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The online website INTRADE is a joke!  The market is easily manipulated, has a shallow market and should never be quoted by anyone on matters of importance.

Now lets look at some facts to prove this.

In predicting who will be elected president there are really two types of operations:  Polling analysis websites and bettors. Let's look at how they stand as of the writing of this diary.

Of the websites that look at polling analysis we have the following:

1. Nate Silver's 538 gives Obama an 86.3 % chance of winning.

2. The Princeton Election Consortium gives Obama a 98.3% chance of winning.

Now let's look at betting sites where people can actually bet money and take a risk:

1. The Iowa Electronic Market has Obama at 74.5% chance of winning.

2. A consortium of the betting wagers at This Link has Obama at a roughly 78% chance of winning

Now let's look at INTRADE:

Currently INTRADE has Obama's chances of winning at 67.2%

INTRADE is roughly 20% points less than 538 and about 10% points less than other betting sites.


Well, there are lots of reasons and potential attempts to influence media coverage is certainly one possibility.  Other non-sinister reasons may apply as well such as transaction costs, limited market, people voting their favorite candidate no matter what etc.

Without knowing the reasons or even carrying about the reasons it is clear to me and I hope all of you that INTRADE should not be looked at as a serious predictor of elections and should never be quoted as a credible source.


Do you believe INTRADE is currently a good predictor of elections?

52%92 votes
47%84 votes

| 176 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Buying opportunity (9+ / 0-)

    Take advantage of the idiots who bet on Romney.  

  •  It's not a predictor of elections (8+ / 0-)

    It's just a game.  The people playing it are reading the same polls we are and some of them are just watching Fox and other fake "news" sources and so think that Romney has a better chance than he does.  What that does is provide a better chance for someone to make money off of them.  Because it's just a game.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:05:37 AM PST

    •  Agreed, and I'd also add (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog

      that, if the political balance in the Intrade community is anything like that of the community-at-large, that means a substantial number of people are 1) voting for Romney while 2) expecting Obama to win.  If anything the Intrade numbers are more damning than the poll aggregators, because (assuming that balance is correct) a third of their Republican users expect to lose the election.  I'll take it!

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:53:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm one of those people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog

      Who's making money off idiot Republicans who bet on Romney.  The only thing is, sometimes there's not enough dumb money on Romney and you have to wait around for it before snatching it up.  I will say this though, as the election has approached there's just more money out there on both sides.  That's smart money betting when the election is more crystallized - clear for some, unclear for others.  But fuck them if they want to bet on the "hope" that their guy is more electable.

    •  Starting to think that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog

      This is why Rove et al are on the air today in the very shadow of an Obama reelection, putting their remaining credibility way out on a limb with their certainty that Romney will win. Someone might be paying them to lie to the public outright about the realistic odds to game the price on Intrade. Makes me think of the news item about Standard and Poors.

      •  Remaining credibility? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That word doesn't mean the same thing for a professional right winger as it does for regular people.  How does Karl Rove have credibility?  It's money and connections and power.  He does a job for people who keep him out there in the spotlight.  It has nothing to do with having ever been right about anything.  

        Intrade isn't even really a sideshow.  There isn't enough money changing hands there for these big rats to be gaming the election to effect that market.  If anything, it would be cheap for them to game Intrade to effect the broader narrative.  But really, the numbers on Intrade reflect the same numbers as the polling that just asks people who they think is going to win the election.  

        When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

        by Sun dog on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 12:15:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Intrade really is an inefficient market (0+ / 0-)

          Subject to emotion.  What we see here on Kos is some people who are trying to rationalize why they can't make money on it, making up bullshit about fees and such.  Guess what guys/gals?  You CAN make money on Intrade.  Watch me.

  •  If it is such a joke, you should be able to make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, shrike

    a fortune.  You are always welcome to bet against professional gamblers.  At your own risk of course.  :-)

    •  I really, really want to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clyde the Cat, MRH1

      Unfortunately, the barrier for entry for InTrade is sort of substantial. You have to email them multiple forms of identification and wire any funds you want to use. No thanks.

      Proud supporter of actually prosecuting rape, even if it requires extradition!

      by zegota on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:08:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In addition, there are monthly fees, entry fees, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRH1, lgmcp

        exit fees, and limits on how much you can put down on any given proposition.

