Friday, November 28, 2008

New Real Money Prediction Site Coming Soon?

A tipster at the Political Prediction Markets group on Facebook reports that a new Costa Rica-based prediction market exchange called just entered Beta.

The new ".net" play money site, which still seems very bare bones, may be the testing ground for an Intrade competitor.       

"Word on the street is there is an up and coming '.com' real money site in the works," said our source.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Missed Opportunities at Intrade

Politickr, which had been taking a brief break from blogging during the transition, was hoping to spend much of it catching up on political day trading in cabinet posts on Intrade. Unfortunately, the prediction market seems to be taking too much of a breather of its own. 

Just when Intrade should be building on its incredible election momentum and boasting that it predicted the electoral vote exactly right (that lone, pesky Nebraska electoral vote notwithstanding), the site has strangely missed one opportunity after the next to keep politicos hooked.

Sure, there are the requisite contracts about the high-profile cabinet posts. But where is the contract about the next Commerce Secretary? Or Secretary of Health and Human Services? Or Head of the EPA? Why couldn't I invest in Obama's next chief of staff? And why is there a contract on Yahoo's next CEO but not one on who will be America's first CTO? 

When the Democrats met last week behind closed doors to vote on Lieberman's fate, Politickr looked in vain for the Intrade contract on his political future. Where is the contract on who will be named to Obama's Senate seat or Biden's? What about Hillary's replacement if the Secretary of State soap opera plays out the way it's been predicted? The list of potential short-term contracts is endless.

When Tradesports, the sports prediction exchange that was once part of Intrade, closed its doors this week, some nervous traders began to fret that Intrade might be next. But after this banner year for the site, Politickr highly doubted that anything was amiss. Still, the company has done very little to assuage such fears. Instead, by adding a contract about whether Intrade itself will still be in business next year, and removing its big ad for job applicants, a mainstay on the site during election season, the site only seems to be fueling such speculation. Far more disconcerting, however, is the lack of new political contracts on the site at a time when Intrade should be building on its buzz.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Politickr's Picks

With only hours to go before most returns come in, Barack Obama isn't the only sure bet.  Here are some other Intrade bargains you shouldn't overlook:

Buy Democrat Mark Begich to win Senate race in Alaska - Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, was convicted of violating ethics laws for failing to report gifts and services he received. Not surprisingly, Stevens' stock got slammed, losing roughly 25 points that afternoon. The chance of the convicted senator winning re-election is now nonexistent. If you haven't already, buy lots of his opponent.

Buy Obama to Win Colorado - NBC News moved Colorado into the lean Obama category last week, where the NY Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and several other news organizations have had the state for some time. In fact, according to Real Clear Politics, Obama hasn't trailed in a single poll in Colorado in more than a month and a half (with the exception of a single Fox News poll in September) and now leads by an average of 6.5%. Obama to win Colorado is currently trading at 84 on Intrade. Don't miss out on the easy money.

Buy Voter Turnout >60% - According to FEC stats, 56.7% of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2004 election. The Census Bureau reported that 64% of the voting age population showed up to the polls. Since every indication is that early voting numbers are higher than ever this year (NBC just reported that over 1 million early ballots have already been cast in NC), there is every reason to believe that more than 60% of the voting age population will vote. 

Buy Obama to Win Indiana - The early exit polling out of the state suggests Obama could well be the first Democrat to carry the state since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (he's doing far better than Kerry even in Republican counties). The polls are tight, but the late trading is trending Democratic. Take a chance on this one.

Buy McCain to Win West Virginia - Most networks have so far refused to call this state, but CBS is projecting McCain will prevail. McCain is currently trading around 90, so there's easy money on the table.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Final Predictions

From Matthew Dowd and George Will to Alex Castellanos and Chris Matthews, the pundits all agree on one thing: Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.

With only one day left, the Huffington Post lists the unanimous
presidential predictions from 24 pundits. While the verdict is unsurpring, the far more interesting nugget is the number of pundits predicting the Democrats will reach the filibuster-proof margin in the Senate: none. 

On The Page, Mark Halperin restates the obvious: "Barring an extraordinary shock, Barack Obama will win more than 270 electoral votes on Tuesday, giving him the White House."

Politico features its own Election Prediction Challenge, where strategists and scholars see things exactly the same way.

With Intrade predicting an 89.7% chance of an Obama victory going into the final day of trading (his highest price ever), where else can traders make money tomorrow? Check back later for Politickr's picks.