Prediction markets place bets on Palin’s permanence

September 2, 2008

The online prediction market Intrade sees a 12 percent chance that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as the Republican vice presidential nominee before the U.S. presidential election on November 4.

Intrade accepts trades on the probability of events such as whether there will be a recession, whether the U.S. Congress will lift the ban on offshore drilling or whether the United States or Israel will launch a military strike on Iran. It opened the Palin betting market on Tuesday morning after a series of revelations about the Alaska governor whom Sen. John McCain chose as his running mate, including that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant.

The market opened at 3 percent that she would have to withdraw as McCain’s running mate and climbed as high as 18 percent before settling down to 12 percent on 632 trades as of noon EDT. The markets are priced from zero to 100, with zero meaning investors see no chance an event will happen and 100 meaning it already has happened.

Separately on , which offers virtual cash in exchange for correct predictions, various wagers were made , from the chance of Palin stepping down as the VP nominee (currently a 19 percent chance) to whether her biography video would mention her NRA membership (80 percent).

What do you think the chances are that Palin will withdraw? Put your prediction — from 0 percent to 100 percent — in comments. Read the full Reuters story.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta)

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

What was John McCain thinking? Did he know anything about Sarah Palin before he chose her to be his VP?

It sure doesn’t seem like it…

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I predict a 60% chance she will withdraw. It will depend on what else comes out involving her or if more attention is brought to her family.

Posted by James M. | Report as abusive

Only 12% – If I was McCain, I would get rid of her way before the October Surprise happens!

Posted by LATINOVOTER | Report as abusive

> .66% before November 2008 Palin will withdraw. McCain’s other candidates are better poised for the VP position. Palin was vetted as a mere publicity stunt.

Posted by High Roller | Report as abusive


Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive

One could only hope.

Posted by adrian tracy ca | Report as abusive

I think there is a 100% chance that she would be a terrible vice president.

Posted by Sasquatch | Report as abusive

No looking good for McCain, with the stack of scandals piling up, he will be forced to dump Palin. But doing so would be suicide for his election chances. Although I think she may resign related to family.

Posted by Mark Kiernan | Report as abusive

0 percent chance of her withdrawl……get a clue

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

I think it is shameful to suggest she should withdraw. Let the first politician who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone! We didn’t impeach Clinton for having an affair in the oval office (quite literally) and then repeatedly lying about it, then why on earth should she step down? Others have admitted to snorting cocaine, affairs, and much more. Yet because she is a woman, there are higher standards? Give me a break.

I have not heard her say one word on tv, and she’s got my vote.

Posted by AD | Report as abusive


Posted by Bernie Krause | Report as abusive

Funny, I just emailed McCain’s website suggesting she step down. There are so many reasons on so many levels as to why Palin is the worst choice since Dan Quayle. It says more about McCain’s Judgement than whether Palin could actually perform well in the job despite her obvious weaknesses.

Sad desperate tactic, totally out of touch with mainstream America as well as the women of America, IMO.

Carl Johnson

Posted by Carl Johnson | Report as abusive


Posted by Trey Kirk | Report as abusive

Of course, intrade didn’t even have Palin on the radar screen the day before she was announced, and had Obama at 90% mere hours before he lost the New Hampshire primary.

It’s called “gambling” for a reason.

Posted by Ryan Galloway | Report as abusive


Posted by Fred | Report as abusive

You must be kidding? Your coverage is laughable. I get my news elsewhere.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

She will be gone before September 30th. The reason will be family health issues including a crisis with her newest child and a pregnancy complication for her daughter. She will be replaced immediately by Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

Posted by Rona Roberts | Report as abusive

50% chance she will be replaced

Posted by Bruce Hampson | Report as abusive

She will stay and win.

Posted by John Roiwe | Report as abusive

35% chance her name will be withdrawn in the next month.

Posted by AnnapolisMD | Report as abusive

I see a 50% chance she will withdraw as VP.

Posted by joni young | Report as abusive

the selection supports my decision not to vote for Sen. McCain, as much as I admire him. Alone, he would have been a safer, though not ideal bet for the Presidency. The selection itself seems a bit naive. In any event, I would put the chances of her removal at only 5%, but the chances of her withdrawing voluntarely , as a patriotic American should, at 10%.

