Presidential Futures Market

Fascinating overview of how the presidential aspirants are doing at the political futures trading sites:


The guy I supported in 2000 has become a huge short sale:

Presidential Futures Market: McCain Plummets


Yeah, that’s right: my disclosure is I supported McCain in 2000. I thought the guy was unreachable by special interests. (What do I know? Turned out he’s just another whore like the rest of ’em — He caved in to the religious right, and they saw right through him).


The rest of the field is after the jump: On the Dem side, its Hillary & Obama; For the GOP, its Rudy and Fred Thompson.


2008 Democratic Presidential Nominee Race

Republican Presidential Nominee Race for 2008



Republican Presidential Nominee Race for 2008
Slate, July 2007

Democratic Presidential Nominee Race for 2008
Slate, July 2007

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Stuart commented on Jul 5

    Condoleeza Rice, Jeb Bush, Tommy Franks???????

    No surprise, Ron Paul not listed.

  2. bigboy commented on Jul 5

    Yeah Stuart, I agree, weird huh!

    On related note though – Ron Paul unfortunately has no chance in the area as corrupt as this. H’d probably get assasinated before he’d be let to be the president, even if he did muster up all the votes he needed.

  3. Fred commented on Jul 5

    You will like Ron Paul less when you get to know him better.

  4. tm commented on Jul 5

    [quote]You will like Ron Paul less when you get to know him better.[/quote]
    And why do you say this? I have gotten to know Dr Paul quite well, even in person. He is of impeccable character isn’t beholden to special interests and, get this, actually supports the Constitution.

  5. Stuart commented on Jul 5

    I know, there’s alot of Ron Paul I don’t care for…I really do think we need a Fed Dept of education…LOL
    But I would absolutely want Ron Paul in my cabinet on advice about Free and Fair markets.

  6. KaliExPat commented on Jul 5

    “No surprise, Ron Paul not listed.”

    I’m certainly not surprised, the sheepsters only consider Brand X & Y qualified to run the US, which makes sense since most sheepsters themselves are also rapacious ego-maniacs head-over-heels in debt…

    Why would the sheeple & their wolflike benefactors want a common sense candidate that wants to downsize the nanny-state and make people accountable for their actions?

  7. Michael Donnelly commented on Jul 5

    I still think Mitt R. gets the nod for the Republicans. The more folks get to know Rudy the less they will like him. And Fred’s the definition of an empty suit and really too lazy to run a campaign. I don’t particularly like Mitt, but being a governor is usually better experience than being a Senator.

    What is really news is the slide Hillary has been taking in the last 2-3 weeks. At one point she was close to 50% and now she’s at 37% I think Edwards at 5.20 is a great bargain, he will probably win or be #2 in Iowa.

  8. MAS (San Diego) commented on Jul 5

    Michael D is right about Mitt. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about winning the early states and driving your opponents to the sidelines. And then taking their supporters with you. Mitt is setup to that.

  9. Bill a.k.a. NO DooDahs commented on Jul 5

    The deeper story – the primary purpose of mainstream media is to control – therefore the radical ideas of Ron Paul must be swept down the memory hole. This is actually Slate magazine performing the dirty deed, Ron Paul is above Newt in price on Intrade, with a 2.60 last.

    They know that if Paul gets mentioned in such a light, some of their readers might actually investigate him …

  10. Tom B commented on Jul 5

    The thing is, the Dem Congress has another year to shoot itself in the foot. There could be some perverse backlash against the Dems if they keep just rolling over on their backs letting the Village Idiot tear up subpeonas and suspend sentences on criminals who compromised national security.

    Among the various candidates, Rudy is the strongest on the GOP side. On the Dem side, I like them all, but like the two front runners LESS than Edwards, Richardson, etc. I think people are still too conservative in general in this country ( I am sorry to say) to elect a woman or a person of color to president.

  11. Bob A commented on Jul 5

    I’d vote for Bloomberg if I was pretty sure it wouldn’t just help a Republican win…

  12. brion commented on Jul 5

    i’m for a white knight takeover of Bushco by Al Gore. This shareholder is pissed…..

  13. Dave L commented on Jul 5

    Come on, come on, let’s talk trading, not politics!

    Rudy looks like a huge short opportunity to me. Classic case of imperfect market information.

  14. ECONOMISTA NON GRATA commented on Jul 5

    As it relates to trading these jackasses, I would spread Edwards/Clinton @ 31.80 and go net short on Giuliani @ 36 scaling sales ea. half point.

    Isn’t it sad that this is all we have…? It just gives me such a hopeless feeling.

    I hope I’m not bumming anyone out… If so, Sorry…


  15. Contrarian commented on Jul 5

    Who cares if Ron Paul is not there? He said himself that Americans will have to change their ideas about the role of government for him to make a difference. Americans are not ready to submit to Consitutional restrictions on government. They want the free lunch promised 80 years of American politicians.

    I say that whoever plays the patriotism card the most wins the Republican spot and then gets crushed by the Democratic contender.

