Predicting CW

More
rep_nom.jpg

A lot of people seem fascinated with things like the political predictions charts on Intrade. I, frankly, would very much like to be fascinated with them. But in reality, they're deadly boring. Take the betting on the Republican nomination, for example. It's clearly just a kind of lagging indicator of semi-informed conventional wisdom. The crowd didn't have a premonition of Mike Huckabee's rise and -- more damningly -- the crowd didn't have the foreknowledge to recognize that Huckabee's surge was going to lead to a backlash and heightened scrutiny. So he skyrockets up and then down he dips.

On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Hillary is currently valued at 66.9 and I'm absolutely certain that if she loses in Iowa (of which there's certainly more than a 33 percent chance of happening) then she'll plunge.

Not that any of that is wrong, but it's not especially interesting. You'd like to see some kind of noteworthy divergence between what the betting markets are saying and what people in DC speculate about around the water cooler. Instead, you get something that seems to be an equal blend of what people say around the water cooler with national polls. In formal terms, I guess the problem is that everyone is working off the same bits of inadequate information so nothing's really being aggregated. We all know what the latest polls say and that the outcomes in the early states matter more. Put all of us knowing the same thing together and what you get is dull, dull, dull.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In