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Friday, August 22, 2003


Dean Futures

posted by Trammell at Friday, August 22, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Today, I've had a particularly amusing back-n-forth e-mail exchange with a Freeper. Usually I ignore them, but this time I'm glad I didn't. In one of the e-mails he/she stated "I was in Vegas last weekend, and odds at Harrah's for Dean to win the Iowa caucus are 25-1." And I was like, heck, where can get $1,000 bucks quick? So, I started Googling, and I found a site called that trades in candidate futures. I guess there was a story about the Ireland-based site in The New York Times in July that's no longer available online, but surprisingly, I was unable to find any significant blog activity on this story (though I heard about the NY Times story from a comment at the O-blog and a couple of gaming journals) so hey, I'm gonna call it a Dean Nation Scooplet. At the site, click "Politics" from the left column and then choose "Democratic Presidential Nominee" from the list. It's pretty cool, well worth checking out.

From Harold's O-blog comments on the July 13 Times article by Matthew Ericson:
Candidates trade from 0 - 100 with each point costing $0.10. For example, John Kerry is currently (Friday) in number one spot trading at 32 points and would cost $3.20. If Kerry wins the democratic nomination the contract pays out $10, resulting in a profit of $6.80. If he loses, the trader loses the $3.20.

While Kerry, out of over 8 choices is currently leading at 32, he is way down from his former high of 54. Dean is at 19, in second place, and seems to be steadily rising. Everyone else, it appears, is going down, down, down.

"How accurate is the market? Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford Business School, says that with real money at stake, betting markets can do a better job than opinion polls in predicting election results."
Well, what a difference a month makes. While Kerry has slipped a little to 31, he's been in essentially the same position for a month, and is much closer to his all-time low of 25 than his all-time high of 54. Lieberman's high of 33 has tanked, and like Kerry, he's much closer to his all-time low of 9 and currently stands at 13. Edwards is at 5, an all-time low, down from his previous low of 6. Gephardt is at 7, very very close to his all-time low of 6.

But what about Dean? Well, you just gotta see this chart. He was at 19 in July, but now stands at 29, in a virtual tie with Kerry. In fact "buy" prices for their contracts are currently tied at 29. Dean's all-time high is 32, so he is far closer to that figure than his all-time low of 8 and is the only one of the candidates with upward momentum.

I know little about how much credence to give such things, but it's an encouraging sign. Still, your best bet on Dean is to give to the campaign, not trade in futures. At the very least, I found this quite entertaining, and of course I sent the link back in an e-mail to my pet Freeper!


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.