End of the road

November 16, 2008

Final words from TPT

After much thought, I have decided to wrap this site up.

I made profits on my Intrade account (turning $500 into $568) and a substantial amount of money on my Bet-fair account. I predicted that McCain would be the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in December 2007 ascendancy while Romney and Giuliani were still favourites. I had a spectacular near-miss with regard to Joe Lieberman being McCain’s running mate, and I believed that McCain’s selection of Palin would be a disaster. My formula predicted the popular vote margin correctly.

However, I completely overlooked the Barack Obama phenomenon and I made the cardinal error of allowing my political views to creep into my commentary (views that I should have kept to myself given that I am not American). With a full time job in consultancy that I am fighting to hold onto in the current economic environment, my blogging was perfunctory and scattered.

Thanks to all those who have visited this website.


Yes he did (and no, TPT didn’t)

November 5, 2008

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama


During the eighteen moths that I have been running this site, one of my constant beliefs was that a bet on Barack Obama was poor value. I even suggested that, contrary to conventional wisdom, McCain could win a Regan style landslide. However, I was proved wrong last night. Although part of Obama’s success was down to a combination of bad luck and the inexplicable Palin pick, he had guts to take on Hillary, staying power to be able to soldier on through Wrightgate and a steady hand during the crisis. Although, I wanted McCain to win I wish him the best of luck.


Election 2008 live blog

November 4, 2008

TPT liveblogs Election 2008 (all times are GMT/UTC)


20:53: I shouldn’t really do this (not least because I’m not an American citizen) but, GO MCCAIN!

21:40: First available exit poll from Lancaster county in PA shows Obama ahead.

22:21. 58 seats. Deducting 5% from the Dem margin would give one I guess 56 seats.

22:44 Exits look a bit strange. Possibly oversampling of Democratic and young voters.

22:49 Exits are VERY close in PA, Ohio, FL and NC.

22:50 Bought 10 McCain contracts.

23:03 Correction, estimates may be “adjusted”. Rumours of Obama +15 (which means +10 sounds right)

23:16 Other polls have Obama +4 in Va. (M +1)

23:32 Obama takes an early lead in IN. This was one of few areas where Obama might actually have outperformed exit polls against Hillary.

23:37 HuffPo has exits, taking away 5 points they are:

Florida: O+3
Iowa: M+1 (!)
Missouri: M+1
North Carolina: M+1
New Hampshire: O+9
Nevada: O+5
Pennsylvania: O+10
Ohio: O+5
Wisconsin: O+11
Indiana: M+1
New Mexico: O+8
Minnesota: O+16
Michigan: O+16

23:47. A point of warning regarding IN is that McCain’s and Bush areas of strength don’t match that well. I remember reading a memo in June that said McCain’s strength in PA was radically different from Bush’s. Palin might have changed things a bit but expect McCain to do better in suburban and urban areas than W.

I’d give McCain at 15% chance now. With PA off the cards McCain has to have the luck of the Irish (and it probably will be a 7% BO margin, but I still think the Mac has a chance).

23:53 Gawker exits (w 5% adjustment)

GA M+9
FL M+2
IA O+11
IN M+1
MI O+16
MN O+9
MO M+1
NC M+1
NH O+9
NM O+8
NV O+5
OH O+4
PA O+10
VA O+5
WV M+10
WI O+11

National O+5

Very plausible.

00:07 Graham holds onto Senate seat on exits alone. Good.

00:03 It’s turning out to be slightly lower than most people had expected. Still a small chance McCain could win but it looks like a 5% Obama victory nationally.

00:50 I’m feeling that we’re one call away from the contest ending. However, I’m also feeling the Democrats might be waiting for that call for four years.

01:10 Looks like Obama +5

01:14 PA & NH called for Obama though by MSNBC. I’ll wait to CNN and a red state.


Obama has strong national lead and is set to sweep “big six”

November 4, 2008

Obama leads by 7.59

Unless something major happens by my final predictions for the popular vote for the 2008 election are: Obama by 7.59

Barack Obama 52.14
John McCain 44.55

My state by state projections for the ‘Bix Six’ are

Wisconsin (Obama by 13.01)

Barack Obama 53.07
John McCain 40.06

Michigan (Obama by 12.24)

Barack Obama 52.27
John McCain 40.03

Pennslyvania (Obama by 8.41)

Barack Obama 52.14
John McCain 44.55

Ohio (Obama by 4.15)

Barack Obama 50.07
John McCain 45.92

Florida (Obama by 1.49)

Barack Obama 48.56
John McCain 47.06

Missouri (Obama by 0.13)

Barack Obama 48.45
John McCain 48.32

The results speak for themselves. The only ray of hope is that if the polls are wrong by 5% or more McCain could hold Ohio and Florida. I’d give McCain about a 15% chance.


Obama has a very comfortable lead

November 2, 2008

Obama leads by 6.68

My new projections are :

Barack Obama 51.27
John McCain 44.59

I don’t think it is completely over, but I won’t be adding to my Betfair position on McCain. Seriously, the polls could be systematically wrong, and the moderate voters could hold their noses and vote for McCain, but my trendline analysis is suggesting a 8.54 point victory for Obama, while my regular analysis suggests that Obama will win by more than Clinton in 1992.


Obama’s lead falls, but only slightly

October 30, 2008

Obama leads by 5.48

My new projections are :

Barack Obama 49.99
John McCain 44.51

The contest seems to be tightening a bit. However, Obama still leads by more than 5%. I still give McCain about a 20% chance because he has halted Obama’s rise in the polls and is making a closing argument that, if not the strongest case he could be making, one that is above the belt and has a chance of succeeding. In any case it is at least (for the time being) keeping Sarah Palin out of the public eye.

Projecting my trend analysis out until election day still has Obama leading in the popular vote by nearly 9%. However, if we assume that the approaching election has disrupted the post convention trend, that the undecideds break for McCain and he can win the last few news cycles, then a win is possible. How realistic are these assumptions? Well, I’d guess that many undecideds are hawkish Democrats and moderates who were disgusted at the Palin pick, so the lower profile of Palin and the emphasis on Obama dodgy associations will help in that regard. If there is one thing I’d put money on its the Schmidt/Rove machine’s ability to grab a short term advantage and Team Obama’s tendancy to put its foot in its mouth.

However, another Palin scandal could arise (or she could pull a Liddy Dole or Michelle Bachman). Team Obama could use some of the cash that it has been storing to saturate the airwaves and Team McCain could spend the next few days preparing for the great Republican Civil War. In any case, even if thing broke McCain’s way he could come up short. My guess is a tiny McCain victory or an Obama victory by no more than 9%. However, that prediction is so general that it is not particularly useful or courageous prediction. So I’d say the McCain prices at Intrade offer value, but at 17.1 that’s pretty obvious.


Obama has a solid-to-strong lead

October 27, 2008

Obama leads by 6.45

My new projections are (my methodology is here):

Barack Obama 51.03
John McCain 44.58

The contest looks to be going Obama’s way. However, although Obama is clearly the odds on favourite beyond it should be remembered that the polls have got it wrong before. In 2006 James Webb only beat George Allen by the skin of his teeth after leading comfortably in the final round of polling, while Gore outperformed his polls (though not the exit polls) in 2000. IAlthough a dose of buyer’s remorse at the polling booths is pretty much McCain’s only hope ‘d give McCain about a 20% chance of winning which is more than Intrade give him. I’m not going to put any more money on McCain but I’ll keep the Betfair money I’ve put on McCain on him.