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You've heard the Cook predictions, the Rothenberg predictions, the Karl Rove predictions, and every other set of predictions by the people who's jobs it is to be right. Now, it's time for the last installment in this series, chronicling the predictions of a few thousand amateurs with their money on the line at Tradesports.com.

The news is generally pretty good.

First, the raw data on how people are betting, with trends going back three months. The way Tradesports works is rather like an options market. You can buy or sell a contract on a particular event's happening, e.g. "Democrat to win 2006 Senate race in Virginia." If you bought that contract and he wins, you get $100. If he loses, you get nothing. Vice versa if you sold - if you sold and he wins, you owe $100, if he loses, you keep the money. The price of a contract is determined, like on a stock market, solely by the price at which two people are willing to buy and sell. Therefore, the price of contracts rise as the market at large becomes more confident the event will happen, and falls as the market becomes less confident.

I've mostly been keeping track of the Senate races, as well as the House and Senate control indicators. Races with significant movement since the last edition are in bold. Results in the trendline from before competitive primaries were concluded are in italics.

Finally, there's a section marked "analysis" between the Senate races and control indicators. This is my wildly statistically unsound estimate of expected overall seat gains based on the composite of the gaps between all the candidates' contract prices.

State/Candidate

8/12/06

9/14/06

10/2/06

11/5/06

Change

Arizona

R+87

R+85

R+82.9

R+79.5

D+2.1

D (Pedersen)

$7.50

$8

$8.50

$10.50

$2.00

R (Kyl)

$94.50

$93

$91.40

$90

-$1.40

Connecticut

I+1.1

I+60

I+52

I+91.8

I+39.8

D (Lamont)

$49.30

$20

$28

$5

-$23.00

R (Schlesinger)

$3.40

$0.40

$0.30

$0.50

$0.20

Field (Lieberman)

$50.40

$80

$80

$96.80

$16.80

Florida

D+93.3

D+93

D+93

D+93.5

D+0.5

D (Nelson)

$96.60

$96

$96

$98.50

$2.50

R (Harris)

$3.30

$3

$3

$5

$2.00

Maine

R+93.3

R+92

R+93

R+96.6

R+3.6

D (Bright)

$2.60

$4

$3

$1.40

-$1.60

R (Snowe)

$95.90

$96

$96

$98

$2.00

Maryland

D+53.5

D+60

D+50

D+43

R+7

D (Cardin)

$73.50

$80

$75

$72

-$3.00

R (Steele)

$20

$20

$25

$29

$4.00

Michigan

D+74

D+68.90

D+80

D+80.1

D+0.1

D (Stabenow)

$85

$86

$90

$90.10

$0.10

R (Bouchard)

$11

$17.10

$10

$10

$0.00

Minnesota

D+66.8

D+69

D+80

D+85.9

D+5.9

D (Klobuchar)

$85

$87

$90

$92.90

$2.90

R (Kennedy)

$18.20

$18

$10

$7

-$3.00

Missouri

R+9.5

R+9.8

R+2

D+7.3

D+9.3

D (McCaskill)

$45.50

$45.20

$48

$55

$7.00

R (Talent)

$55

$55

$50

$47.70

-$2.30

Montana

D+29

D+35

D+55

D+24

R+31

D (Tester)

$64

$65

$85

$63.50

-$21.50

R (Burns)

$35

$30

$30

$39.50

$9.50

Nevada

R+71.5

R+74

R+82

R+85

R+3

D (Carter)

$15

$12

$9

$5

-$4.00

R (Ensign)

$86.50

$86

$91

$90

-$1.00

New Jersey

D+23.6

R+15

R+10

D+82

D+92

D (Menendez)

$61.30

$40

$45

$91

$46.00

R (Kean)

$37.70

$55

$55

$9

-$46.00

New Mexico

D+95.8

D+97

D+95

D+93.5

R+1.5

D (Bingaman)

$98

$98

$97

$95.50

-$1.50

R (McCulloch)

$2.20

$1

$2

$2

$0.00

New York

D+94.6

D+96.7

D+97

D+99.1

D+2.1

D (Clinton)

$97.50

$98

$98

$99.60

$1.60

R (Spencer)

$2.90

$1.30

$1

$0.50

-$0.50

Ohio

D+26.3

D+28

D+47

D+89.8

D+42.8

D (Brown)

$61.50

$64

$80

$94.80

$14.80

R (DeWine)

$35.20

$36

$33

$5

-$28.00

Pennsylvania

D+63.2

D+53.1

D+70

D+86.9

D+16.9

D (Casey)

$81.70

$77

$85

$94.90

$9.90

R (Santorum)

$18.50

$23.90

$15

$8

-$7.00

Rhode Island

D+50

D+20

D+50

D+53.9

D+3.9

D (Whitehouse)

$75

$60

$72

$79.90

$7.90

R (Chafee)

$25

$40

$25

$26

$1.00

Tennessee

R+48.3

R+20

R+22

R+55

R+33

D (Ford)

$26.70

$40

$36

$20

-$16.00

R (Corker)

$75

$60

$58

$75

$17.00

Virginia

R+77

R+40

R+22.1

D+20.9

D+43

D (Webb)

$10.50

$35

$38

$60

$22.00

R (Allen)

$87.50

$75

$60.10

$39.10

-$21.00

Washington

D+70

D+78.5

D+73

D+84.2

D+11.2

D (Cantwell)

$85

$90

$88

$92.20

$4.20

R (McGavick)

$15

$11.50

$15

$8

-$7.00

Analysis

Seat Distribution

R+200

D+353.5

D+363.4

D+476

D+628

D+150.7

Prediction

D+2.7

D+2.8

D+3.4

D+4.1

D+.7

Composites

Rs to Control House

$44.40

$52

$46.20

$22

-$24.20

Rs to Control Senate

$81.90

$84.50

$78.90

$68.20

-$10.70





Notable in this data:

