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Do you think results should be official before they settle in close contests?
It is best to wait for official results before expiring a close contract even if that ties trading funds up for longer periods of time. 36% [ 13 ]
It is best to settle markets quickly with the first widely disseminated results so that funds can be freed up as quickly as possible. 36% [ 13 ]
All contacts should stay open and active until final certification occurs regardless of margins of victory. 25% [ 9 ]
Who cares about official results. I just like to trade! 3% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 36
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Mcbirdman
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http://www.smh.com.au/world/turns-out-santorum-won-iowa-20120119-1q8sy.html

Are most people okay with contracts being settled on Media speculation and unchecked math vs waiting for the actual results of the election or other traded outcomes? Anyone else remember Bush/Gore and a guy named Chad in Florida 2004 or perhaps "Dewey defeats Truman"?

My 1500 combo of long Iowa.Santorum and short Iowa.Romney isn't looking so far fetched now. I really wish that the need to feed the news cycle didn't take precedence over reporting accurate information. I also wish that if a margin of victory is within a certain amount, and there are official results pending, intrade should wait for those official results, regardless of what mis-information the news networks feel the need to prematurely disseminate.

Anyone else have a sizable position this way?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at February 20, 2012 21:55:06 UTC

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ChrisVanNiekerk
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I also ended up with a sizable position on Santorum to win Iowa (and stood to gain 5.000 or so) because I had been hedging and those orders matched.

I researched the media the day after the election and the GOP chairman in Iowa said that the result would stand no matter what. That is why I advocated expiring the market. Otherwise, I would have also wanted to see it paused.
Wheeler
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I think Intrade might have waited a day or so since voting was so close. But keep in mind, even if they had, Santorum.Iowa would have expired at 0. There is no official result overturning the election night returns. That's just the way the caucus is.
Domer
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1. Intrade expired it based upon their rules. Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa Caucuses and the media reported it as such.

2. Matt Strawn, the person who announced the results, the head of the Iowa GOP party (who is in charge of the Iowa Caucuses), and a Rick Santorum endorser, stated that these were the FINAL RESULTS, that there would be NO RECOUNT.

You have absolutely no leg to stand on with this complaint here MC. Not only was Mitt Romney declared the winner and fulfilled the contract, but Matt Strawn ended any speculation that these were not the final results.

It turns out Matt Strawn was wrong and/or lied, and we didn't find that out until many days after the result was finalized. This cannot be predicted by Intrade.

Further, what happened in Iowa is not anything resembling what happened in Florida or any other places where an AUTOMATIC RECOUNT was triggered by law (or via a candidate's request, also by law). In those circumstances, the results are not final, and the media would report it as not final, thus not expiring the contracts. We had such an instance in Minnesota, where the Senate contract was left open while a recount was being triggered.

Likewise, if Matt Strawn had come out at 2am and said "there will be a recount", then the contract would have very likely remained open because the media would have reported it as such.

Intrade absolutely made the right call here, and I do not see any reasons for them to change the rules that have worked so well for many years and hundreds of elections.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at January 20, 2012 06:21:46 UTC

Saint_UK
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Mcbirdman wrote: I also wish that if a margin of victory is withing a certain amount, and there are official results pending, intrade should wait for those official results, regardless of what mis-information the news networks feel the need to prematurely disseminate.


I agree. If winning margin is within a certain range, we should wait for the official result.
Domer
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Saint: There's already laws to cover tight margins and recounts. Happens all the time, and Intrade leaves contracts open when results are up in the air. We had a handful of House races in 2010 where this happened.

The Iowa Caucuses are a function of the specific state party (in this case the GOP) and the operations are left to their discretion. The Iowa state GOP party stated unequivocally that Romney's victory was the final one. That was that.

Rick Santorum, for his part, did not request a recount because he didn't want to be seen as a sore loser (and a recount is pointless as far as delegate math is concern).
Ermo
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The Iowa GOP also made it crystal clear on the evening of the election that the results would not be certified for two weeks, and that certification would be based on the official documents submitted by counties.

The word "recount" is used by several here, and by InTrade in justifying their decision. That word is a red herring, because what has happened was NOT a recount, but instead the normal process of certification over the prescribed 14 day period. Admittedly, the Iowa GOP did not expect the vote count would change after certification was complete, but they also made it crystal clear that the results were not final until certification.

InTrade erred in its decision, because in waiting to see if there would be a "recount," they made it clear that the contract closed based on the actual outcome, not the initial media reports of the outcome. However, in using the word "recount" (which is a technical term, involving the examination of individual ballots), they erred by misdefining the situation. I had several backchannel emails with InTrade at the time, and it was clear the person I was speaking with did not appreciate the difference between the certification process (as explained by the Iowa GOP on caucus night) and "recounts."

