Post-Debate Analysis Part 3: Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush Shine Again

By Noah Lieberman

Ballotcraft is a fantasy politics game (think fantasy football, but for politics). Play against your friends and win by best predicting what’s going to happen in upcoming elections. Sign up and play here: www.ballotcraft.com.

This is part three of our three-part series analyzing Ballotcraft’s market data during the second Republican Presidential Debate. We’re looking at how a savvy investor could use this information to their advantage in the future.

While some strong performers from the last debate, namely John Kasich, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul, failed to replicate their results from August, two candidates managed to repeat in Simi Valley. Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush finished second and third respectively behind Carly Fiorina, and while the two Floridians were unable to give her a real challenge in the final vote, their accomplishments in the marketplace are still worth considering going forward. While Carly was certainly the headline throughout the night, the fact that Bush and Rubio were the only other two candidates to finish above their starting price means they are certainly threats in future debates and the primaries ahead. The biggest problem that the outsiders like Fiorina, Trump, and Carson have is that so far it appears as though they are all in it for the long run, perpetually dividing the attention, money, and votes they all are trying to attract. But the more seasoned politicians, who are potentially seeking cabinet positions or simply more political capital in the party, will not have an issue dropping out to help further the campaign of an ideologically similar peer. Just this week we’ve seen Rick Perry and Scott Walker drop out, with the latter urging more of his former competitors to follow suit.

As this trend continues, only the best establishment candidates will remain, and right now “the best” can only mean Rubio and Bush. This may not affect how our focus groups vote in the future, and probably won’t mean too much for their prices in the upcoming debates. But if they continue to stand above the rest of the insider pack on stage, then they should be the first stocks you buy when the real game starts.

Continue the conversation on the Ballotcraft subbredit

Noah Lieberman is the founder of election forecasting website PollingLab. Click hereto see more of his analysis of the 2016 election.

Advertisements

Post-Debate Analysis Part 2: Few Investments Paid Off In The Long Run

By Noah Lieberman

Ballotcraft is a fantasy politics game (think fantasy football, but for politics). Play against your friends and win by best predicting what’s going to happen in upcoming elections. Sign up and play here: www.ballotcraft.com.

This is part two of our three-part series analyzing Ballotcraft’s market data during the second Republican Presidential Debate. We’re looking at how a savvy investor could use this information to their advantage in the future.

While Fiorina’s dominance surely made her early backers happy throughout the night, those who put their credits behind another trendy candidate, like Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or John Kasich, were probably regretting that decision as the night went on. Unlike the last debate, where half of the candidates ended with a price higher than they had at the start of the debate, only three candidates, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina, were able to improve as the CNN debate went on. And while those candidates saw incredible returns on investment, posting 77, 178, and 130 percent increases by the end of the night, all of the others but Christie saw losses of over 50 percent. Faring worst of all were the three other frontrunners before the night began, John Kasich, Ben Carson, and Donald Trump. Despite entering the night with the first, second, and fifth highest prices, each one performed terribly on the market, plummeting by 71, 81, and 84 percent respectively by the time they left the stage.

Relative Price Changes During Debate

One more thing to note for future debates: while the first portion of the debate did little to separate the candidates, by the time we hit the one hour mark, every candidate who would end up improving on their initial price had already done so and every candidate who was destined to lose money in the long run had done so as well. And only Chris Christie, who had a phenomenal ten minute run towards the end of the night, passed back over that line at all once the 60 minute mark had been passed. So keep in mind that even in a field this crowded only a few candidates will really have a chance of “winning” the debate, and if a candidate hasn’t started gathering support by the second commercial break, they probably never will.

Continue the conversation on the Ballotcraft subbredit

Noah Lieberman is the founder of election forecasting website PollingLab. Click here to see more of his analysis of the 2016 election.

Post-Debate Analysis Part 1: Fiorina Owns The Night

By Noah Lieberman

Ballotcraft is a fantasy politics game (think fantasy football, but for politics). Play against your friends and win by best predicting what’s going to happen in upcoming elections. Sign up and play here: www.ballotcraft.com.

