Prediction Markets on Congressional Control

Bets on Democratic control of one or both houses of Congress now up to 63%. Big discrete move at the Dobbs decision, then gradual convergence to 50-50 on August 1st, starting in mid-July.

Source: PredictIt, accessed 8/4/2022, 1am ET.


60 thoughts on “Prediction Markets on Congressional Control

  1. rsm

    Why shouldn’t Democrats hedge by betting on Republicans, thus destroying your naive assumptions?

    1. pgl

      It is only winning a little bet to you? No troll – this is about a woman’s right to choice, a black’s right to live without fear of being killed by the police, Asians right to walk the streets without some racist beat them up, our health care, our Social Security etc.

      If you do not know that – then please never comment here again.

  2. Barkley Rosser

    Dem control of Senate currently looks highly likely, with since Dobbs them looking likely to flip several current GOP seats such as PA, OH, and WI, while holding all or most of the ones they currently hold. House much more likely to move to GOP control, but that may be coming more into question now as well.

  3. pgl

    “Big discrete move at the Dobbs decision”

    Who would known? Telling the ladies that they are nothing more than baby factories is not a vote winner move?

    1. Bruce Hall

      As much as I am saddened by abortions (about 800,000 per year in the US), I agree that ultimately it should be a personal decision because many women will live with deep regret when they get older (not all because many see an abortion as innocuous as popping a pimple). Society should not be burdened with women who abuse their children and siphon money from the community coffers because they see children as cash producing units. The idea of “the sanctity of life” is now just a meme to be scoffed at. It’s all about “me” now.

      So, while the Supreme Court ruling may be correct legally, it does not reflect the attitudes of most Americans and morality should not be the basis for legality. This applies to many other legalities such as the ban on euthanasia or pedophilia or other restrictions based on peculiarly White, Christian or Jewish thinking. We are becoming a diverse nation and have to respect the mores of people who may have come from the Taliban culture or others where our peculiar biases conflict with theirs. I mean, why not four or five wives if you can afford it? We all should have the right to choose. If we can choose our gender, why can’t we choose our behavior? Okay, I’ll draw the line at murder because it is messy and uses up police resources that could be better spent catching other criminals so that they can be released by large city District Attorneys. But of course, that just happens to be my old morality so it doesn’t have to be a legal obstacle to anyone.

      We’ve seen for too long that old, rigid thinking about human interactions and behavior is costly and spurious. just look at parents who object to drag queens (some of whom just happen to be pedophiles) entertaining young children in schools and libraries. Such intolerance. And you hear these arguments that it’s what the majority wants that’s important, but really we know it’s what the minority can sell. So, the real test should be whether or not the actions/behaviors are economically advantageous on balance. Keep some old person who is using up a lot of medical resources or give them a fentanyl “happy pill”? Seems pretty clear to me. Some guy wants to bugger little kids? You know how costly court proceedings and prisons are? Maybe just make the guy pay for a year of college for the kid. Simple economics transaction.

      No, majority desires are not the important thing. It is the economic cost equation that is the only thing that matters. ‘Nuff said.

      1. Barkley Rosser


        We know you watch Fox News, but all this Tucker stuff about “grooming” and pedophilia is just sick as well as stupid. Spouting this garbage here just makes you look sick yourself, seriously so. Get well.

        1. pgl

          “many see an abortion as innocuous as popping a pimple”

          Anyone who would write something so incredibly demeaning was that there for his wife when she was pregnant. Bruce Hall – worst husband ever.

        2. pgl

          Brucie thinks pedophilia should be legal? Huh – that might save Brucie from hiring a good defense attorney.

      2. pgl

        “morality should not be the basis for legality”

        YOU put that in bold? You have no morals. None at all.

      3. 2slugbaits

        Bruce Hall while the Supreme Court ruling may be correct legally,

        It’s hard to see how a ruling can be legally correct if the stated legal rationale hinges on deliberately misquoting an English jurist not once, but nine times.