I fully understand that reversing InTrade's erroneous decision at this time would create additional problems. In the future, however, InTrade should attempt to learn from this incident, as their handling of it was not a model for how it should be handled in a similar future case.

I should ALSO note that official media results included 100% reporting from the vast majority of countries, as conveyed to the media by the Iowa GOP, some of which ALSO turned out to be incorrect. A person with political knowledge could make an estimate with about 95% certainty that Santorum would win based on which countries were at less than 100% reporting, how large each of those were, etc.

It seems odd that people would put so much stock in the "that's what the Iowa GOP said" argument, and then not account for the fact that the InTrade final decision was made assuming DIFFERENT numbers for some of those countries than the ones reported to the media throughout the evening by the Iowa GOP.

InTrade's "gut instinct" to wait until they knew if there would be a "recount" was correct, but their APPLICATION of that instinct was based on confusion about the difference between a recount and certification. That difference is 100% of the reason why I consider their decision erroneous.
Domer
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Ermo your post has multiple inaccuracies, inaccuracies which you invented in order to bolster your argument.

"The Iowa GOP also made it crystal clear on the evening of the election that the results would not be certified for two weeks, and that certification would be based on the official documents submitted by counties."

Not only do I not remembering that happening, but I just did a Google search, limiting results to just January 3rd and January 4th, and I could not find any statements or clarifications to this effect. The only statements I found were to the effect of....certification would not change the results. Certification was just comparing the results, etc. etc. There was absolutely nothing to indicate that certification was anything other than a step that mattered only in terms of formality.

"but they also made it crystal clear that the results were not final until certification. "

Another lie. They made the opposite "crystal clear."

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at January 20, 2012 08:22:04 UTC

nyboe
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actually the man from the GOP who said there would be no recount was absolutely correct. But the count didn't happen till yesterday.

The media does not report the count, they report hearsay, and contracts shouldn't be expired based on hearsay.
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Domer
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You are misusing the word hearsay. We have direct quotes from representatives of the body that organized the vote. There's no middle man translating that for us, and thus no hearsay.
nyboe
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the media reports the numbers based on phone calls they get from various people at the precincts which may or may not be accurate (and in this case it obviously wasn't)

this is the very definition of hearsay.

what is so wrong about waiting to expire these contracts (especially in close races) until the votes have actually been counted. It's not like people wont be able to get out of contracts for 1 cent or something.

I mean... if I want to bet some money on a one in a million chance that the votes when actually counted are different than what the media initially reported, I should be able to do so.



This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at January 20, 2012 15:07:46 UTC

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WestSayid
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This is going to turn into another trainwreck long thread. Too bad because the facts can be stated simply.

1. Most of the people who argue with expirations are those who were on the wrong side of the contract as per that contract's OWN written rules. In this case we have Ermo and others appearing out of the woodwork to lecture InTrade about "what it can learn" from not expiring the contract in their favor

2. Romney gained enormous mojo and momentum from being declared the winner by the media. In this sense he STILL IS the winner of the caucuses and the recount does nothing to change that. And that's exactly the metric the contract uses - media reports about the winner.

Romney won, y'all lost, Iowa counts as Romney for the purposes of 5-state, get over it.

It is inadvisable to post too much in these threads because the sore losers tend to start one starring every post that disagrees with them.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at January 20, 2012 17:51:29 UTC

elmanx
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I'm not sure how anyone can look at what happened here and claim intrade did the right thing.

Here's what the contract said

"Expiry will be based on the officially declared winner of the Iowa caucus, as reported by three independent and reliable media sources. "

It's very clear that the announcement on election night wasn't the official result. Strawn says:

"...Within two weeks the Republican Party of Iowa will have the final certified results of the Iowa caucuses"

here it is on youtube if you have forgotten (between about 1:00 and 1:15):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd9QINn06MM

After that he then goes on to say Romney won by 8 and that's what multiple media sources reported, but that's not the "final certified result" (i.e., the official one).

Intrade's justification is that any changes of results after the contract is expired don't matter. The problem is that they expired it too early by their own criterion (i.e. official result has to be reported).

Of course the way the that the contract and exchange rules are written Intrade could have also justfied that Santorum was the winner. Of course, they picked the easier course of action. It almost caused an unfortunate additional problem for them: the first 5 contract.

With regard to that contract we now have Santorum as the official winner and that fact been determined prior to contract expiry. So justifying Romney as the winner of Iowa for that contract makes even less sense. However, if Gingrich wins SC, they'll get bailed out here as the point is moot.

I'm sure that while they won't admit it publicly, Intrade learned something from this. Traders also should also have learned that sometimes you're going to pick the right side of a contract and still not get paid (and there are many possible reasons why, not just what happened here). If you're going to trade you have to add this small, and in some ways hidden, cost to your calculations.


