Who Won the Debate?

The TradeSports contract for “Bush Reelected” at 8:36 p.m. last night was “Bid: 65.0 Ask: 66.0”. That is the price of a share that pays a dollar if Bush wins.

The debate started at 9 p.m., EST.

At 9:55 p.m. the contract was up to 67.0, 67.4.

At 10:30, at the close of the debates, Bush stood at 66.9, 67.4.

So at the time people thought Bush won handily. But Friday morning, at 7:26 a.m., Bush was down to 62.1, 63.6, apparently Bush lost the post-debate “spin”…

Addendum: There are at least two ways of reading these numbers. First, bettors realized that Bush was connecting with the American public. But then the “left-wing press” gave the debates a pro-Kerry spin, and voters now buy into this interpretation. Second, the press is better at reading the debates than are the bettors. The bettors got it wrong at first, but fell into line once the press spoke.

Second addendum: By 10:22 a.m., Friday morning, Bush was back to where he started before the debates. And by 11:19 a.m., Bush is at 65.5, 65.9, slightly up from before the debates.


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