      4. baffling

        bruce, your arguments are pathetic and lazy. I noticed you made no mention of the pedophile priests. and no, the Supreme Court ruling was not legally correct. it was a morality play. given their first opportunity, the new justices jumped at the chance and in the process damaged severely the credibility of the court.
        and finally, “No, majority desires are not the important thing.” this comment shows how blind you are. your positions are not the majority in this country. bruce, you are old and will die soon. please quit trying to impose your will on the rest of us.

      5. AndrewG

        We call your ideology “white nationalism.”

        I have completely lost all respect for you.

  4. pgl

    Is Josh Hawley a Putin poodle or is he just dumb?

    Josh Hawley’s opposition to adding Finland and Sweden to NATO is facing criticism from fellow Republicans.
    Hawley argued in an op-ed that enlarging NATO would limit the US’s ability to counter China.
    Ted Cruz said Hawley was “mistaken,” and Marco Rubio wrote an op-ed directly refuting Hawley’s points.
    Sen. Josh Hawley’s opposition to adding Finland and Sweden to NATO amid historic tensions with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine is leading even fellow Republicans to criticize his position. In a recent op-ed that echoed former President Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy, Hawley contended that enlarging NATO would spread the US too thin in terms of its security commitments in Europe. The Missouri Republican said that the US should instead prioritize challenging China.

    The case for letting Sweden and Finland into NATO includes the fact that both nations have significant military capabilities which would augment the ability to defend Europe so this BS about spreading the US too thin is really dumb. Of course, Hawley like Trump would just let Putin run over Eastern Europe. MAGA!

  5. Steven Kopits

    This is a murky analytic. 538 predicts each house separately.

    Democrats are favored to win the Senate by 53:47.

    Republicans are favored to win the House by 80:20

    Republicans are under-performing in governorship races.

    Usually, it’s the Democrats who manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now it’s the Republicans’ turn. I see two particular problems. First, the Republicans are fielding weak, MAGA candidates like Oz or Walker. Second, all the talk of election fraud is creating the impression that Republicans want to end US democracy. That’s certainly the takeaway from Trump and Jan. 6.

    Therefore, those who want to vote Republican have two answer two questions, not only one. That is: 1) do I like Republican policies? and 2) do I want to end the Republic? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘no’, then the Republican candidate loses the voter.

    The midterms should be a walkover for the Republicans. The MAGA crowd, still fueled by Trump, has managed to make a race of it.

    1. pgl

      do I like Republican policies?

      What are Republican policies? Dismantling any form of health care for many people, eliminating the Social Security benefits for seniors, telling women to be barefoot and pregnant while daddy rapes mommy, telling anyone who is not white they are not welcomed in America. Sort of the Princeton Steve Contract for America!

    2. 2slugbaits

      Steven Kopits 2) do I want to end the Republic?

      The problem is that there are a lot of nitwit voters like CoRev who would answer “yes” to that question. Remember, he’s still unapologetic for having voted for Nixon not just once, but twice. My guess is that CoRev only wishes Hungary’s Orban could run as Trump’s Veep.

      1. pgl

        Stevie has said nice things about Orban. BTW Orban’s appearance at CNBC was applauded for some of his incredibly racist remarks.

      2. Steven Kopits

        Nixon was actually a popular president, with net approval per 538 in positive numbers until May 1973, that is, after his re-election in 1972. At this day in his administration, Nixon was +24.3 versus -16.5 for Biden. Indeed, Nixon was regularly above +20 net approval, and often well into the 30s and higher. Biden’s peak was at +17.7 on inauguration day and has been falling since. In fact, Nixon was more popular on this day in his administration that any other president since with the exceptions of the two Bushes. For example, on this day in their administrations: Trump, -11.4; Obama, -3.0; Clinton, +9.1; Reagan,-5.6; Carter, -4.8 (Biden would be so lucky as to be compared to Carter); and Ford, +1.3.

        By the numbers, Nixon trounced this rest bar the Bushes at this point in his administration.