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at January 20, 2012 22:39:49 UTC

mehwoot
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Yeah, I think this is extraordinarily weak from intrade.

Contract said "Expiry will be based on the officially declared winner of the Iowa caucus, as reported by three independent and reliable media sources.", as mentioned here before.

From foxnews:
Looking to stamp out confusion over who emerged victorious from the Iowa caucuses, the state's Republican Party issued a one-line statement Friday night to confirms that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was the winner.
"In order to clarify conflicting reports and to affirm the results released January 18 by the Republican Party of Iowa, Chairman Matthew Strawn and the State Central Committee declared Senator Rick Santorum the winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucus," the statement said.



From CNN:
The Iowa Republican Party officially declares Rick Santorum the winner of the Iowa caucuses late Friday.

Initial returns gave Mitt Romney a eight-vote margin of victory over Santorum, giving the former Massachusetts governor a major momentum boost heading into the New Hampshire primary.

However, a recount later gave Santorum a 34-vote advantage over Romney in Iowa. The news comes as voters head to the polls Saturday for the South Carolina primary.


From The Des Moines Register:

The winner of the 2012 caucuses, we now know, was Rick Santorum. The loser, it’s becoming clear, was Iowa.

The certified results released this week from the nation’s first presidential nominating contest revealed that Mitt Romney’s declared eight-vote victory on caucus night was actually a 34-vote defeat.


It is clear the intrade jumped the gun in declaring the winner, and then stuck to it to avoid the havoc of reversing the position. Very, very, weak. The contract did not say it would be decided on the first reported results that night; it said on the officially declared winner . Virtually EVERY news source now agrees that the officially declared winner is Santorum.

Disclaimer: Only involvement in this market I had was short on Bachmann.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at January 21, 2012 11:29:24 UTC

Mcbirdman
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Had Intrade been around when "Dewey Defeats Truman" was the headline the day after that presidential election, would the people who picked Truman to become the President have lost all of their money?

Iowa said that there wouldn't be a recount, and that is correct. A recount occurs when each and every machine and polling location is recounted vote by vote to confirm to final number.

What needed to happen for certification was to check the math of results aggregation. The difference being that the individual polling numbers are final and won't be recounted, but you want to make sure that when you add up those final totals from the original count, you want to make sure that the Local Iowa volunteer who were adding up those final numbers didn't make a clerical error.

If you have 100 polling places. Making sure those 100 numbers are added correctly isn't a "re-count" and is different than counting up each individual piece of paper. That's just prudent double-checking of your work.

The only thing that makes Iowa relevant is that it acts as an initial indicator to the nation. Had an Iowa official said we don't know the results and they won't be conclusive until after 2 weeks (after the New Hampshire primary), the Iowa caucuses would lose all of their significance, and the State of Iowa would lose millions of dollars in revenue.

It has to be recognized when a State Chairman is making statements and taking actions to save face in what otherwise would be an embarrassment to the state, he is no longer a disinterested party and his words should be taken with a grain of salt pending official word.

I was watching CNN at 2:30am trading these contracxts and watched exactly how this unfolded. The results were in essence called by 2 cute sounding, old lady, mid-level volunteers via phone call to CNN. Anyone else watch this "CNN After Dark" sequence? Based on what I was witnessing, I largely put on my position in these final hours of the Iowa Caucus because it seemed like these "final results" were far from Final.

In fact, I E-mailed INTRADE before the contract was closed or expired asking that they hold off on doing so, citing that while a margin of victory of 8 votes is great for a 24 hour News Cycle that is craving a result to report, in reality, we are well within the statistical margin for error, and there is a chance that these current numbers won't infact be the final official count. I specifically asked if we could wait until confirmation of final results before the contract is closed out.

@WestSayid: I am not hiding the fact that fact that I have a financial interest in this contract. In fact, my opening post in this thread stated that I had a 1500 hundred contact position at expiration between Long Santorum and Short Romney. The fact is that I put on much of this bet near the end of the process using my understanding of the political process in America and my math skills using basic standard deviations to predict the likelihood that the result of 8 votes, when just looked over the following day when everyone wasn't so Caucus Drunk, could turn out to be in error. So, I invested hundreds of dollars at THAT point in the belief that there was approximately a 30% statistical chance that Santorum would be found to be the winner in Iowa when all was said and done. Perhaps our friends in Ireland aren't as fully versed in the way of US politics. What kills me is that not only did I not net $15,000, but I infact lost by being among the first to realize this error and by betting CORRECTLY. In my mind, when I placed that bet, I was betting that the official results would be different that those results being prematurely reported.

Intrade has to be a place to bet Rumours and Speculation in all of their forms, but results need to be settled on official facts in order for Intrade to maintain its integrity and reputation. The real money should go to those traders who can see or at least anticipate through all the smoke and mirrors to see the real truth.

-Mcbirdman
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