This is part one of our three-part series analyzing Ballotcraft’s market data during the second Republican Presidential Debate. We’re looking at how a savvy investor could use this information to their advantage in the future.

I was hesitant to back Fiorina in last week’s debate given our limited exposure to her debating skills in the past. While I didn’t think that she would be a bad debater, per se, I had major doubts that she would be the consensus top performer the market had her pegged as. But boy did she prove me wrong, not only winning the final vote (by a dominant margin), but also leading in the Ballotcraft market for almost the entire night. She started with the second highest chances of winning, tied with Ben Carson at 17.4 and behind John Kasich at 19.6, and had moved into a tie for first within the half-hour. After that Fiorina began a steady climb that lasted for the next 80 minutes, peaking at 10:03 with a price of 40.8.

The next five minutes were the weakest Fiorina appeared all night, entering a freefall that tanked her price by nearly 10%. Though she did rebound and end the night with a price of 40.3, those five minutes confirmed what I and many others had thought was the biggest possible weakness for Carly and the other outsider candidates. You see, Fiorina did not speak at all during her sudden and rapid decline, so her sinking price couldn’t be tied to some gaffe or awkward moment like Trump or Carson. Instead, it was merely that while the more experienced candidates were talking about foreign policy (in this case, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie), Fiorina’s outsider status seemed like more of a liability than a bonus. Once the conversation shifted back towards domestic issues and Fiorina spoke again she began her ascent back to the top.

Fiorina vs. Outsiders and Insiders

How the other candidates’ performances affected Fiorina’s price should give us a good idea of what to expect in future debates. As you can see in the graph above, Fiorina’s night really broke down into two periods: First, she had to emerge as the leading outsider candidate, and as such her steady rise to first place was largely unaffected by the performance of the candidates she was not in as much direct competition with. Once the likes of Trump and Carson were dispatched, the night largely became Fiorina against the establishment Republican candidates, whose prices, despite not having much correlation to each other, all had a very clear relationship with Fiorina’s. This mirrors the path of Rand Paul’s price in the last debate, as he eventually emerged as the dominant anti-establishment candidate before competing with the group of insiders. This likely means that while we might not expect Fiorina to be the winner of every debate, we can expect one outsider to rise to the top and maintain a large market share until the end of the night.

Continue the conversation on the Ballotcraft subbredit

Noah Lieberman is the founder of election forecasting website PollingLab. Click here to see more of his analysis of the 2016 election.

Insights from our focus group

Our focus group declared Carly Fiorina the overwhelming winner of the September 16 Republican Debate. We asked members of our focus group for insights into their decision making process. Here’s a selection of their responses:

Carly seemed like the adult in the room. She was eloquent, moving at times (the story about her step-daughter), clearly did her homework, got some good digs at Clinton, and hit Trump without turning it into a circus.

Carly had a forceful presence and a great introduction to the broader public. She was well-prepared and had one of the more memorable lines of the debate with the Trump thing.

First place was Carly. Second place was Carly. Third place was Carly.

Carly was unafraid to make her presence felt on the stage, and gave great, concise answers.

Marco was a strong performer. He comes across as eloquent and knowledgeable without losing authenticity.

Jeb Bush came across as more personable and energetic in this debate compared to his last performance. I think he’s regained his footing as a top-tier candidate in this race.

Thanks again to our focus group for their help!

CARLY FIORINA WINS REPUBLICAN DEBATE

Carly Fiorina is the winner of the September 16 Republican Debate, as she was deemed by our focus group as the candidate to have “best improved his or her chance of winning the Republican nomination”.

This is the breakdown of our focus group’s voting:

Carly Fiorina wins Republican Debate

We will be regularly updating this blog with commentary from our focus group and analysis of trading behavior during the game, so check back again soon.

Special thanks to our focus group!

Ballotcraft’s pre-debate guide to the candidates

By Noah Lieberman

Ballotcraft is a fantasy politics game (think fantasy football, but for politics). Play against your friends and win by best predicting what’s going to happen in upcoming elections. Sign up and play here: www.ballotcraft.com.

 

With the second Republican Presidential Debate right around the corner, here are a series of investment strategies for each of the candidates to make sure you end make the most of the opportunities throughout the night.