        Nixon only fell from popularity after Watergate, but he was well in positive numbers the entire time before. Ironically, he (and I am not the first person to point this out), he was destroyed by his own paranoia. He was an enigmatic figure to the end, but on the whole, I think he was a pretty good president in terms of policies and leadership. Certainly, that’s the way the public saw it at the time.

        1. pgl

          It figures you liked Richard “I’m not a crook” Nixon who betrayed our nation during the 1968 election by having his minions in the State Department undermine our peace talks with the Viet Minh. And then he dragged out this needless and bloody way for another 4 plus years exploiting it during the 1972 elections. If you knew an ounce of history – you would realize how horrific he was in this regard.

          Then again you adore the racist dictatorial pig in Hungary (Orban).

          1. pgl

            One word says how bad Nixon was – Vietnam. Oh wait Stevie never heard of this horrific war.

        2. 2slugbaits

          Steven Kopits I don’t know if you were living in this country at the time, but in the spring of 1972 Nixon was very unpopular and was considered a sure loser to Sen. Edmund Muskie. But then Tricky Dick’s boyz went to work with some pretty unsavory stuff. There’s a reason Nixon’s re-election committee went by the acronym CREEP. Important Nixon Cabinet members went to jail or were dishonored (Maurice Stans, John Mitchell, Spiro Agnew to name a few). And don’t forget that Mitchell’s wife died in a mysterious plane crash at Chicago’s Midway Airport as she was just about to spill the beans on CREEP. The fact that Nixon won re-election in a landslide is a sad commentary on the idiocy of the American electorate. A lot of voters are simply nitwits, which is why I think a lot of folks would answer “yes” to one or both of your questions. But what’s interesting is how many people today misremember whom they voted for. People that I know voted for Nixon in 1972 now believe they voted against him…they just can’t remember who it was they believe the voted for. Humans are just stupid.

    3. Jacob

      I actually like that the market tracks prices for all three possible outcomes. The 538 models are great, but they don’t provide a joint prediction of the outcomes (a world in which the Democrats take the House is almost certainly a world in which they take the Senate; i.e. the outcomes are not independent).

  6. ltr

    August 4, 2022

    More Americans Are Going Hungry, and It Costs More to Feed Them
    The director of the nation’s largest network of food banks is seeing support dwindle as need rises: “You’re in the middle of a battle, and people are leaving the field.”
    By Lora Kelley and Nicholas Kulish

    The first time Kelly Wilcox drove her 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan to the food pantry near her home in Payson, Utah, she noticed one thing right away that surprised her: newer models of Toyota and Honda sedans and minivans. “I saw a bunch of other people with cars like mine, who had kids in cars,” she said.

    The mother of four young sons hadn’t known what to expect when she made that initial trip to Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry this spring. She did know she needed help. Her husband had lost his job. He soon found a new job as an account manager, but with inflation it hasn’t been enough. “We still cannot keep up with the bills,” said Ms. Wilcox, 35. To keep her children fed this summer, she has visited the pantry regularly and said that barring a change, like a drop in food prices or a raise for her husband, it will be necessary for the foreseeable future.

    Tabitha’s Way’s location in Spanish Fork, Utah, a town of about 44,000 outside Provo, used to serve roughly 130 families each week, offering essentials like fresh produce and baby formula. This year — serving people like Ms. Wilcox and her family, whose paychecks are not going far enough — that number has climbed above 200.

    The increase in food insecurity is not about a sudden wave of joblessness as it was when the economy ground to a halt in 2020 in the first wave of the pandemic. It is about inflation — higher prices for housing, gas and especially food. According to the last report on consumer prices, the cost of food increased 10.4 percent from a year earlier, the largest 12-month increase since 1981….

  7. ltr

    August 2, 2022

    A Fed Pivot? Not Yet, Policymakers Suggest, as Rapid Inflation Lingers.
    Stocks rose after the Federal Reserve’s recent meeting, with investors hoping the central bank would dial back rate increases. Not so soon, officials indicated on Tuesday.
    By Jeanna Smialek

    Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday made clear that they expected to continue raising rates to try to choke off the most rapid inflation in decades, putting them at odds with investors who had become more sanguine about the outlook for interest rate moves.

