What Does the Betting Market Say About US Politics?

Do you think President Donald Trump will be impeached during his first term in office? Well, pardner, no matter which side of that bet you like, now you can place a wager on the outcome.

A research project based at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand now offers a real-money site where punters can make and trade predictions on the future. The website is PredictIt and the prediction market data can be used to increase knowledge and understanding of subjects as varied as microeconomics, political science, computer science and game theory.

Before we look at a few predictions, here’s how it works. Bettors can make a prediction on future events by buying shares in the outcome. Each outcome has a probability of success between 1% and 99%. PredictIt converts the probabilities into U.S. cents.

For example, to bet that the president will be impeached during his first term in office will cost you 33 cents, while to bet that he won’t be impeached will cost you 68 cents. So far 48,463 shares have been traded on this prediction. If the president is impeached, each yes vote will receive $1.00 and the no votes will get nothing. If he is not impeached, the no votes get the dollar and the yes votes get nothing.

Here are more political predictions from the betting:

Which party will win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?
Democrats: 56 cents
Republicans: 47 cents
Libertarians: 4 cents
Green: 3 cents

Will Senator Elizabeth Warren run for president in 2020?
Yes: 61 cents
No: 40 cents

Will Ohio Governor John Kasich run for president in 2020?
Yes: 56 cents
No: 44 cents

Will Congressman Paul Ryan run for president in 2020?
Yes: 19 cents
No: 81 cents

Will Senator Bernie Sanders run for president in 2020?
Yes: 50 cents
No: 50 cents

Will Vice-President Mike Pence run for president in 2020?
Yes: 37 cents
No: 63 cents