Why are we hearing less about prediction markets during this election cycle?

I feel that prediction markets generally tend to present a more clear eyed view of the state of the political race than alternatives and provide an excellent counterpoint to a lot of the hype.

I remember them being a big deal during the 2008 election cycle and there were many stories about what the prediction markets were saying. This current election cycle, I’ve heard barely a peep about prediction markets, despite them commonly providing a stark counterpoint to the dominant media narrative.

Are you talking about InTrade (and perhaps other, similar sites)?

Nate Silver’s blog talks about prediction markets frequently.

The problem with InTrade is that it predicts the obvious: that Romney will get the nomination and that the subsequent race will be close. Well, whoop-de-do. Why write about that?

InTrade and the Iowa Electronic Market are the two I follow.

People should write about it because it’s a counter to the popular narratives that are being weaved around the state of the political race. Fine, maybe the mainstream media won’t write about it because they have a vested interest in maintaining hype but that shouldn’t affect independent blogs writing about it more.

Exnapo has it. Folks aren’t writing about it because it doesn’t make particularly good copy. IIRC, InTrade has predicted Romney winning throughout, even as top challengers rise and fall. So you’d have a story directly contradicting the narrative the media is trying to drive (the horse-race).

I’ve said since the beginning of the year that Romney would be the nominee. So have others. And nobody has paid the slightest attention. The overwhelming majority of threads here have been about the other candidates. In fact, I drop out for long periods because it gets boring just saying the same thing over and over.

The media should pay more attention to aspects other than the horse race, true. But they literally can’t. As soon as anyone in the neutral media said that Romney is going to win and therefore why pay attention to the clown brigade, they would get smashed by everybody on all sides for anointing a winner. Even if true, their credibility would vanish. And so would their audience, because the supporters of the others are loud and irrational. Just read through the threads here. They have no interest at all in anything other than reading about their preferred candidate. (Romney is not my preferred Republican candidate. I don’t have one. He’s just the obvious nominee.)

The horse race model is the only acceptable model for political reporting of presidential politics. You’ll see slightly less of it after the conventions because there will be only two candidates and therefore more policy attention must be paid. You don’t need a mathematical model to know that the election will be close (unless things radically change by next year) and that will justify horse race talk. There might be more attention to the prediction models as well. But not much more. They have not earned any special privileges. In close races they don’t have significantly better results than reading the political tea leaves.