    Stocks prices rose following the Fed’s meeting last week, as investors celebrated what some interpreted as a pivot: Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said the central bank would begin making rate decisions on a meeting-by-meeting basis, which Wall Street took as a signal that its rate moves might soon slow down.

    But a chorus of Fed officials has since made clear that a lurch away from rate increases is not yet in the cards.

    Mary C. Daly, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said in an interview on LinkedIn on Tuesday that the Fed was “nowhere near” done raising interest rates. Charles L. Evans, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, told reporters that he would favor a half- or even a three-quarter-point rate increase in September.

    Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said in an interview late last week that he did not understand why markets were dialing back their expectations for Fed rate increases….

  8. pgl

    Tucker Carlson is a disgust racist:

    Tucker Carlson referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “Carmela” and in doing so, continued to purposely mispronounce the names of left-leaning people of color.
    In a monologue criticizing the Democratic Party on Wednesday night, Carlson bashed Democrats as being run by geriatrics. “The Democratic Party at this point is a cartel that exists only to perpetuate itself and the elderly mediocrities who run and benefit from it,” the Fox News host stated. “All of them. Carmela Harris is only 57 years old. She’s a child by the standards of her party, but she still talks like a dementia patient, slowly and incomprehensibly.”

    I guess Tucker thinks he is making a point when he butchered the names of black people. OK he is not alone but this is clearly the kind of racism that comes out of stupid people’s mouths. But geriatrics with dementia? Oh yea – that is Bruce Hall style. And we know he is both incredibly stupid and a blatant racist.

  9. pgl

    Why Arizona needs to replace Kyrsten Sinema as Senator:

    Siding With ‘Private Equity Buddies,’ Sinema Targets Corporate Tax Provisions
    “Wall Street has donated over $2 million to Sinema since she took office in 2017,” said one political observer. “Looks like they are getting a huge return on their investment.” As Senate Democrats work to finalize their new reconciliation package, corporate-friendly Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is reportedly demanding the removal of language taking aim at a notorious tax loophole that primarily benefits rich private equity investors and billionaire hedge fund managers. Politico reported Wednesday that the Arizona Democrat—a major recipient of private equity campaign cash—”wants to nix language narrowing the so-called carried interest loophole,” which allows some ultra-wealthy executives to pay a lower tax rate than ordinary employees. “Will she sink our last chance at investing in climate on behalf of her private equity buddies?” Sinema also wants “roughly $5 billion in drought resiliency funding added to the legislation, a key ask for Arizona given the state’s problems with water supply,” Politico noted. The carried interest provision of the reconciliation package would raise an estimated $14 billion in federal revenue over a decade by subjecting more of the income of wealthy investors to a tax rate higher than the 20% long-term capital gains rate.

    She is as bad as Mitch McConnell on tax policy.

    1. Macroduck

      A Senate gain allows confirmation of appointees. A House loss means nothing but trivia and budget legislation will pass, and the budget legislation will involve threats of government shutdown. Manchin would lose power, probably positioning himself as an intermediary in budget legislation.

      Not pretty, but we’ve seen it all before.

      1. Moses Herzog

        That makes me wonder if that isn’t part of the reason Manchin gave in on the budget talks. Licked his index finger, put it in the wind, saw the winds were going to change on the next turn around the bend, and thought maybe it was a good idea to “play nicey” before his place in things changed. The quick change struck me as rather mysterious. Maybe some office phone calls from colleagues hinting that “paybacks” might be in the offing??

        1. pgl

          You and I are both scrathing our heads which way Manchin goes. I am convinced he could care less whether the Senate in 2023 is led by McConnell or Schumer as long as Manchin has a Senate position to serve whoever gives him the most political support on his next reelection.