  1. Starting with the control indicators, the market has finally given us a strong lead in the race to control the House. The Senate, in their estimation, remains likely to stay in GOP hands, but there's been significant movement in our direction there too.
  2. I'd been waiting for Ned Lamont to move, but if he wins it will be a complete shock to these folks. He'd been slowly working his way up from 20 to 28 cents on the dollar, but his contract has since fallen all the way to 5.
  3. In happier news, the market here, after leaning for months towards Tom Kean Jr. in New Jersey, has changed their mind and declared an absolute impending rout for Bob Menendez. Let's hope they're right about this one.
  4. Jon Tester appears to have lost a great deal of his advantage over Conrad Burns, but a lot of that is due to what appears to have been an abnormality in the contract prices last month. Still, it's clear that these people view this as a competitive race, with some momentum for Burns.
  5. Claire McCaskill, despite only incremental movement, is the predicted winner in Missouri for the first time this cycle. This one's won't be over until the last votes are counted, no doubt about it.
  6. Ohio has been upgraded to noncompetitive status. Sherrod Brown's contracts are selling for 95 cents on the dollar, Mike DeWine's for a nickel.
  7. Harold Ford Jr's been steadily slipping in Tennessee, and the bottom appears to have fallen out. The market here's still calling him competitive, but less so than Chafee in Rhode Island.
  8. Speaking of marginally competitive, Michael Steele refuses to fall off the board in Maryland. In fact, he continues to creep up on Ben Cardin, though still down significantly. Hopefully nothing to worry about...
  9. But as one falls, another rises. Jim Webb's fortunes on this exchange have gone nowhere but up since I started keeping track. For the first time, he's new ahead of George Allen, and boy is he ahead. Thanks for the Macacas, George. Means a lot to us.
  10. Finally, these guys don't seem to share our enthusiasm for Jim Pedersen in Arizona. His numbers haven't budged.

Last month, we gained ground in my composite predictions due largely to consolidation of our solid races - Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jon Tester, and Amy Klocuhar especially. This month, there's been a lot more movement. But with the continuing advance of most of our favorites, Webb's surge ahead more than outweighing Tester's numerical stumble, and Menendez securing New Jersey, we appear to be in better position after the reshuffle. These numbers are now predicting a four seat gain. We'll see if they mean anything.

Originally posted to ripzaw on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 09:52 AM PST.

Poll

I enjoy cocaine because...

19%4 votes
4%1 votes
0%0 votes
66%14 votes
9%2 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've been cracking my husband up with this (0+ / 0-)

    I know very little about sports, and even less about gambling, but I've been checking TradeSports several times a day for a couple of weeks now. I agree we are in pretty good shape according to the site, and I am boosted by their confidence.

    Something's happening here today -- a show of strength with your boys' brigade. Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 09:56:43 AM PST

  •  thanks for the analysis (0+ / 0-)

    I was wondering how to look at the betting numbers.

  •  Four seats? (0+ / 0-)

    Realistically, sounds about right.

  •  The odd thing about tradesports... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yellowdog, lipris, jamfan, AceDeuceLady

    is that while the general feeling is that the Senate will remain in R hands, if you tote up by state, the consensus would be D control of the Senate

    D needs 5 R seats to tie, 6 to win senate

    tradesports has D winning

    Missouri
    Montana
    Ohio

    Pennsylvania Rhode Island

    Virginia

    and not losing the close races in New Jersey and Maryland

    So....we've got a disconnect.

    personally, I think the people putting money down on the individual races are gonna have the better idea of how they feel things are going. Not a guarantee of course, but people willing to plunk hard cash on the individual races are gonna be more attuned to those races than the overall picture.

    And if that is the case, D 51 R 49, unless Lieberman bolts, then we'd be back to D 50 R 50

    which, when you consider even 2 months ago few predicted more than D +3, is still a major shift.

    "We Need To Find Courage...Overcome...Inaction Is A Weapon Of Mass Destruction..."(Faithless "Mass Destruction")

    by DanceboyOH on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 10:01:59 AM PST

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ripzaw

      Dems need to win all of the three Senate tossups to gain control.

      Missouri at $55 => 55% chance of winning
      Montana at $63.50 => 63.4% chance of winning
      Virginia at $60 => 60% chance of winning

      But the probability that Dems win all those races (assuming they are independent events) is only .55 * .635 * .6 = 0.21

      Now there's a small chance we pick up TN or lose NJ and so forth, and when you add everything up it turns out Dems have about a 30% of gaining a 51+ seat majority in the Senate. 50-50 split is likeliest.

  •  I don't know much about Tradesports: (0+ / 0-)
    But if I had the money to invest, it looks like I could really clean up there.  

    Take Nevada, for example, where the contract on Ensign is $90, and the contract on Carter is $5.  Say I buy one of each -- I'm out $95, but no matter who wins, I pick up $100.  

    That's a 5.26% return on my investment in just a few short days.  

    •  transaction fees (0+ / 0-)

      People are doing exactly what you describe. I know because a friend of mine crunched all their numbers during the 2004 elections. But there are some transaction fees involved which is why the contracts don't add up perfectly.

  •  I bought so much Webb... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ripzaw, VolvoDrivingLiberal

    low and now I'm going to be RICH!  I'll be buying the drinks on Tuesday.  Thanks for sticking your foot in your mouth and being a dick so often George.

  •  Belated tip jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fivefouranonymous

    This thing probably isn't even visible anymore. Oh well.

    -4.75, -5.08 Be yourself. Imitation is suicide. -Andre Gide

    by ripzaw on Sun Nov 05, 2006 at 01:41:29 PM PST

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