Jeb Bush

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 5.9
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 18.3
Vote Received In Last Debate: 25% (T-2nd)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was a frontrunner in every imaginable way, leading the early polls with dazzling popularity numbers, and the largest base of donors and endorsements behind him. Bush is also a talented politician in his own right, impressing enough in the last debate to stay within the top three candidates on Ballotcraft all night on his way to a second place finish in our focus group. All of which makes it so weird to see him trading at just 6 points, all the way down in eighth place out of eleven. Not that I don’t get the hesitancy to back Jeb, who doesn’t bring an exciting outsider viewpoint or flashy style which dominate the news cycle after a debate. What he does bring, however, is a calm, moderate mentality to an increasingly emotional, reactionary field. In this regard only Rubio and Kasich provide any real competition to Bush, and though all three had very similar performances last time, Bush trails these two by 8 and 3 points respectively. Bush’s other advantage is that, perhaps despite the polls saying otherwise, he is still considered a frontrunner by the media and the party. This means more questions, more screen time, and, for a “play it safe” debater like Jeb, more chances to win over our focus group.

Optimal Strategy: Bush won’t earn you any quick gains, but he is definitely on my short list for possible winners. An investment in Bush is something you’re going to have to sit on and hope pays off by the end of the night.
Buy During Debate If: He successfully contrasts himself from the field on immigration, playing to his strengths as a general election candidate.
Sell During Debate If: He hasn’t been asked two questions before the first commercial break, a sign that CNN doesn’t view him as a contender anymore.

 

Ben Carson

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 16.5
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 0.8
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

As of the writing of this article, neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is sitting in the number two spot on our site, hovering around 16 or 17 points. And it’s at this point I have to admit: I have no idea what y’all see in him. Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Carson is doing a tremendous job as a candidate, rising up in the polls and posing the only real threat to Donald Trump’s dominance in the early primary states. And it’s not that he’s not a talented speaker, as his CPAC speech made up almost the entirety of his fast track to political prominence. But based off his skills as a debater, skills which, to my knowledge, were first used about six weeks ago, I just don’t understand. Carson was abysmal last month, appearing sleepy and unrehearsed, and generally seeming like he didn’t prepare for the debate. He never got above 2 percent in our market that night, and for good reason. And yet, here he sits, with an estimated one-in-six chance of winning according to our market. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe Dr. Carson will pull off the amazing turnaround so many of you seem to believe in. But until that happens, this seems like one of the worst investments on the site.

Optimal Strategy: Short him now and wait for the market to adjust once the debate has started.
Buy During Debate If: He is alert, engaged, and eloquently explaining his positions, or if religious freedom is the dominating topic for most of the debate.
Sell During Debate If: He at all resembles what we saw in Ohio, or the moderators push him for specific policy.

 

Chris Christie

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 2.5
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 5.5
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

Despite a respectable performance at the last debate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is sitting at the very bottom of the Ballotcraft price list. While this is likely due to his abysmal standing in the polls (2.1% according to Huffington Post’s Pollster), it’s worth remembering that this does not necessarily make him a poor debater. Christie’s biggest strength is his attitude, which sets him apart from the other more moderate candidates, like Bush and Kasich, who tend to be more reserved on the stage. Remember, it was Christie, not Trump, Paul, or Cruz, who was the first to interrupt and attack his colleagues during last month’s debate, a move which temporarily put him among the top tier of candidates on the site. I find it highly likely that this week’s Christie, who was seemingly nothing left to lose in the polls, takes even bigger swings this week, eating up the spotlight and leaving a bigger impression on the focus group.

Optimal Strategy: Put a handful of credits in on Christie before the debate starts, since an unpredictable, attention-grabbing interruption will almost certainly raise the price in the highly fluctuating early market.
Buy During Debate If: He goes after the candidates with the least debate experience (Trump, Carson, Fiorina…) and wins handily in those confrontations, earning him even more questions and time.
Sell During Debate If: The other candidates fail to engage, leaving him looking aggressive and not very presidential.

