Electability predictions

On rare occasions interrupting an activity to check feed subscriptions saves time, e.g., when the activity is writing a blog post on electability implied by prediction market contracts for nomination and election, and a post by David Schneider-Joseph on Nominatibility and Electability shows up that says most of what I wanted to say:

The fact that, in the real world, 2008.PRES.GIULIANI divided by 2008.GOP.NOM.GIULIANI happens to equal 72.2 simply means that, in those scenarios where Giuliani actually ends up being nominated, his electability averages 72.2. But his abstract electability, given the hypothetical scenario in which the Republican Party nominated him without considering other candidates, is not necessarily the same.

This far out one should not read too much into electability implied by prediction market price ratios, but they’ll be interesting to follow anyway, and on primary election or caucus days, and the eve of nomination even moreso, a power-hungry partisan would do well to pay heed (at that point scenarios where candidate A versus B gets nominated differ little excepting that candidate A or B gets nominated).

Of course I’d really like to see a party that nominates the candidate whose nomination is predicted to best further outcomes preferred by the party — platform as a utility function — nomination by . If a party’s preferred policies are not predicted to lead to a party’s preferred outcomes, a futarchist nominating process could lead to the nomination of the candidate most likely to lose!

3 Responses

  1. Andrew Goldberg says:

    Hi! I’m a graduate student at the Columbia School of Journalism, and
    an avid fan of political prediction markets (I participated at
    intrade for the first time this election cycle, and I also enjoy
    tracking developments at mock markets like thewsx.com,
    newsfutures.com, and poolitics.com).

    I’m freelancing an article about how well the markets did at
    predicting the results of the election last week, and I was really
    hoping you’d be willing to share a few thoughts. I recently came across your site, and I’m curious to know more about how you got
    interested in blogging about political stock markets. Who, if anyone, did you bet on in 06 and how did you do? Do you think
    the industy is becoming more mainstream? Where do you see it headed
    over the next few election cycles?

    Any insight you’d be willing to share would be
    greatly appreciated!

  2. I did not bet on anyone in the US 06 elections.

    I bet on Obrador in the Mexico 06 elections, for exactly the reason described here (I was glad to lose).

    Yes, the industry is becoming more mainstream. It will be commonplace to quote prices in mainstream media in the 08 cycle. Whether this will be a plateau or inflection point, I do not know.

    I hope the latter. I don’t care about political horse race betting per se, only as a necessary component of contingent markets that inform voters of the probable outcomes of their choices.

  3. […] and Electability – 2008 presidential prediction markets Via our usual suspect Mike Linksvayer (recently featured in the New York Times for his weird diet), David Schneider-Joseph (a Foresight […]

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