        After all that, most of one's anticipated profit is eaten up.  

        Those who want to seriously bet, wager, or trade on the election have numerous other venues that are easier and more profitable.

        Until the economy recovers, I'll settle for cheap laughs

        by Clyde the Cat on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:12:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That IS a lot of hassle (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clyde the Cat

          and no WONDER their trends vary substantially from other, more objective measure.  Talk about a self-selected sample ...

          I always imagined it would be more like bidding on E-Bay, easy-peasey once your Paypal is functional.

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:18:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Intrade accepts credit cards - $250 maximum (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            there is still some paperwork though.

            "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

            by shrike on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:20:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You must not be in the US. (0+ / 0-)
              Attention US Customers: If your credit or debit card was issued by a US bank then unfortunately you will not be able to use this card to fund your account. This not the decision of Intrade but due to regulations in the US that restrict what US residents can do with their cards.
        •  I have paid no entry fees (0+ / 0-)

          The only entry fee you pay is to your bank when you have money wired to your Intrade account.

          I have not been charged a monthly fee and I haven't read anything about an "exit" fee.  If there is one it's probably just a fee to have profits wired back to your bank account.

          There are fees on all betting sites though, not just intrade.  

          The barriers to entry are two forms of address and money wired to your account.  

          If you can prove your address and have money to bet then you do it, so I did it.

          •  Copied from their site: (0+ / 0-)

            Intrade charges a $4.99 monthly fee. If you do not have any funds in your account the fee is not charged.
            The fee is debited from your account balance on the first day of each month. If, for example, you have opened your account on January 10th, you will not be charged your first monthly fee until February 1st.
            This fee encourages and provides for an unlimited number of predictions. There are no transaction fees or commission charges other than the monthly fee of US$4.99.
            If your account is unused for eighteen-months then a dormant account fee of $5.00 will be debited from your account balance on a monthly basis.

            Until the economy recovers, I'll settle for cheap laughs

            by Clyde the Cat on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 12:48:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  That is one of the problems with INTRADE (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Iberian

      that I cannot bet against the Romney idiots.  They do not take credit cards, are based in Northern Ireland and there is a delay between getting them via (apparently via bank transfer) and making a bet.

      If I could I would be a lot on OBAMA at those odds.

      In fact no one should buy at the Iowa market because there 74.5 is much higher.  I think they buy there because they can and INTRADE is hard to get into.

  •  Why the hell do you even care (9+ / 0-)

    God. Clutch those pearls extra hard

    CNN has called it: Luke Skywalker vs. the Death Star is a tie!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:07:21 AM PST

  •  Deja vu (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought I saw this same diary yesterday. Only Obama was at 64%.

  •  If... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, lgmcp

    The legality of intrade were clearer in the US (and thus also it was easier to fund an account), I would currently be buying up Obama. When he dropped to 55% in the week of the final debate, I was really salivating...

    That being said, I do think it's a pretty good predictor. Obviously it can be wrong, like it was about the overturning of The Affordable Health Care Act, but at 67% for Obama, while that might not be in the same range as Silver or Wang, it's still  pretty predictive of an Obama victory. And I expect it will close even higher today.

  •  The English and Australian bookmakers never miss (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRH1, shrike, TomP, InformedDiva, Catte Nappe

    and right now, Obama is a 6 to 1 favorite to win reelection at London based The lowest Obama odds I saw over the weekend were Obama being a 5 to 1 favorite. Romney was something like a 16 to 5 underdog over the weekend (i.e. 3.2 to 1); over the last couple days the odds on Romney have gotten longer he is now a 7 to 2 underdog (i.e. 3.5 to 1).

    •  These odds are not predictions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      The odds are an attempt to get enough action on both sides of the wager so that the House is covered. The House makes its profit by either the Vig, or in the case of money-lines the spreads between the wagers.

      Now that being said, most of the people who make these bets are probably well informed. And believe me, they are tuned into every poll and especially the statistic analysis gurus. There will be a small portion of Obama wagers who make the bet just because they like Obama - these people would make the bet regardless of what the payoff is. These emotional bettors are akin to someone who bets the Dallas Cowboys no matter what, because they are their favorite team.

      One final thing, these betting lines typically move hard near the end for something like a political outcome. I expect the President to be at least a 7 to 1 favorite when the late money flows in, right before the polls open tomorrow morning.

