Saturday, January 05, 2008

Predicting a win

So I don't know if any of y'all (H/T Kristie) follow the Iowa Electronic Markets. It's a non profit, actual money market that trades in presidential futures (among other things). Anyone who wants to can open an account for between $5 and $500, and basically they can bet on who will win the republican nomination, the decmocratic nomination, or the overall election for U.S. president. Each winning share is worth one dollar, and each non-winning share is worth $0, payable after the two party nominating conventions and after the actual election.

Well, okay, I'm no economist by any stretch of the imagination, and I guess it's at least a little more complicated than that. But you get the idea. Apparently (by some accounts) the IEM has been a bit more accurate than traditional polling in predicting who will win the nominations and/or the final election.

All that to say that for the Democratic nomination, Clinton shares have been selling for over 50 cents (out of a dollar split among all candidates) for quite a while now, and today, for the first time in ages, she slipped below 50 cents, while Obama has risen to 54 cents. Which is yotta kewl. From January 5, 2008, IEM, 8:30 PM Pacific time: (ok, the formatting is shocking here. I'm too lazy to fix it.) Just look at the actual web page


and here's the history (again. not very clear below. Click on the link to see the real version. Obama is green, Hillary is blue)


byron smith said...

Hey, just wanted to say thanks for putting me onto this. I've been following it on and off since this post and thought I'd point out the latest graph (if you haven't already seen it).

Benjamin Ady said...

Hey Byron

Long time no talk to. Are you guys finished with your international move and all settled in? It's kind of strange, the 'net, since you've made this *huge* physical shift, but to me, you're still very much in the same place as ever, here on emails and blogs and so forth =).

I follow now, which is quite similar to iowa electronic markets, but has a lot of other political markets which can also be interesting. I haven't looked at IEM in a long time. It's interesting to poke back over to it. I see IEM has Obama doing even better than intrade does. And WOW! They're giving Obama 55% of the popular vote? Crazy =)