A fascinating interview this afternoon ran much, much longer than expected, which is a good thing. But if I am to get back to the pace of the one-day-only, all-day Festival of Election Eve™ updates, I can't spend much time actually setting up items. So I won't explain why I think prediction is usually the least useful thing journalists can do -- even though huge amounts of pundit time and effort go to tell us what they think is going to occur. I refer you to the classic text on the subject for more. And, as I'll explain further another time, I see a difference between prediction in the tactical sense -- "I really think Hillary is going to run next time" -- and trying to assess the long-term consequences of different choices or policies. (Eg this and this from The Atlantic.)
Here's why political prediction is morally inferior to sports-line wagering or other kinds of normal betting: In pundit-world, the losers never have to pay off. You can assert with blowhard certitude that this or that candidate looks strong, this or that voting bloc is going to turn out, this or that strategy will be effective. If you're right, you play up that fact. If you're wrong, no one seems to notice or care. In Vegas, you have to pay up. In pundit land (or "we need to invade Iraq, now!" land), you just move on. That's why, to give yet another argument in shorthand, I think it's good rather than bad if people who are making a big deal of their predictive talent are willing to back their views with actual bets. I will flesh out that argument some other day.