Posted by Arthur Michelson | Report as abusive

rubbish, who cares what the online prediction market has to say about this.

Posted by tom davis | Report as abusive

60 %

Posted by emil | Report as abusive

I’d say 50% probability that Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Posted by Leslie Sanchez | Report as abusive

NO WAY, SHE IS THE SPIRIT THAT MCCAIN NEEDED AND THE PARTY NEEDED. She is just having the same problems that we all have, she just isn’t hiding it!

Posted by Gayel | Report as abusive

I wish there was someone who would bet real money that she will be withdrawn . I would place a large bet against that!

Posted by Al Gibbs | Report as abusive

If this were a Democratic babe, I wonder if this would be an issue! Shame on all of you! Those among you that have no sin cast the fist stone! Oh, I forgot, you have already stoned Gov. Palin and her entire family!

Posted by Nan Borden | Report as abusive

My read is that this should be less of a discussion about Palin as a viable candidate who is a heartbeat away from the presidency and more about McCain’s apparent lack of judgement.

From what I can see, the choice he made was a “hail mary” play, hoping to stir up buzz. In a way, it was horribly cynical and an insult to Palin. It had less to do with her credentials, which are lightweight, and more to do with having a running mate that the opposition cannot discuss or attack without fear of enraging the “soccer moms” and other female conservative demographics.

Overall, shrewd strategic move Mr. McCain, unfortunately it just puts two people in the White House who are unqualified to represent or lead the US.

You lost my vote sir.

Posted by Dean Wendell | Report as abusive

50 percent

Posted by DCS | Report as abusive

No, put your prediction on Intrade, that’s the whole point. If you’re not confident enough to risk money on it why should I listen to you?

Posted by GreedyAlgorithm | Report as abusive

60 percent

Posted by Katherine | Report as abusive

“will be withdrawn”? Not a chance in heck.

Will withdraw? That is, she takes the “high road” and says “I am not willing to let the damn liberals go after my daughter anymore,” “I need to protect my family,” blah-de-blah-de-blah? Some possibility, but small. Just too hard for McCain to fill her position at this point. So McCain is stuck with his mistake and he just has to do his best to ride it out.

Posted by paul | Report as abusive

Chances are greater than 80% she will withdraw. We will not know if it will be voluntarily or mandatory. I see no Republican heavyweights endorsing her, just people like Giuliani, Thompson, Molinari, and campaign surrogates, as well as the right wing base.

They have 2-3 weeks, then must hurry to campaign with a credible candidate for 4 weeks.

On the other hand, all this self imposed focus on these pregnancies of her’s and her daughter, could be a strategy to keep focus off of her position on issues that have been published in Alaskan newspapers, none of which have anything to do with economy, health care, housing, unemployment, Social Security, Iraq war, Iran, Israel, Russia, Europe, Africa, India, etc.

Posted by nana | Report as abusive

I think this is the dirtiest thing the lousey dem.’s have done yet. They are so afraid of her that they are
going to do anything to try to find something bad.

I love her and think she is one of the smartest women
I have ever seen.

They know she is smarter than the two dem’s.

Posted by c baker | Report as abusive

I think the chance of Palin with drawing from the race is 0%. She has character and the strength of her convictions to stand in the face of the media attacks.

Posted by NaniBonita | Report as abusive

I put the probability at 37% given that this selection was really the result of McCain’s fit when told he couldn’t have Lieberman. I think she’ll do one of those, “I’m doing this for the good of the party routines.” The probability increases or decreases as the poll numbers rise or fall. Historically, the chance is about 0% given the only near-term dumping of the VP I can remember was Senator Thomas Eagleton by McGovern in 1972. However, the defeat of Bush by Clinton in 1992 which was directly related to the decision to retain Quayle causes the probability to rise.

Beltway Greg

Posted by Beltway Greg | Report as abusive

Palin will be the next Vice President of the United States of America.
This will be a much bigger and better change than the candidate that professes to be leading the party for change.
Don’t vote for BOB, B(arack) O(bama) B(iden).

