Why Roe v. Wade Draft Leak Moved PredictIt Markets 

On Monday, May 2, Politico reported a leaked Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. The leaked draft opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating federal protections for abortion. It would also overturn Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 ruling that affirmed Roe v. Wade. The Roe v. Wade draft leak is actually a draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case on the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi bill that bans abortions after 15 weeks.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, states would no longer be required to offer legal abortions. Instead, each state would be able to decide whether to allow abortions, prohibit them, or place their own restrictions or freedoms on abortions. It would result in the same patchwork approach to women’s health that the United States takes to sports betting.  

However, the Roe v. Wade draft opinion is not a final opinion. As the Washington Post reports, opinion drafts get passed between Supreme Court justices to convince one another of their views. The Supreme Court justices also haven’t voted on the Mississippi case that prompted the decision on whether to overturn Roe v. Wade. So, while there is a great deal of attention being paid to the Roe v. Wade draft leak, the Supreme Court’s final decision remains uncertain and unconfirmed. 

That uncertainty has not stopped PredictIt’s balance of power market from making its most drastic move in three months. 

Roe v. Wade Draft Leak And PredictIt 

On May 1, PredictIt’s balance of power market priced a Republican House and Senate at 76 cents. On May 2, it dropped to 69 cents. Prices are probabilities in prediction markets. So, this price change translates to a 7% drop in confidence that the Republicans will retake both chambers of Congress in the midterms in November.  

PredictIt Balance of Power Changes

 May 1May 2
Republican House & Senate$0.76 $0.69
Republican House, Democratic Senate$0.16$0.21
Democratic House & Senate$0.09$0.14

This drop likely reflects the possibility that Democrats will rally around the threat of losing federally protected abortion rights. PredictIt’s lines on a Democratic Congress and its lines on a Republican House and Democratic Senate both increased by five cents from May 1 to May 2. (The price on a Democratic House and Republican Senate moved negligibly.)

But PredictIt’s market still believes in a Republican House and Senate after the midterm elections. The conventional wisdom that the opposing party gains congressional seats in the midterms run strong. At the same time, the leaked draft opinion moved PredictIt’s markets more than Biden’s State of the Union, his handling of the war in Ukraine, and his Supreme Court nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Following the leaked Supreme Court opinion and its final opinion, reproductive rights could become a flashpoint for Democratic voters in the 2022 midterms. 

About the Author

Chris Gerlacher

Christopher Gerlacher got his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder with dual emphases in entrepreneurship and human resources. He applied his love for writing with his education in entrepreneurship to launch his writing career. Currently, he writes for Bonus.com, Toronto Sports Media, and a family of other casino and sports betting sites. He enjoys focusing on startups and new ideas that are trying to gain traction within the gambling industry. Recently, he has begun a series of political articles for bettors interested in betting on election outcomes on PredictIt. These articles apply political theory and history to give readers the tools to improve their betting systems and predictions on PredictIt.