The betting markets are already taking wagers on the race to replace Alaska’s congressional representative. PredictIt, which is a place where people bet on current events and candidate chances, says Alaska’s former governor has the best chance of winning the seat that is vacant after the death of Congressman Don Young.
Palin bets are now going for 55 cents, with Nick Begich bets now going for 25 cents.
PredictIt is a betting market established by an academic group as a way to determine if real betting was a predictor of success. Owned by Victoria University in New Zealand, PredictIt has offered betting exchanges on political and financial events since 2014. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The wagering is taking place among people in the Lower 48 who are not that familiar with Alaska politics in general, and many are not likely aware of the new ranked choice voting system that will determine the next winners.
In the new market opened for the congressional seat, Al Gross bets are at 15 cents and Tara Sweeney comes in fourth at 10 cents. Josh Revak, Gregg Brelsford and Chris Constant are 2 cents or lower.
John Aristotle Phillips, co-founder of the prediction company, says that platforms like this are better than polls because people have skin in the game and are more likely to consider the risk of their choices. But in a place like Alaska, and with an election that has 50 contenders in the special primary election, the odds are that the people betting have not had a chance to fully comprehend all the moving parts, including the fact that Palin supported Bill Walker for governor, brought down the oil industry by signing the ACES tax scheme, and has not given back to Alaska conservative causes since she left office.