          1. Moses Herzog

            If they pass this, I don’t quite wanna say it’s a masterstroke, because outlets like WSJ will bring out the old “The IRS boogeyman is coming after you!!!” even though it doesn’t effect hardly anyone making under $400k. But this is a pretty good moving of the chess pieces because it’s an old Bill Clinton type move:

            President Biden needs to hit hard on notes that are going to grab the folks in the middle (they are there), and let the Orange Abomination just focus on his illiterate base. And he needs to connect the Orange Abomination tightly together with the mistakes of the early Covid response. Play the bleach and “light into the skin” video so many times in TV adds, with his big ugly orange face on the screen as the audio from that presser is being played, play that audio over and over again, and even play the “Access Hollywood” woman parts audio with his ugly orange face on the screen as that audio plays. Bring back all of donald trump’s “the best of album” statements back that will turn off voters in the center. And get Biden in all those Midwestern state that Hillary was too much of a snob to go to. If the bill passes, and inflation settles before the end of ’22, his odds really aren’t that bad for a 2nd term. If Biden has say a 10%–15% lead, I would even contemplate doing “town halls” and skipping debates with the Orange Abomination. Keep hitting on notes that people in the center like.

          2. pgl

            A big thank you to Moses for the link to this:

            Orbán urges Christian nationalists in Europe and US to ‘unite forces’ at CPAC

            How blatant racists can call themselves Christian is beyond me? But Orban is Princeton Steve’s kind of leader.

          3. baffling

            Moses, I have been saying for a while to simply take what you can get. and keep adding to it. no need to get one big grand slam. and steady stream of victories over 4 years is not a bad thing. progressives need to be patient. this all or nothing mentality is amateur.

          4. Moses Herzog

            @ baffling
            What you said sounds nice as a theory. And if you can get that to work in practice, I’m all for it. The problem is these things nearly ever only get done in legislative “clumps”, because every senator or Representative wants their pet project to be funded, and the only way you get that done is with the horse trading~~ or “clumps” of issues thrown together.

          5. baffling

            Moses, the reality should be apparent. progressives had a big agenda and wanted all or nothing. Biden has passed several significant programs that were shells of their former selves. but add it all up, and he has accomplished a good deal. if progressives were still in the hostage taking mode of last year, they would have absolutely nothing right now. that is a fact. what I say in theory is what has happened in practice. if aoc had her way, we would have nothing to show right now. there is nothing wrong with being a pragmatist if you are patient.

          6. Baffling

            Moses, she and others made plenty of threats outside of the votes to withhold. Fortunately neither pelosi, schumer or biden caved to their demands. You are overlooking this fact. That 94.4% is far from the whole story. And you know that.

          7. Moses Herzog

            @ baffling
            Your last comment has some validity to it, but I don’t think it can be said that Ocasio-Cortez and Progressives are “not playing ball” with the Biden administration. They still have a right to go on the House and Senate floor and discuss problems they have with the legislation. You’re asking them to “play dead”. That’s not going to happen, nor should it.

          8. Baffling

            Moses, they are playing ball today. But they were taken to the back room and learned the lesson. But it is good they learned the lesson. They are getting some of what they want. Save the intransigence for when republicans are in office, not your allies. I give them credit for adapting in a positive way. Hope they keep it up.

  10. pgl

    OPEC leaders Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed to “significantly increase” oil output if needed.
    The countries pledged to pump more oil specifically if the world faces a supply crunch this winter.
    Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other OPEC countries possess as much as 2.7 million bpd of spare capacity.

    I guess I just ruined the day for Putin’s pet poodles (Josh Hawley, JohnH, Bruce Hall etc). I cannot wait for the next Princeton Steve “analysis” that the resulting moderation in oil prices from more oil production is RECESSIONARY. After all world class oil consultants always confuse shift of supply curves and movements along a supply curve.

    1. Anonymous

      hawley may have asserted that the usa; real issue is in the indo pacific.

      adding a swedish [17th century enemy] to peter the great may not be all that useful.

      after all don’t the usa need to make sure the republic of china on formosa survives?

