Nearly everybody says the current campaign is “insufferable,” or words to that effect. We are being bombarded every day to vote for one of five “deplorables.” There’s the randy playboy, the ice queen, the guy who can’t remember anything, the gal who gets arrested for vandalism, and the bald guy who looks like Col. Klink from the old “Hogan’s Heroes” TV show. Luckily, there’s a diversion.

Evan McMullin:

Actor Werner Klemperer:
Hogan's Heroes

We’ve noted before that there are many betting sites, but our favorite is PredictIt, which is the only one that specializes in political betting, and is so very user friendly. Since we have participated, we can’t advise what to buy, but we can say what’s available.

Remember that the “price” we give you changes all the time, so it will be out of date by the time you read this, but will probably be close. Also, remember that the price is the ratio of the bet. That is, if the price is “45,” that means if you bet, say, $45, and you are right, you’ll get $100 back. The amount you bet is up to you.

Right now, the most timely bets are on the third presidential debate. Here are the things you can bet on:

VIEWERSHIP—the first debate was watched by 84 million Americans, an all-time record. The second debate dropped to 63 million. That’s lower than the 67 million who watched the Obama-Romney debate in 2012, but not by much. Note that this year’s second debate had to compete with a big NFL game PLUS the baseball playoffs. Also, it came right after the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape release, so many viewers may have been turned off. The third debate is the “last chance” for the top two candidates, so it may get more attention. Here are the prices:

80 million or more: 9
75-79.9 million: 16
70-74.9 million: 21
65-69.9 million: 30
64.9 million or less: 34

Obviously, gamblers are betting that viewership will be the lowest of the three debates. Note that you also have the option of betting “no,” if you think the viewership won’t be in these ranges, but that’s more expensive. Those prices are 92, 87, 83, 70, and 66, respectively. You could bet “no” on the first four. You’d risk 330 for a chance to get back 400. If you’re right, that’s a 21% return on investment—in two days. That’s 3833% per annum. Try getting that at a bank.

MOST SPEAKING TIME—Last time, Trump talked just on minute longer than Hillary. This one is interesting. There are separate markets for Hillary talks more, and Trump talks more. Not sure why they did that, because you could bet “no” on either one, as well. Anyway, here are the prices:

Trump speaks longer: 69
Hillary speaks longer: 34

As you’ll note, they add up to more than 100, so I suppose you could “arbitrage.”

WHO’LL WIN?—Each of these bets has its own “rules.” In this case, a candidate “wins” the debate as decided by a CNN/ORC scientific poll. Here are the prices:

Hillary wins: 82
Trump wins: 18

In other words, gamblers are betting Hillary wins 4 to 1. And again, you can bet “yes” or “no” on both of them.

3rd PARTY AT DEBATE—Here’s a fool’s bet, for ya. Prices:

Yes: 2
No: 98

This is in the category of “free money.” Two percent is not much of a win, except that it’s a sure thing—and it’s for two days. Again, that’s 365% per annum. The only problem is that the maximum bet for any market is $850, so if you bet the maximum, you can only win $17. But since there’s virtually NO risk, it’s probably a good deal.

TRUMP PARTICIPATION—More free money. In the Spring, Trump bored of the debates and refused to participate. The remaining candidates could have gone and sliced and diced him, without his having a chance to respond, but they knew that his responses were what reduced his popularity. This time, you can bet if Trump will participate in the final debate. The ironic thing is that David Axelrod advised Hillary to skip the final debate, figuring she won the first two, and wouldn’t want Trump to have a chance to turn he tables on her. Prices:

Yes: 98
No: 2

HANDSHAKE—In the history of the televised debates, all have begun and ended with a handshake. Not last time. Now, you can bet whether they’ll begin this debate with a handshake. The public was not pleased. Prices:

Yes: 63
No: 37

Now, let’s get to the topics that will be asked. In this case, you have to watch, sitting at the edge of your chair, listening to everything the moderator says. If the moderator uses these words, you win. If he doesn’t, you lose. It doesn’t count if only the candidates use the words. It has to come from the moderator.

To be honest, I lost money on the first debate in these markets. I bet things would be said. But in the second debate, I realized they can’t cover everything, so I bet “no” on everything. I lost on two, but won on five, so I made good money. Here are the prices:


Yes: 42
No: 58

If you don’t know, it was the email account of John Podesta that has been dumped in the press by Wikileaks.


Yes: 64
No: 39

In the Wikileaks emails, Hillary is quoted as saying we would be better off with “open borders,” welcoming people from other countries.


Yes: 12
No: 88

Evan McMullin is the conservative Republican who is running as an independent. The latest poll says he’ running second to Trump in Utah, ahead of Hillary, 22% to 20%. He is hoping that neither Hillary or Trump will get 270 Electoral Votes, throwing the election into the House of Representatives, where establishment Republicans would prefer McMullin to Trump.


Yes: 37
No: 63

Paul Ryan is the Speaker of the House. He has had a rocky relationship with Trump, but he has not withdrawn his endorsement. Even so, Trump has trashed Ryan, but what kind of question could the moderator ask about him?? By the way, if you want to bet that Ryan will get fed up and withdraw his endorsement, that market is running “no” at 81.


Yes: 61
No: 39

I must be missing something. Is either candidate been using term, “retirement age”?? Apparently, the PredictIt folks figure it will come up because of this announced topic:

1. Debt and Entitlement

The others are as follows:

2. Immigration (thus, the “open borders” option)
3. Economy
4. Supreme Court (thus,the “Merrick” option)
5. Foreign wars
6. Fitness to be president


Yes: 14
No: 86

You’ll probably hear the chant at every Trump rally, but can you imagine Mike Wallace asking about it??


Yes: 42
No: 58

Mike Wallace is on Fox News. Fox News has pretended that Merrick Garland doesn’t exist for many months. Why would he ask about him in a debate?? It’d be a gift to Hillary.


Yes: 48
No: 52

Trump has been anticipating a loss, and is explaining it by saying the election will be rigged against him—even on the voting booth level. Even Charles Krauthammer says this is unpatriotic, almost to the point of treason. Will Wallace ask about it? Why?


Yes: 20
No: 80

Trump says this at his rallies all the time, but he hasn’t said it to Hillary’s face. It would certainly not be “presidential” to do so at a debate, but then, we’d have to ask Li’l Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Low-Energy Bush, Idiot Lindsay Graham, and Horseface Fiorina, 1-for-38 Kasich, Crazy Bernie, Goofy Warren, and Weird Rand Paul. Yep. If you want respect, you should be respectful.

There are many more markets at PredictIt. Gambling on the election is a lot more fun than listening to the speeches and debates.

Related: Watch the Final Presidential Debate on Wednesday, October 19th