Jun 18

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Slate is Aggregating Prediction Markets for 2008 US Presidential race

democrat candidates

Slate is aggregating four prediction markets as a part of its 2008 US Presidential race coverage. As they say:

The thrill of prediction markets for political junkies is that they harness "the wisdom of crowds." A single person's bet on an election outcome isn't very good, but thousands of bets, with real stakes, are more likely to predict the correct result than even the best pundit. The Iowa Electronic Markets, the big daddy of the political prediction markets, is consistently better at forecasting winners than pre-election polls. (Read a 2003 Slate "Explainer" about prediction markets here.)

If a single prediction market is wiser than the pundits and the polls, imagine how wise all the prediction markets are together. That's the idea behind Slate's "Political Futures," which offers a comprehensive guide to all the big political prediction markets. From now until Election Day 2008, we'll publish regular updates of the key data from Iowa Electronic Markets,,, and (Casualobserver has not yet launched its 2008 political prediction market, but we will add it as soon as it goes up.) In these early days of the campaign, we are tracking four markets: 1) Democratic nominee for president, 2) Republican nominee for president, 3) presidential victor, and 4) party control of the presidency. We'll add Senate and House races as they heat up next year.


I appreciate Slate's aggregation and clean graph, but I have to say that NewsFutures displays their results in a much more eye-catching way. How long till we can't even see Bill Richardson's head?

I hesitate to say that this is a sign of prediction markets breaking into the mainstream. I don't actually see prediction markets doing that anytime soon (or perhaps ever), but it is very cool and interesting to see them being incorporated into a mainstream news site. Their inclusion does show the continuing shift of media companies towards listening to their readers.

For more reading on prediction markets, Dave McClure recently wrote a piece on prediction markets for Release 2.0 (excerpt) as well as an accompanying blog post.

tags: emerging tech, web 2.0  | comments: 5   | Sphere It

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Comments: 5

  Laszlo [06.18.07 01:47 PM]

The second image with the heads is what Tufte calls chart-junk. While 48 is abt. 50% bigger than 30, because they scale a 2d image, Hillary's head looks 4 times as big as Obama's.

  Aaron [06.18.07 02:07 PM]

I'll take the table graph, Its far more legible. The latter is almost as bad as cloud links.

  DinoHorse [06.18.07 02:25 PM]

The head graph is much more original... but of course the table one is more professional.

  Emile Servan-Schreiber [06.18.07 11:32 PM]

We consciously chose to scale the 2d images in order to make candidates in the rear-view mirror look smaller than they really are. It neatly captures the fact that the race to the nomiation is an all-or-nothing business where coming in second is pretty worthless.

  dave mcclure [06.19.07 01:16 AM]

actually, the real reason Hilary's head is so much bigger is because she only has one, and that's the one she thinks with.

all the other guys (emphasis) have two, and as with icebergs, below the surface & much much bigger. or so they think.


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