  16. Andy commented on Jul 5

    I think it’s too early to call anything on the GOP side because the religious right is hanging on the sideline waiting right now. However, I think Dave’s right that Rudy is a HUGE short (no way the religious right — the GOP primary movers and shakers — is going to let Rudy get thru the fall season unscathed). I also think Fred is a short at these prices… people are gonna get buyer’s remorse once he gets out on the campaign trail and starts getting more press about “Cuban spies” and other nonsense.

  17. Damian commented on Jul 5

    Reminds me of Southpark: A Turd Sandwich vs. A Giant Douche

  18. JohnD commented on Jul 5

    How is this not considered g.a.m.b.l.i.n.g by the Gov? Imagine if someone set up a football futures market.

  19. JohnD commented on Jul 5

    Btw I had to post it like that because the spam filter dislikes the G word I guess.

  20. David commented on Jul 5

    I like Fred Thompson as a short. He’s like a summer thriller that will be forgotten by the time the kids are headed back to school.

    That Clinton/Obama spread is awful tight in Intrade compared to the others …

  21. spongetoddsquarepants commented on Jul 5


    You thought McCain was “was unreachable by special interests”.? Uhhh..McCain was a good friend of Charles Keating and a member of the infamous Keating 5. That wasn’t too long ago Barry.

  22. Brian commented on Jul 5

    It would be very interesting I think to see how Ron Paul’s futures would shoot up with some more mainstream media attention. I see his debate performances in May shot his futures from near zero to near three. He then he fell back to 1.5 and his performance on The Colbert Report on 6/13 shot him back above 3. Seeing as though there are only 4 other GOP candidates above 3 and they all get plenty of press it would be interesting to see how high he would climb if he too got some more publicity.

  23. Rob Dawg commented on Jul 5

    Mr. R. Keating, Keating. Keating. McCain has always been a player. The rest are correct. R. Paul has mo and street cred. They’ve failed to shut him out. His counter rallies outdraw trhe main events. He won’t get the nod but he will force nomininee to actually crack open the book “Conscience of a Conservative.” Recall that the current Rep Party would not nominate JFK because of his ultraconservative positions. Anybody who tries to call R Paul an extremist has thrown every President of the last 48 years under the same bus only first.

  24. Snorri Sturluson commented on Jul 5

    Ron Paul is done, stick a fork in him. He is a wingnut voodoo economics wack job who happens to go along with the moral nanny state when it suits him. Sure, he’d get us out of Iraq, but so would anybody on the Democratic ticket; not to mention they wouldn’t produce a feudal robber baron-controlled society in the bargain (which is where Paul’s policies would surely lead us).

    Personal responsibility is great, but no more wack jobs from Texas, please! Sheesh, you’d have thought people would have learned their lesson the last time they elected a hard right business friendly “compassionate conservative” from the Lone Star state…

  25. Patrick commented on Jul 5

    Does anyone see the attraction of purchasing contracts on Obama *and* Clinton for Dem. nominee? Or Obama, Clinton, and Edwards? The asks for Obama and Clinton sum to 78.2, and the total asks for Obama, Clinton, and Edwards are 83.3. With Gore all but ruling himself out in today’s NYT interview, and the rest of the field floundering, the odds of anyone else winning the nomination seem much less than the 16.7% the market by default gives the rest of the field.

  26. ilsm commented on Jul 5

    Lived in New Hampshire in Feb 2000, who the heck was that Bush guy?

    Not the same McCain as in 2000.

  27. John F. commented on Jul 5


    In short, no. I haven’t played this market, but if I understand correctly, Hillary at 37 would pay out 63, Barack at 35.6 would pay out 64.4, so your total bet of 72.6 is underwater either way (ignoring fees).

    I’d think more along the lines of bets like ‘Democrat or Thompson’ or ‘Republican or Hillary.’ Arbitrage opportunities are not unheard of in immature markets, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

  28. Aaron Byrnes commented on Jul 5

    BR. Didn’t you write something a while ago that totally debunked political futures markets? Your point was that these markets simply were driven by the most recent and most visible news stories and had no special insight into predicting election outcomes.

  29. Jonny Q commented on Jul 5

    As a lifelong Democrat, I will be voting Ron Paul this next election.

  30. BuffaloT commented on Jul 5

    You guys act like picking between the great Satan Hilary Clinton or the no experience holding Obama is a slam dunk. This whole political process should just now be starting not be 8 months old.

    Clinton vs the the red states is going to be very close if not a lean to the republican nominee.

    My thought all along is combine these nominees into 3 or 4 tickets. First group to jump ship and forge a 2 person ticket will win. Everyone has too big an ego to do it though. But damn it sure would make for an interesting 2008.

  31. Winston Munn commented on Jul 5

    I’m voting for anyone who will stop bullshitting me and simply tell me the truth, such as:

    “The real 2006 federal budget deficit was $4.6 trillion, not a previously reported $248.2 billion, according to the 2006 Financial Report of the United States Government as released by the Treasury Department Friday.

    Taxing 100 percent of all wages, salaries, and corporate profits would not eliminate a deficit of this magnitude.”

