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From the gambling community


I should make clear that I don’t consider those who gamble on political events to have any special insights, as dsquared at crooked timber has demonstrated. In general the numbers in the Iowa markets andtradesports are at best a distillation of conventional wisdom. For fun, let’s explore the Senate. Sellers are asking for 80 and getting 75.1 at the moment (number is the % chance of the GOP maintaining the Senate).

Now, let’s turn to the individual races. Here’s a quick rundown of who’s got what chance of winning, according to this market. I’ll limit my analysis to those Kos defines as contested.

First, the potential D pickups.
Obama’s at 80%
Colorado’s not listed yet (presumably it will be in play after the primaries)
Murkowski’s only at 40%
OK isn’t listed.
Voinovich and Gunning are at 94, and Specter’s at 90 (note to political punters: Hoeffel’s a strong buy at 10), so they keep those three. Missouri isn’t listed.

So that’s +2 before we even consider two very good pickup chances, OK and CO, and one longshot, Missouri.

For the R’s

Daschle’s at 60, and Vitter (R) in Louisianna’s at 35, so no pickups there. Bowles is at 63, so no dice in NC. Not listed are Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia.

So, to review: State by state, the gambling community is giving the Dems a +2. There are three potential pickups on either side not yet listed: FL, SC, and GA as possible GOP pickups, and OK, CO and MO as possible Dem pickups.

Now +2 gives the Democrats the Senate, so for the individual wagers to make sense in conjunction with the Senate wager, the GOP would need a 75% chance of getting more of the three unlisted states than the Dems do. It looks a lot more like 50/50 to me. There seems to be a gap here. How to exploit it? Either bet on GOP senators of the Democrats to take the Senate. Which one? That I don’t know.

I’ll check back and compare the individual races with the senate numbers from time to time between now and November. If I have the same time, I’ll check the Bush re-elect numbers against the numbers for battleground state.

Note: L, G and M does not endorse gambling on politics. This post is for informational purposes only.

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