and the vote move forward.

VPT – He has a speech this Saturday to the Value Voters Summit and after that I don’t know.  My sense is he’ll be laying low on Kavanaugh until/unless it’s time for the vote.  Otherwise, his energy has been pretty decent lately so even a blank day is going to yield 5 or so.

Polls

We got an NYT Live Polling market!  And the volume is kind of dead, sadly.  Only smart money went there and the smart money knows how quickly those polls can change.  Might have needed wider brackets?  Anyway – it’s still ongoing with the last set of respondents in TX-32 probably in today or tomorrow (they run til 500 respondents).

Aside from that it’s a pretty standard-looking end-of-month week out there.  Harvard-Harris and Fox are live; early IBD is live; Quinn is quite possibly live but also might do more state polling.  And of course, NBC/WSJ should probably have their TA and ballot numbers out tomorrow morning.

Links to the markets: 538 TA, 538 Ballot, RCP TA, RCP end-of-month TA

We also have a new polling market on Rasmussen ballot which is literally taking a shot in the dark so if you’re into that, enjoy lol.

Congress Stuff

All eyes will be on Kavanaugh, but we have markets on whether or not the government will be shut down (probably not, but someone seems to think it’s worth maxing at 20c), as well as one on whether or not the House passes H.R. 6760 next week (which the market likes, but which I have no idea about).  It’s priced like there’s money to be made either way though, so definitely something to keep an eye on.

 

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.