October 05, 2006
Tradesports...WTF Is Up With That Anyway?
Seriously. It seems that every time I go to a blog these days they're quoting the latest "tradesports.com" rating of a particular race.
Excuse me. But what do these guys know about politics?
I mean, one way or the other, why would you rely on what price a particular politician is ranked at? They're no better than day traders at predicting Jack squat. What sells is based on what a large selection of schmucks interprets the way the political winds are shifting on any given day. Jesus, some people will bet on ANYTHING!
Just because a bunch of lemmings have a "gut" feeling about a particular match-up that makes them a seasoned expert? WTF?
Yeah, I know. People are putting money on this crap so they must be doing their research, right?
How about the dumbass who bet it all back in July that oil prices would hit $100 a barrel. He's looking like a smacked ass right about now.
Take my advice. Whatever their rankings...ignore this silliness.
Posted by: Gary at
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See "The Wisdom of Crowds"
It's not necessary that any single person there knows anything super about politics. It's only necessary that they know a couple of things, which everyone does.
In the aggregate, they can make terribly accurate predictions. Particularly because they have money on the line. This differs from regular polling where the polled reacts to impressions given to her by the pollster.
In other words, when you ask a pundit, he has a high cost to being wrong. But he often has a higher cost to arguing against "his side."
At least, that's true for liberal pundits, since ostracism so frequently and rapidly follows any movement away from the herd. Lieberman.
For the polled, the cost of saying what you believe could be a negative reaction by the pollster. The cost of lying is only your conscience, which is easily salved.
For the betting group, the cost of being right is nil. The cost of being wrong is cashie money.
Posted by: Grayson at October 06, 2006 12:36 AM (3Vh45)
Gary---Coming at this from the perspective of someone who teaches political science, the political futures markets are much more fascinating and useful than public opinion polls because they are expressions of what people think
is going to happen, instead of what they want
to happen. Add to that that they are backing that opinion up with $$$ makes it a useful expression of information in a way that Zogby could only wetdream about.
Markets by nature are turbulent but there are patterns that can be followed, and as they are becoming more well known they are proving to be much more useful than "instant" polls getting at changes in the dynamics of the races.
Lots of bloggers are talking about them, but they really haven't broken into the MSM coverage all that much (mainly because, unlike the polls, they aren't run by the MSM outlets and arent' easy to spin and contort to get the outcomes they want).
Posted by: Steve the LLamabutcher at October 07, 2006 09:49 AM (ajyBV)
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