Thanks to David Rothschild for giving me this opportunity to post on the PredictWise blog in the most interesting presidential election season of my adult life.
First let’s revisit Missouri which held its primary on Tuesday. The markets predicted a close election but to be this extremely close in both parties is quite amazing. On the democratic side, Clinton won by 1,531 votes, 0.2% of the votes casted. Because the democrats use proportional allotment, both Clinton and Sanders received the same 32 delegates. Sanders is not calling for a recount as it wouldn’t affect the delegate split, though those who bet on Bernie on Betfair or PredictIt probably wish he did. That is a limitation of prediction markets that measure the chance of a victory when the size of the victory matters much more in proportion allotment contests.
For the Republicans in Missouri Trump leads by a similar 1,736, again 0.2% of the votes cast. The Republicans use a “winner-takes-most” allotment and no winner has yet been declared as there are 12 delegates that will go to either Trump or Cruz depending on the eventual winner, very likely (95%) to Trump according to PredictWise.
The overall primary race for the Democrats is basically over with PredictWise giving Clinton a 96% chance of winning the nomination. Sanders will continue to win states, two out of three predicted on Tuesday, but not with enough advantage to catch up to Clinton. The next important discussion for the democrats will be Clinton’s running mate, the markets at Predicit giving the early edge to Julian Castro in a large field.
The Republican race is Donald Trump running against himself, whether he can lock up the nomination before the convention. Betfair has a contested convention, that no candidate reaches a majority at the end of the primary season, at an even 50%. Predictit has a brokered convention, that there is a second round of voting, at 42%, the 8% difference because Trump could pull off enough of the 753 unpledged delegates to reach the majority in the first round of voting. Trump is currently has a 78% chance of being the nominee, a 20% chance of Trump winning after the first round, or put it another way, if we get to the second round Trump at that point still has a 48% chance of becoming the nominee. A 22% chance that someone other than Trump becomes the Republican nominee seems small, but that’s still higher than the Mendoza Line. All these numbers can change with the results of each primary moving forward.
We still have an exciting election season ahead of us, seeing how the Republican nomination plays out possibly in a convention battle, the VP choices, the effect of the supreme court nomination, the electoral college and surely a few more surprises to come. Glad to be part of David’s team, helping to make sense of this election from the numbers, not the punditry.