 

Ted Cruz

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 6.1
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 2.9
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

For someone who markets himself as the epitome of an outsider, there might not be anyone whose chances are more easily understandable than Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Though Cruz’s niche of the Republican Party has been invaded by the likes of Trump and Carson, he is still the basic model for a Tea Party Republican and therein lies his ticket to success on debate night. Ted Cruz isn’t winning over any new demographic in Simi Valley, as most Republicans already have made up their mind on whether or not they like him. But if Cruz plays to his audience and reminds them why he was their chosen one before the chaos of this summer then there is no reason he doesn’t come out of this debate with renewed life and the most improved chances of being the nominee.

Optimal Strategy: Cruz is a perfect example of a “Wait and See” candidate. If he falters in the early going, it’s probably not going to happen. But if he comes out of the gate with a great opening remark and an attack or two for his biggest rivals, the sky is the limit.
Buy During Debate If: He’s getting more applause than Trump, Carson, or Walker.
Sell During Debate If: He has trouble getting a word in before we hit the half hour mark.

 

Carly Fiorina

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 17.5
Final Share Price In Last Debate: N/A
Vote Received In Last Debate: N/A

Well, aren’t you all a bunch of gamblers. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, star of the “Happy Hour Debate” in August, is trading above everyone else at the moment, sitting at an impressive 18 points. Fiorina is the biggest unknown heading into the debate, for a few pretty obvious reasons, making it hard to formulate a strategy revolving around her. First off, we have no idea how she’ll fit into the dynamic of this already bloated field. Is she going to be the instigator or target of attacks, or try to stay above the fray? Is she still trying to introduce herself to the voters, and will that leave her lagging behind the other candidates who already had primetime exposure? Does her late inclusion mean she’ll receive more questions from the moderators, or are they going to go strictly by the polls? These are just a few of the questions we won’t have an answer to until she takes the stage, but for my money the biggest one is also the most straightforward: Is Carly Fiorina a good debater? Now I know this may seem blasphemous given how her performance last month is the reason we’re even talking about her today. But just like I’m not using Georgia Tech’s win over Tulane to say they’re going to win the NCAA Championship, I’m not going to put Carly Fiorina on the top of my list just because she shined when compared to heavyweights like George Pataki and Jim Gilmore. If anything helps her out on that stage it’s the bland, forgettable performances given by most of her competitors last month, but I doubt she’ll be given that much of a helping hand again.

Optimal Strategy: If you believe in Carly, then who am I to tell you not to go for it. She’s a gamble, and risk-averse investors like me will probably want to stay away. But if you’re in it to win it, there might not be a better time to invest than now.
Buy During Debate If: She’s cool, composed, and getting more cheers and screen time than anyone else on the stage.
Sell During Debate If: Other candidates, primarily Trump, attack her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. She’s appeared most vulnerable during interviews when this is brought up, and was able to mostly avoid the topic last time.

 

Mike Huckabee

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 3.1
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 1.0
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is not the lowest trading candidate in the debate right now (that distinction belongs to fellow governor Chris Christie), but it is not hard to imagine him taking that title very quickly in tomorrow’s debate. Not only is Huckabee’s trademark bombastic style overshadowed by the likes of Trump and Cruz, but his particular brand of social conservatism will likely not resonate with the more libertarian-leaning crowd in Simi Valley. The two things Huckabee has going for him are his knack for soundbite-friendly one-liners (“The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things”) and his connection to the story-of-the-moment in Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. Other than that, not much to look at.

Optimal Strategy: Buy while he’s being asked a question, and hope for a big applause line that gives you a quick gain.
Buy During Debate If: Conversation shifts to religion or Kim Davis for more than ten minutes.
Sell During Debate If: They move to policy questions.