  •  There's an easy way to make money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shrike, TomP, GoogleBonhoeffer

    and change the numbers at the same time.  There are numbskull Republicans out there selling Obama short because they live in their Fox News counter-reality where Romney's a shoe-in.

    Remember the end of Trading Places?  "It seems to me, Louis, the best way to get even with rich people is to make them poor people!"

  •  It's a gambling game, not a crystal ball. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's completely and utterly irrelevant.

  •  Chill out (0+ / 0-)

    If you think they are so wrong, go wager $ and make a fortune. Let's not get crazy here. I also want to see Obama winning with a 99.9% chance, but who cares as long as Americans vote the way they have told pollsters they will.

  •  the lower the odds of an Obama win... (0+ / 0-)

    the better the payoff. Unless I misunderstand how intrade works.

    It is therefor to the benefit of everyone betting on Obama for it to be a close race as far as Intrade is concerned. People trading Intrade shares then, have their own personal interest in Obama's chances staying low, and they can manipulate the market to that effect. It's a cool thing, and a way to make a quick buck if your into that sort of thing.

    It isn't not a poll and it is certainly not a scientific, mathematical analysis like 538. Still, O-65% vs R-33% are odds I would take every time.

    "Ruin comes when the trader, whose heart is lifted up by wealth, becomes ruler" - Plato, Republic

    by sixeight120bpm on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:11:14 AM PST

    •  Obama longs (buyers) most likely have (0+ / 0-)

      different odds.

      If you bought Obama in the spring at 50 your odds are not the same than if you bought today.

      Betting Obama is roughly 2-1 today.

      All bets pay 0 or 100 if not sold before the event settles.

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:18:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Transaction Costs - It's Flat $4.99 per Month (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, shrike, GoogleBonhoeffer

    To have an account at intrade, from what I've read on their website, there are no per-share transaction costs.

  •  Intrade is a great place to make a few bucks (0+ / 0-)

    Off the clueless.

  •  Betting = beliefs, not fact (0+ / 0-)

    Any betting site just reflects what people believe.  Of course that doesn't mean it will necessarily be accurate.

  •  So go place a bet! (0+ / 0-)

    Intrade and the other betting sites are - without respect to manipulation or other nefarious activities - a pretty good source of information.

    And really, if the odds are shorter - like on intrade - then your potential profit is larger.

    Consider: on Intrade, it costs you $68 to 'buy' Obama, and when he wins, you get back $100.

    So if you REALLY think that Obama's undervalued on Intrade, that just means you will win more money when Obama wins.


    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:19:31 AM PST

  •  The Iowa Elections Market (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    is a bit like Intrade but without money involved. It has tracked fairly closely to Intrade but now has Obama with a 73.5 chance of winning and a popular vote share of 51.0 vs 47.8.

    Iowa Elections Market

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:31:58 AM PST

  •  The most recent Gallup poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    asking respondants who they think will actually win the election was 54-34 for Obama.  I don't see how Intrade is way out-of-line.  

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:40:23 AM PST

  •  Intrade (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    got every state right in 08 except 2 (they flipped Indiana and Missouri)

    When there is a lot of data available (in this case daily polls) Intrade is very very good at predicting an outcome.

    People cite the ACA and how Intrade predicted it would be ruled against. But that's a bad example considering there was zero data on what the decision would be. People were just betting what they thought it would be.

  •  I don't think there's any evidence (0+ / 0-)

    that they have superior information than what can be gleaned from PEC, 538, or other sites.  Essentially, they're just reading the same polls as everyone else, so I don't really see any value in using Intrade as a source of information.

    The pleasure of hating...eats into the heart of religion...[and] makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands. - W. Hazlitt

    by rfahey22 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 12:40:24 PM PST

  •  Intrade v Betfair (0+ / 0-)

    Bet $67.50 for O to win at Intrade

    Bet $29 for R to win at Betfair (assuming you can--they don't allow US credit cards, which explains the odds differential between Betfair and Intrade.

    You win $9.60 if Obama wins (less monthly fee)--the likely outcome.

    You win $9.60 if Romney wins (less 5% winning fee)

    Put some zeros behind the bet and 9.60 becomes 96, 960.

    The word is the Brits are doing just this, fleecing silly Republicans who are skewing the Intrade odds.

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