….and Hilary didn’t get an invite because Michelle Obama wouldn’t have another woman in the house at the same time as she intends to be there.
….and no I don’t expect any real Hilary voters to switch to Palin.

Posted by Robert C. Smith | Report as abusive

I believe Sarah Palin would would be beneficial to John McCains ticket.She seems to be down to earth and not afraid to speak up even if it concerns her own party.Bottom line she seems to be a regular person not a professional politician which I respect.

Posted by craig Arritt | Report as abusive

This just proves how low-down and coniving the liberal
dem. party is.

They know she’s smart and people love her so they are
trying to vocus attention on something else.

No human is perfect. This is not even near what Obama
has done himself.

She will win.


Posted by c baker | Report as abusive

Why don’t you guys get a job that is meaningful? This is just a poor excuse for the the left wing bias media to inject doubt about her…get a life! 12%? What is it for Biden…20%? This information is so totally useless!

Posted by tr | Report as abusive

Why should she be withdrawn? Is anything she has done or been through any worse than some of the other people in the running for any office.

Posted by d j beals | Report as abusive

If I had to bet I’d have to say 0% (unless of course something really meaningful comes up that we don’t know about already) because I don’t like losing money.

For one thing there is no way McCain would want to admit to a mistake .. and besides, as it stands now he hasn’t made one.

I don’t think picking a V.P. who has a ‘pregnant daughter’ qualifies as a mistake.

The liberal media are out in full force now (mostly out of fear that Palin will actually secure votes) mudslinging and I expect it will work for a week or two.

I think though, if she weathers the storm, as I expect she will, there will be an enormous backlash.

She will be the first female V.P. of the U.S.

And the sad part is, that many of those females who complain about the glass-ceiling, will end up disappointed!

I guess it never was about ‘female rights, but rather, ‘liberal female rights’.

Posted by gdgarant | Report as abusive

Very silly article.

Posted by jerry broom | Report as abusive

80%. Once the convention is over and McCain doesn’t face a evangelical floor fight, she will remove herself from the campaign (for some bogus reason) and McCain will pick Lieberman or Ridge.

Posted by gianni | Report as abusive

Dream on libbies, it wont happen. I think she scares you libs.

Posted by Allen | Report as abusive

As a once Republican woman (indy as of 2004) I am OUTRAGED by this selection! There are SO many qualified people & (if he had to get granular)so many “conservative” women of ethics & genuine experience… however, this was the BEST one he found? I am not a fan of Karl Rove and HE didn’t even support Ms. Palin. Doesn’t this say something? I find this to be a very sad month for our country.

Posted by tenright | Report as abusive

the chickens come home to roost

Posted by MarkNYfu | Report as abusive

She has zero chance of withdrawing, not because she is qualified to be vp, but because the republican ticket will be in shambles if she is not on it. The conservative base has been excited by her and to remove her would be a tease that would all but hand the election to Obama.

Posted by frankie d | Report as abusive

As an independent; I have nothing against her, but it strikes me humorous that a corporation requires the basics: A related degree plus a number of years on the job training, and for an executive position the additional requirement of a solid track record of achievements. LOL – to be President or a VP of the USA, the biggest economy in the world, one is plugged by the color of your hair, sex, or other individual preferences. Do you honestly believe both McCain and Palin would be chosen to run as President of The Harvard Law Review ? or even Burger King ?
No wonder our country is in such as mess, & going downhill with no stop in sight.

Chances Palin will be replaced are ZERO, because in our ever decreasing std of living, we aren’t yet hurting enough – to wake up.

Posted by d david | Report as abusive

She needs to WITHDRAW. NOW.

Although she may be qualified, there are simply TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS.


Posted by Giaccomo | Report as abusive

30% chance of Palin withdrawing, and she’ll do it AFTER the convention, carrying on about how she has to care for her family and the new baby.

Then McCain can choose Ridge as his running mate, as he wanted to in the first place, but the ultra-conservatives threatened a convention floor fight to defeat anyone pro-choice. So he has to slip in his actual desired candidate after the convention.

