Friday, October 26, 2012

Weird Obama and Romney Numbers on Intrade

I follow Intrade, the predictions market, pretty closely during election season. It's far from perfect but it is interesting and often gets things right.

It is a gambling site where bettors can wager on the outcomes of various events including elections. The price of a contract represents what market participants believe is going to happen. A contract sells on a scale of 0 (i.e. event won't happen) through 100 (i.e. event will happen). 

Right now the numbers are quite strange but on closer examination they seem slightly less strange.

The Mitt Romney to win the presidency contract was in the mid 40s until a few days ago after he did well in the debates against President Obama and began to rise in the polls. Before the debates Romney had fallen as low as 21.

Now Romney is down to 36 and the price of the Obama to win contract is at 64.

Assuming wealthy Obama supporters aren't manipulating prices, prices for contracts as to which crucial battleground states Romney and Obama will win are split down the middle.

These are the current prices for those state-level presidential races:

CO roughly tied around 50
FL 72 for R
IN 93 for R
IA 65 for O
MI 87 for O
MO 95 for R
NV 80 for O
NH 57 for O
NC 79 for R
OH 63 for O
VA 52 for R
WI 75 for O

Perhaps this mixed outlook on battleground states is making bettors give the win to Obama. I think they'll be proven wrong in the end.

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