Betting markets put Palin first, Begich second

The betting markets are already taking bets on the race to replace Congressman Alaska. PredictIt, which is a place where people bet on current events and candidate odds, says the former Alaska governor has the best chance of winning the vacant seat following the death of Congressman Don Young.

Palin bets now go to 55 cents, Nick Begich bets now go to 25 cents.

PredictIt is a betting market set up by a university group to determine if actual betting was a predictor of success. Owned by Victoria University in New Zealand, PredictIt has been offering betting exchanges on political and financial events since 2014. It is headquartered in Washington, DC.

The betting is taking place among people in the Lower 48 who are unfamiliar with Alaskan politics in general, and many are likely unaware of the new ranked-choice voting system that will determine the next winners.

In the new open market for the Congressional seat, Al Gross’ bets are at 15 cents and Tara Sweeney is fourth at 10 cents. Josh Revak, Gregg Brelsford and Chris Constant are 2 cents or less.

John Aristotle Phillips, co-founder of the prediction company, says 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 special primary candidates, odds are bettors haven’t had a chance to fully understand all of the moving parts, including the fact that Palin backed Bill Walker for governor, brought down the oil industry by signing the ACES tax plan, and hasn’t given back to conservative Alaskan causes since leaving office.

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