Posted by Mundame | Report as abusive

I’m also an ex-Republican, now independent since 2006 and I would have voted for Hillary ——- but this choice of Palin is AWFUL. A wild-eyed young ultra-conservative with no experience whatsoever from a state so far away from the rest of the country that it’s closer to the Yukon and Siberia? She’d get us into a nuclear war with our cities being bombed as soon as McCain dies, which will probably be in his first term.

I can’t imagine why McCain supposed any Hillary voter would vote for this beauty pageant babe — it’s not even respectable.

Posted by Mundame | Report as abusive

Palin is a real person with real life issues. Should she be the assistant leader of the most powerful nation in the world – absolutely not. It sounds like those who ‘support’ her are doing so because of her real life issues. The fact that her teenage daughter is pregnant should not be a voting issue. Had the pregnancy issue come up with a democratic candidate, it would have been the worst sin in the world, but in the case of Republican Gov. Palin, the religious right deem it acceptable because the family is ‘doing the right thing’. What a bunch of bull. We just haven’t heard what Palin stands for in terms of health, education and economy at large (we have some idea of Alaska’s economic situation – ie. the most federal spending per head of any American state). Tonight might well be the turning point, but this lady is certainly not ready for the role just yet. As I see it, the Americans are giving the world a choice between a leadership that is focused on national security, headed by an ex-POW, – not great for world relations. Or the complete the opposite – a promise to open up and become the leaders they should be. Unfortunately, the people may not be ready for the latter.

Posted by pascale | Report as abusive

Bristol will have a convenient miscarriage, at which time Palin will recuse herself citing family matters. Boyfriend will not marry Bristol because current girlfriend is also pregnant. Family values becomes Republicans mantra. Or I could be wrong!!

Posted by Fedayeen | Report as abusive

Governor Palin should definitely withdraw from the race as she is a great distraction from the Republican party and detractor in this campaign race.

Posted by Pamela Jones | Report as abusive

Picking Biden as a VP was a much larger mistake –

When the next poll shows McCain with a slight lead – Biden will be the one dropping out so he can spend more time with his family – and good old Hillary will be tapped to step in and save any chance Obama has of winning.

Obama has already thrown his pastor and grandmother under the bus – he has no loyalty –

It is pretty obvious he hates Biden (he is annoying) – Biden actually endorsed McCain for VP in the last election. What a tool —

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

I don’t think she should step down. There are a few things I disagree with… the mom issue is not one of them. There is another parent available to care for the children (most of whom are self-sufficient now -17 and up)require less attention than the 6 year old and the infant.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Withdraw? Come now, that is not Governor Palin’s style at all. She is in this for the long haul, no matter what the liberals, or the liberal press would like to believe, or fantasize. It’s very apparent she is a fighter, who represents core values, and is a true grassroots fighter. Notice I did not say she was a politician. Her magnetism comes from the fact that she represents much of what we have longed for in a leader, and the discovery many have made is simply this- she, not Hillary Clinton, is the American woman, and leader, we desire. Not someone with loads of political baggage, and a corrupt political machine propping her up. But, indeed, someone who represents a chance at a fresh start.
Yes, like all, she has a few blemishes. I personally see her as a complete breath of fresh air, and the McCain-Palin ticket is not only unique, but potentially dynamic for America, for years to come.

Posted by PirateVoice | Report as abusive

This choice reveals the capacity of an honorable, but aging and befuddled, McCain to make wise choices in a time of significant multiple challenges to our nation. Unfortunately, it is increasingly evident Senator McCain is no longer up to the task.

Posted by Ed Ruttledge | Report as abusive

And one more comment. There are many on this site that simply write like they think- mindlessly. If you truly want to make a difference, and be taken seriously, then use some intelligent thought when making comments or observations. Some of these comments seem to come straight from the mother of all intellectual voids.

