Augur Weekly - What Happened in Iowa(?)

A Look at the Week in Political Betting, Augur News, and More

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Election Betting Roundup

Well, that was something. After several days and several candidates declaring victory, Iowa has landed on Pete Buttigieg claiming a slight edge over Bernie Sanders…maybe.

Amongst the uncertainty, the DNC is doubling down and requesting a “recanvassing” of the contest. What that entails is anyone’s guess, but let’s review the confusing steps that have been taken to get to where we are:

Iowa Caucus Occurs. First, the Iowa caucuses occurred. Iowa awards 41 delegates determined by communities in 1,678 precinct locations. These precincts will shut their doors and enact an elaborate dance to determine a “viable” candidate. Many participants and onlookers have described the process as unorganized, antiquated, or just plain weird.

Reporting App Malfunctions. On election night, no results at all were reported, after an app (called Shadow) used to report results malfunctioned.

Results. Then, the tallies didn’t add up, the delegate numbers were wrong, and there were mismatches between the numbers reported by the state and those reported by local precincts. The Iowa Democratic party compounded the issue by refusing to tell anyone when they could expect results and appearing to be in no hurry to disclose the outcome.

Buttigieg declares victory. These results showed that Bernie Sanders had the most votes in the state, while Pete Buttigieg narrowly had the most “state delegate equivalents”. This emboldened Pete Buttigieg to be the first to declare victory.

Then Bernie declares victory. On Thursday, Bernie declares a victory devoid of specifics. Does he mean SDEs, Popular vote, who knows?

Prediction markets react. Heading into Monday’s caucus, Bernie held a commanding lead on Augur (68c/share) and PredictIt (76c/share) before voting began.

After Pete’s declaration of victory, the odds flipped, with Pete commanding 76/share to Bernie’s 24c. On Thursday, Bernie’s declaration caused some confusion for PredictIt user’s as the odds again flipped to a ~2:1 Bernie advantage before backtracking to a Pete lead. Currently, Pete has an 80c/share price in Iowa vs 20c/share for Bernie amidst the continued uncertainty.

Tom Perez requests a “recanvassing.” And lastly, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee is calling for the Iowa Democratic Party to conduct a recanvass of the caucus results amid ongoing delays in their release, citing its necessity to ensure "public confidence in the results."

Hopefully, the DNC can get its act together before Tuesday’s New Hampshire contest. In the meantime, you can tune in to tonight’s NH debate at 5pm PST.


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