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InTrade Gamed To Make Mitt Romney Look More Popular

Just before the election last year, an unnamed investor spent millions to bump Mitt Romney's chances on InTrade.

Intrade chart on Romney's chances Image from: Intrade

Isn't gambling the devil's playground? Evidently one ardent Romney supporter thought otherwise, investing millions and nearly a third of all investments purchased on Intrade in the months leading up to the 2012 general election.

Wall Street Journal:

A new academic paper digging into presidential betting in the final weeks of the 2012 election finds that a single trader lost between $4 million and $7 million placing a flurry of Intrade bets on Mitt Romney—perhaps to make the Republican nominee’s chance of victory appear brighter.

Two economists who studied the data offer various rationales for the trader’s aggressive wagering on Mr. Romney in the final two weeks of the campaign. The anonymous trader placed 1.2 million pro-Romney contracts, some of which were actually in the form of bets against a Barack Obama victory.

The most plausible reason for the betting, the authors conclude, is that “this trader could have been attempting to manipulate beliefs about the odds of victory in an attempt to boost fundraising, campaign morale, and turnout.”

The economists, Rajiv Sethi, of Barnard College and Columbia University, and David Rothschild, of Microsoft Research, also analyze the possibility that the trader, who accounted for a third of all the money wagered on Mr. Romney in the last two weeks, could have placed his bets either to hedge on wagers in other markets or simply because he thought the price was good.

Oh, I think we know what the most plausible explanation is here, don't we?

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