 

John Kasich

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 9.6
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 2.8
Vote Received In Last Debate: 25% (T-2nd)

We’ve already written about the popularity of Ohio Governor John Kasich as an investment strategy, as more credits have been invested in his possible win or defeat than anyone else. The reason for this is simple: He was by far the best performer relative to expectations in the last debate, both in terms of his actual performance at the debate relative to his initial odds, and his final vote count in our focus group relative to his final cost. Since that article his price has gone up a few points but still remains in the high single digits, meaning if you believe in John Kasich’s ability to replicate that last performance, he’s still quite the steal. However, I wouldn’t be so quick to assume he’s going to do as well as last time. Remember, that last debate was held in his home state with an incredibly Kasich-friendly crowd. California presents a very different political climate for Kasich to deal with, meaning he may have to change some stances to win over the audience, so he runs the risk of appearing insincere or inconsistent. Moreover, Kasich’s rise in the polls and media cycles may be more tied to the fact that he is one of the only candidates to spend considerable money in New Hampshire ad buys than to his debating skills. The other problem Kasich has is that his exposure from the last debate came from two moderate answers he gave in response to questions about same-sex marriage. Expect the first questions directed to him to address this same topic, which could shut down his chances early if the crowd doesn’t agree. I don’t think any of this is enough to take him off of your list of probable winners, but maybe hold off on betting the farm on him.

Optimal Strategy: Same as Bush, I’d recommend buying early and just waiting for him to take his place among the top tier before making a final decision at the end of the night.
Buy During Debate If: Candidates have to talk about their experience or the crowd seems amenable to his moderate social stances.
Sell During Debate If: The crowd comes out strongly in favor of Kim Davis’ side of the same-sex marriage debate, showing they won’t view Kasich’s opinions that favorably.

 

Rand Paul

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 5.2
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 25.5
Vote Received In Last Debate: 12.5% (4th)

For a candidate who was among one of the best finishers in our last debate game, Rand Paul sure isn’t getting a lot of love this time around. But maybe that’s just the way the libertarian-esque senator from Kentucky likes it, since he went from the bottom of the pack at the start of the last debate to having the highest final share price and coming in fourth in our focus group’s vote. Remarkably, his ascent to the top wasn’t due to some incredible line or unforgettable performance, but rather a slow and steady climb past the faltering frontrunners. Senator Paul’s ideas may lie out of the Republican mainstream but his verbiage, rife with references to the Constitution, individual freedom, and liberty, fits right in on the GOP’s biggest stage, especially in a debate held in not-so-typically Republican state like California. Paul’s lack of movement in the polls following the last debate probably means he won’t get that many questions in the expanding field, but if he stays above the fray and sticks to his guns, these shares might be the biggest steal of the night.

Optimal Strategy: Buy a couple hundred shares right now and just sit on them until the first commercial break. If he’s still at 5 points or so, sell and take the moderate loss. If he’s on the rise, hold on and wait to see if we get a repeat of last time.
Buy During Debate If: The discussion becomes broad, touching on Paul’s strong areas of freedom and the Constitution, and other candidates are failing to impress.
Sell During Debate If: He doesn’t get going in the first 20 minutes or the audience in Simi Valley isn’t as eager for his unique message.

 

Marco Rubio

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 15.1
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 16.5
Vote Received In Last Debate: 37.5% (1st)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, winner of our last debate game, comes into this new debate with high expectations. He is the only establish candidate to be sitting in double digits, with shares going for about 15 points. Still, I think this price could stand to be higher, as he was the only candidate to show poise, experience, and energy in the last debate. The only question I would have concerning Senator Rubio is how to tell at the end of the night if he’s going to win again or merely come close. Based on how most of the vote last time was split pretty evenly between three establishment candidates, Rubio would have to blow Bush and Kasich away for me to go all in on him. Still, if he stays on track and plays to his strengths there is no reason not to make him your chief investment throughout and at the end of the night.

Optimal Strategy: If you’re afraid of losing your capital before the night is over, an investment in Rubio will grow over time and give you a little extra to play with before the final vote. If not, I can’t think of a better candidate on which to hedge your riskier bets.
Buy During Debate If: They spend as much time on immigration as they did before or Rubio keeps doing what he did last time.
Sell During Debate If: A quiet crowd robs Rubio of his energy, making him as boring to watch as his ideologically-similar competition.