    We are therefore going to running the printing presses day and night because we have no freaking choice.

  32. spongetoddsquarepants commented on Jul 5

    Ron Paul. If votes for him can inspire others to run for the same issues he speeks of, then voting for, and supporting Ron Paul may help to save America.

  33. lordkar commented on Jul 5

    I have watched the intrade markets closely for a while (as a humorous sideline to my actual job trading over-the-counter equity derivatives for a bank) and have a number of comments:

    (1) They are completely driven by recent media prognostications/polls. Futhermore, media prognostications are rarely good predictors of what is going in elections. We all know how bad the financial press is. The political press is much more rock-headed and lazy. Note: 4 years ago, Joe Lieberman was leading the Democratic Primary national polls and some people were taking Dick Gephardt seriously as a candidate. Howard Dean was nowhere in the polls, but drawing 10,000 person crowds, John Kerry was recovering from prostrate cancer and John Edwards was at 2% nationally. The markets at intrade were influenced by the polls not the crowds or talent of the candidates.

    (2) These markets are unbelieveably thin. E.g., I just checked the depth and it would only take $650 of risk to push Giuliani to 45 from 36 right now. Not the kind of change it normally takes to move a Yankees-Mets betting line.

    (3) Their track record is terrible. John Kerry traded at 3 cents on the dollar in late December of 2003. Michael Steele was a 30-40% chance to win the Maryland Senate seat until election day 2006. Condilizza Rice and Newt Gingrich for GOP nominee in 2008 could each be sold at 4-5 cents on the dollar until a few months ago. When Duncan Hunter announced for President (who I think is running to distract the local press from a bribery investigation) he actually traded at over 2 cents on the dollar! All of these prices were patently ridiculous to any professional political observers (not people on TV, but those who run campaigns and actually count votes for a living).

    (4) The edge that opens up in intrade is often quite big. Selling the Romney-Giuliani combo strikes me as free money. The GOP will never nominate either man for numerous obvious reasons.

    (5) The commenter who suggested that buying the Clinton-Obama-Edwards combo would yield 16.7% is underestimating the return. The return is 16.7 on 83.3 of capital, so about 20%, but you don’t get paid until Aug 08 (although you can likley unwind at 99+ in Feb-March. It seems to be that the only risk to that trade is Gore running (as he will win the nomination if he runs). That probability is both unlikely and unknowable. I note that if Gore actually does jump in that will be free money. He will trade south of 60 for the nomination initially and be worth 100. Take it to the bank.

    (6) I think the winning trades right now are (1) long the Edwards-Obama combo, (2) long the Thompson-Huckabee combo and (3) short the Giuliani-Romney combo. In six months, you can all make fun of what a fool I was :)

  34. mp commented on Jul 6

    It looks like Goldman Sachs is headed back to the White House.

  35. post pc commented on Jul 6

    mittr lost me when he said he would “double guantanamo.” i too like ron paul, i’m not sure why he isn’t listed? esp if you want “unreachable by special interests.” also why is bloomberg listed as a republican? i’d vote for him too (over giuliani anyway) as he’s his own ‘special interest’ :P i think ppl will like giuliani less the more ppl know about him…

    anyway, of the top four i think it’s:

    clinton v. giuliani –> clinton
    obama v. giuliani –> obama
    clinton v. thompson –> thompson
    obama v. thompson –> obama

    i can see the prez race being tight (w/an edge of course to the dems), but only because the party noms are more uncertain; once that’s out of the way, i think it becomes a lot easier to call. iow, i think clinton and giuliani make the weaker candidates so the tougher calls are between them and obama/thompson.

    don’t know much about thompson tho, which might be to his advantage against clinton (where we almost know too much) altho i wouldn’t underestimate her either… what i’ve seen of obama has been impressive — and of the four he seems most ‘presidential’ to me, actively courting the lincoln aura — while giuliani remains a joke, esp wrt bloomberg…

  36. Robert commented on Jul 6

    If Ron Paul doesn’t win, I don’t care who does. He’s the only one who isn’t already in someone’s pocket, or is a likely candidate to be bought out. Everyone else has ulterior motives, except possibly Mike Gravel. Ron Paul is the only candidate with the integrity and track record of Constitutionalism to back up what he says, and he is the ONLY candidate who’s telling it like it is. Those who do not see this simple truth are either delusional, uninformed, or have already converted to the dark side. It’s sad that he is continuously ignored, his supporting comments removed, generally mocked by the media, and sadder still that no one really cares. Here you have someone who is willing to stand up to the powers that be and do what’s actually good for our country, and he is marginalized time and time again. I guess that’s how things go in the real world… Yay for imperialist agendas and corporate pandering, I guess…

  37. undergroundman commented on Jul 6

    I watched a Google interview with McCain and he was fairly well-spoken. Yes, he want to Liberty University, but he defended it well by saying that he went to speak about tolerance and reconciliation. Now that I’ve thought about it I’m willing to admit that he has a point.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m in favor of McCain, but he’s best GOP choice right now.

    I favor Obama.

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