Posted by PirateVoice | Report as abusive

0% chance of her withdrawl and a “100% chance that she would be a terrible vice president”. (Posted by Sasquatch)

Posted by Robert Arlt | Report as abusive

I fear that John McCain is using this woman just to try a last straw effort at getting himself a jolt upwards in the polls. Once elected President of the United States McCain must figure that Palin will be a puppet that he can manipulate for his own purposes as she will be so eternally grateful for his gesture of picking her out of nowhere to be his Vice President. I cannot see her as having any viable political stature in the job.

Posted by Evelyn H | Report as abusive

I don’t think she will withdraw as that would sink McCain. But I agree there is a 100% chance she will be a terrible vp. I love AD’s comment above, “I have not heard her say one word on tv, and she’s got my vote.” That, in a nutshell is the problem with our country. How can people vote for someone they know nothing about. Bush had Palin’s qualifications: evangelical, pro-life, anti-gay, no knowledge of foreign policy. Look how well that turned out. Maybe we should decide who should lead our country based upon some other more sensible criteria.

Posted by Abe | Report as abusive

100%, she needs to go. What a dufus. All he needed to do was pick Liebermann or Romney.

Posted by Loyal Republican | Report as abusive

Not a good choice— seems like-ooh! the democrats ran a woman so we should too! –very denigrating to females in general. Looks like a trophy Veep.

Posted by G | Report as abusive

Dear Evelyn, Abe and Private, I will tell you I am pro-choice and firmly disagree with Gov. Palin on that issue. I do not believe the government should place itself in the position to make personal/moral based decisions for anyone. People cannot grow if others are thinking for you. However, there is much more here. Gov Palin also believes in teaching Creationism in schools. I do agree with that and I am not evangelical. You cannot know if the theory of evolution is correct unless you can compare it against something other than itself. Is life from primordial mud or on the backs of falling crystals is not any more sane than the biblical recollection?

The point is, checks and balance. I have no fear that Democrats can’t save pro-choice. Gov Palin’s tenacity in these areas I hope will create consessions. Encouraging opinion and study to something greater than self is a benefit. She may not have 30 years experience in government, but neither do most people who vote and still speak like they know more. They probably know more football than NFL coaches too. She will be the perspective that many people feel, and will be in the same room to express those concerns to policy makers.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

This is a remarkably silly article. But it is apropos of American politics and elections. The fact is, most Americans are simply too superficial to effectively cast their votes. Instead, they are seduced by sound bites — “time for a change” and such drivel — instead of demanding an indepth discussion of the important issues. They often vote for a candiate based upon the candidate’s status (over which the candidate has no control), such as whether the candidate is a man or a woman, whether he is Caucasion or African American. They vote for candidates who are attractive to them. And, instead of informing themselves on issues, they read silly articles like this one.

Palin will probably not step aside, and here’s why: She is attractive and will make good sound bites. If she fails, it is because she informs the American public too much about her views, and the public becomes bored.

Americans have the politicians they deserve. Until American voters demand more than mud-slinging, status, and sound bites, they are swinging at branches rather than chopping at roots.

Will America someday be proof that a republic is not a viable form of government. I suspect it will. And Americans will have their own stupidity, laziness and complacency to blame.

Posted by RLM | Report as abusive

doubtful I can add anything to this conversation, but:

Palin’s ‘investigtion’ in Alaska is hardly worth mentioning. The details of the situation are well documented, she is cooperating fully, and only the media spin-machine can make it a big deal by obfuscation and outright lies.

Her daughter’s situation is irrelevant to, well, anything, except as evidence of her pro-life stance influencing her children.

What else is there to say negatively about her that is not doubly true for Obama?

0% chance of withdrawl – sheesh, like it even has to be mentioned?

Posted by Da6d | Report as abusive

minus zero – she epitomises the sentimentality in which so many americans love to indulge…

Posted by William Stoneking | Report as abusive


ANSWER: -4ebc-aa5e-bc53e6596e2a&comments=true

Posted by Howard | Report as abusive

Palin did extort the oil companies, and then give a portion of that money to every Alaskan citizen in the form of a check. This was redistribution of wealth of a certain kind, more like a ticket to buy new consumer goods.

It would have been better to use the proceeds to fund new industry or education for the state.

Posted by Corporate Ethics | Report as abusive