 

Donald Trump

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 12.2
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 3.4
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

Look, there’s nothing I can say about Donald Trump here that you don’t already know. He’s loud, confrontational, and can play to a crowd like no one else. Last debate, that got him to skyrocket in value before the first commercial before he came plummeting back down to the low single digits. The question is, what do the rest of the traders on here think of The Donald’s shtick? If he gets going like last time and grabs some huge cheers from early questions, is that enough to carry him through to a victory? Probably not, but it may be enough to get a few more investors on board, meaning you could turn a quick profit selling high before we’re too far in to the debate. Last time his prices jumped whenever he was talking and fell back whenever the market had time to reflect on what had been said, which proved fatal to his stock during the long first commercial break. There is always the chance that Trump has completely retooled his approach since releasing a platform, and will attempt to expand on his policy positions during the debate. But until that happens, I’m viewing him as a short-term buy and nothing more.

Optimal Strategy: Buy early, sell before he finishes talking, and ignore him for the rest of the night.
Buy During Debate If: He dominates the conversation by virtue of the support he’s getting from the audience.
Sell During Debate If: The moderators keep him on a short leash again, keeping him from getting the constant attention he needs to maintain momentum.

 

Scott Walker

Price as of 4:15 PM Tuesday: 6.4
Final Share Price In Last Debate: 23.3
Vote Received In Last Debate: 0%

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had by far the most disappointing performance in the last debate. He came in as the frontrunner on our site and in the eyes of the media and gave a performance so bland and uninspired that he didn’t even earn a single vote from our focus group. And if his sinking poll numbers are any indication, they weren’t the only ones who were unimpressed. Much like Ben Carson, I don’t see much hope for Walker unless he pulls a complete 180, but I don’t see that as being very likely. There is a chance that Walker’s newfound dark horse status will challenge him to be a more exciting and unpredictable candidate, but if he still sees himself as playing with the lead, already focused on taking on Hillary Clinton, the rest of the field will pass him by. Expect Walker to receive fewer questions than last time, as he cements his status as a second-tier candidate.

Optimal Strategy: I’d say to short him now to get a little bit more credits for the end of the night, but even that won’t yield you too much. Probably best to avoid him altogether.
Buy During Debate If: He’s shows a pulse and goes on the attack, forcing himself back into the spotlight.
Sell During Debate If: He’s as passive and detached as last debate.

Continue the conversation on the Ballotcraft subbredit

Noah Lieberman is the founder of election forecasting website PollingLab. Click here to see more of his analysis of the 2016 election.

Surprisingly, John Kasich is the most popular candidate on Ballotcraft

By Dennis Jiang

Ballotcraft is a fantasy politics game (think fantasy football, but for politics). Play against your friends and win by best predicting what’s going to happen in upcoming elections. Sign up and play here: www.ballotcraft.com.

 

John Kasich is the most popular candidate on BallotCraft

Source: Ballotcraft trading data through September 9, 2015

As you can see in the chart above, John Kasich is currently the most popular candidate on Ballotcraft. Now when we say “popular”, we don’t mean that people think he’s the most likely to win (he’s currently trading around 4%). Rather, we mean that people have invested the most credits in him, betting either that he’ll win or lose.

This is surprising on a few levels, as John Kasich isn’t a particularly flashy or trendy candidate. Unlike Donald Trump or Ben Carson, he’s a conventional candidate who doesn’t inspire much passion among the grassroots.

However, on another level, it’s not surprising that candidates like Kasich, Bush, and Trump would be the most widely-held candidates for the September 16 Republican Debate contest. What the top candidates in this chart have in common is that they performed very differently from expectations at the last debate.

Kasich is case in point. He barely made it onto the last debate stage, and expectations for him were basically zero. Yet he delivered some of the most memorable moments of the debate, and his poll ratings skyrocketed (relatively) as a result.

On the other hand, Bush severely underperformed relative to expectations. To many, Bush came across as dry and unexciting at the last debate. While he didn’t commit any gaffes, he didn’t deliver a performance befitting his ostensible frontrunner status.

The lesson we can take away from this is that the most popular candidates on Ballotcraft are not necessarily the ones that people think are most likely to win, but the candidates who are most likely to over or underperform relative to expectations. This is a sound trading strategy, as you’re unlikely to win your league by following conventional wisdom.

Continue the conversation on the Ballotcraft subbredit