McCain Pulls Ahead Where It Really Matters

For those of you who put more stock in betting/prediction markets than in electoral polling, here’s what you’ve been waiting to hear: John McCain has just narrowly pulled ahead of Barack Obama on InTrade.

This is news. It is perhaps not so surprising to see McCain/Palin get a big convention/Palin-novelty bump in opinion polls, for such polls merely mirror the public’s short-term attention span. But people who bet this market for real money, even if the sums aren’t great, are necessarily longer-term bettors.

FWIW, InTrade also shows that the chances of Palin being removed from the ticket have fallen to about 6 percent. Interestingly (to me at least), InTrade has Joe Biden more likely than Palin to be removed from the ticket, at nearly 8 percent. (Keep in mind, however, that the volume is so low as to be almost meaningless.)

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  1. Mike B says:

    Could just be people making a hedge against a possible McCain presidency. With the race this close why take the risk of doubling down.

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  2. Peter says:

    Stephen this is great news, I had all but given up on McCain on Intrade. I love playing the political markets but was worried because Obama had been dominating for the last few months. I had bet on the Dropp Palin off the ticket contract on intrade right after the enquirer broke the story about a possible sarah palin Affair but I have gotten out of that bet., there is nothing going to stop her. Great Artilce!

    Good news.

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  3. Ben says:

    Anyone watch Palin get interviewed? She looked awful. The sad thing is that Americans will probably respond positively to that. Who wants a vice-president that actually knows what’s going on in the world? We’re moving closer and closer to idiocracy.

    I also think her selection was a sexist selection. Clearly an attempt to lure in women voters, but it’s a cheap attempt, it’s like McCain thinks women will vote for a woman regardless of her positions or credentials. The woman seems like a bigger idiot that Bush, her experience is being mayor of a state nobody really cares about, she has at best sketchy ethics and is involved in a near cult-like sect of Christianity. AND SHE WILL BE A HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENCY.

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  4. Jeff says:

    I’d imagine that this is probably the best time to buy shares in Obama. The post-RNC bump has peaked, and the presidential and VP debates are coming up, during which Obama and Biden will wipe the floor with their respective opponents.

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  5. G Pendergast says:


    your last line about the volume being so low as to be meaningless mkes the artilce for me.

    Good work!


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  6. Stephen says:

    Jeff–don’t forget Obama won’t have a telepromter or a prepared speech.

    Ben–Ever watch the Saddleback debate? And, did you forget she is governor of Alaska like Obama did when saying his executive experience is running a campaign.

    “My understanding is, is that Gov. Palin’s town of Wasilla has, I think, 50 employees. We’ve got 2,500 in this campaign. I think the budget is maybe $12 million a year. We have a budget of about three times that just for the month.” – Obama

    Don’t forget, your inexperienced candidate is zero heartbeats away.

    Anyway, I think McCain pulling ahead on InTrade is only a reflection of his point gains in national polls.

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  7. JG says:

    Isn’t this explicitly in Freakonmics? People on inTrade aren’t necessarily long term betters because they can sell their bet and exit their position. So they don’t need to buy McCain because they think he will will, they buy McCain because they think the Palin news will cause others to buy McCain = self fulfiling prophecy.

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  8. Clark says:

    What worries me about the Palin/McCain ticket most is their energy policies (especially in regard to drilling in the ANWR). Given the current state of our environment, I think it is important for us, as consumers, to support ‘green business.’ For example, Simple Stop stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

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