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Published on March 9th, 2016 | by Thompson

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The Swings of Political Gambling: Michigan

Video poker, keno, and reel games cannot compare the rush of doing the research, knowing you’re right and losing money anyways. Those are the swings of political gambling.

Predictit.org will tell you they are not a gambling website because it’s based on a stock market model. Basically, you bet either for or against a candidate at a rate determined by the market, which is generally determined by polls and insiders. Much like a horse race, if your horse wins the race, you are paid $1 for each share you own. If your horse loses, your shares are worth fuck all.

Nate Silver had Hillary’s chances of winning Michigan at 99 percent at FiveThirtyEight. Here’s why they were wrong, but that’s not why I wanted to buy Bernie shares to win. I’m a Bernie fan, and already had shares of him to win the Democratic nomination and the Presidency, but I lost the $25 Predictit gave me and another $12 betting hard on the South Carolina primary, expecting the Hillary emails to result in an indictment and black voters to swing Bernie’s way. The former still hasn’t happened, but the latter has.

Last night I tried to buy 100 shares of Bernie Sanders to win the Michigan primary at $.30. He was up just a couple of points, but doing much better than the double-digit deficit many pollsters and pundits predicted. Instead, I bought shares for Hillary to lose at $.30 because the Bernie market had so much traffic it crashed multiple times. I almost sold my shares at $.75 just a few minutes later, when Bernie extended his lead, and was kicking myself when the price plummeted, as Wayne County votes came in big for Hillary.

I did some quick math, and based on the 20,000 vote lead Bernie had in votes and the 60 percent of Wayne County precincts yet to report, I thought Bernie would hold the lead with other counties with colleges. He did, and I bought even more shares of Hillary to lose at $.60.

I had my shares listed at $.99 and called it in the discussion forum, which was amazing to read during the primary, but another swing came when two-thirds of Wayne County precincts were in, and Hillary’s vote deficit was just 17,000. I sold them at $.80 just to get out of the market and catch my breath.

Next time, I won’t pull out early and go all the way with Bernie. I lost $25 by selling short, but I was in for $15.50 and nearly tripled my money. Pulling out early did allow me to buy 100 shares of Bernie to win both the Democratic nomination and the Presidency before the nomination shares jumped up a nickel just minutes later. Ah, the swings of political gambling. What a ride!

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About the Author

When Thompson isn't busy writing for Go Gonzo Journal, you may find him drunk at the movie theater with Professor Heinous or stirring up trouble in a bar with his attorney. Thompson also enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and watching and betting on baseball and football.



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