      1. baffling

        adding Sweden and Finland is very important deterrent to Putin. he has shown himself to play by a different set of rules. but even he knows that a direct confrontation with nato is his death sentence. he will not dare a direct confrontation. nato should continue to tighten the noose around Russia until putin is removed from power.

  11. Ivan

    The reality of republican abortion policies are being counted in death and suffering of woman. More cases of dead woman who had ectopic pregnancies or other life threatening situations but could not get help – will help getting the female votes out in local and state elections. The fear that a GOP house and Senate could ban abortions at the federal level will drive them out to vote at the midterm federal contests. The supreme court did not say that the federal government cannot regulate this part of health care – they simply said that there is no constitutional (federal) right to have an abortion so if you are a woman of childbearing age not voting could kill you.

  12. dd

    I’m willing to predict the Dems take the House and the Senate. The pundits and pollsters totally underestimate not just the impact of Dobbs but the crazed movement to deprive women of life saving medical care. As for inflation, women understand it means nothing if they are dead, or if their daughters and granddaughters face grave peril and must be on the verge of death before they qualify for medical care. This is not just an attack on all women but also on medical professionals. The medievalists seek to send us back to the good old days of flocking to cathedrals, buying indulgences and praying for miracles.
    It’s truly disgusting and so much so that I will never ever vote for a republican again; no matter my “economic self-interest” as my human self matters more than money.

  13. Moses Herzog

    “As for inflation, women understand it means nothing if they are dead, or if their daughters and granddaughters face grave peril and must be on the verge of death before they qualify for medical care.”

    You’re discussing specifically healthcare inflation?? It might have come across as a better sentence if you had specified. Not to mention the fact the last time I checked men have to pay pharmaceutical costs etc. Can you inform me why some pregnant women try to legally force DNA tests on men?? So when they reach age 6 the child knows which football team they are supposed to root for?? Or were there other factors involved there?? Gauging future teenage shoe size??

    I’m not sure if people’s strong opinions on abortion are very closely related to the avoidance of healthcare inflation. Although if Menzie would like to show me an R-squared for that I feel it could be highly entertaining. And before we drag out the old braindead form of debate “Yeah, but I automatically win any and all facets of this quarrel by saying ‘rape’/’incest’~~you should be informed that is a small small small percentage of the abortion cases.

    My advice to you, if this bothers you a lot, bring this up at the next meeting: There’s a lot of active voters there, maybe some from Kansas even.

    1. Moses Herzog

      It’s called a rhetorical question. Often children and adults who only have very limited vantage points are confused by rhetorical questions. The irony is the rhetorical question is often (though not always) posed when there is only one obvious answer that rhetorical question. It’s kind of like what lawyers do to witnesses. I feel it’s a very great way of argumentation, because instead of the person feeling you are dictating an answer, you “invite” that person to think out the same answer.

      Have you figured out yet why women ask for/ legally force paternity tests?? These comments sections are open about 2 weeks, so….. Let me give you a hint. It’s not because the guy being forced or asked to take the paternity test gets a free lottery ticket for taking the paternity test. And it’s not because she thinks a man trying to run out on his duties as a Dad is going to be a great example for her child. Think hard now. I’ll even give you one more hint: It even has almost literally nothing to do with this graph:

      1. dd

        Moses you have no understanding of rhetorical questions and even less understanding of females.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I did not foresee it, but it’s not terribly shocking considering these type actions against gambling sites are pretty common. It doesn’t take away the fact that when people “have skin in the game” and put their own money on the line, often times the predictions are going to be more accurate than a coin flip, or “random walk” or whatever you wanna call it.

      1. baffling

        every time prof. chinn has linked to the site (only times I visit it), I have wondered how they were able to remain in business in the usa. the site is gambling. but it is interesting nevertheless, because people have skin in the game. but I often wondered if any well heeled individuals abused the system. a couple of million dollars on the site could sway what the public thinks is happening (even if they lost), and might be cheaper than a marketing campaign. that is the problem with low volume.

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