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  • hmmm26 hmmm26 Nov 6, 2012 2:54 PM Flag

    Why I Bet a Fortune on the President

    NOTE: I wrote this thread yesterday, but had Yahoo problems posting it.

    I. Dislike Me? Tomorrow Might be Your Day.

    I’ve always been a gambler, a guy who keeps a dozen funded sportsbook accounts. But I’ve never done anything like I did today.

    This weekend, while reviewing election data, I learned a secret: the President’s true chances of re-election tomorrow are better than 90%.

    That’s nuts, I thought, because the Intrade line is less than 2 to 1, and there’s hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bets available [cue the lightbulb above my head]. So, this morning I wire transferred a very large amount of money to my Intrade account. This afternoon, I bet it all on the President to be re-elected at lines averaging about 2 to 1. [Note: that was Monday. Right now, 2pm Tues, the Intrade line is 2.4 to 1].

    I could use a win, too, because my wife’s price for giving me permission to do this crazy thing was that we spend some of the winnings on a three week safari in Tanzania in May. However, when I said yes, she entered shopping flurry mode, so trips have been examined, investigated and decided upon. I’m pretty sure Tanzania’s on -- win, lose, or draw. And flights to Arusha aren’t that cheap.

    II. Isn’t That a Huge Risk?

    So, why did I bet a small country’s GDP on the election tomorrow? Because it’s not a bet. It’s a transfer from the Romney campaign to me.

    The entire political universe uses Intrade’s odds. Sunday, it was mentioned on two morning shows. Since Intrade matters, in 2008 the McCain campaign came up with the great idea of opening front accounts to pour money into keeping his odds artificially high. From their point of view, the bets aren’t bets at all, they’re advertising expenses.

    When the McCain story broke in early ‘09 (Intrade was TradeSports back then), many of us who had won bets matched against the McCain accounts were worried we might get no actioned, but Intrade came back with the very proper ruling that any account can spend its money any way it wants.

    It’s obvious the Romney campaign’s doing the same thing this year. The true odds for the President’s re-election are 10 to 1. Sportsbooks are mostly charging about 3 or 4 to 1 (and rising by the hour). But Intrade remains at only 2 to 1. How can that be? Only one way: the Romney campaign’s keeping the price artificially low.

    My thinking is, if the Romney campaign’s handing out free money, why not let them give me a lot of it?

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