Right now at Primary.guide, you can read the current betting market odds for a “contested convention” and a “brokered convention.” The definitions are as follows. A contested convention means that no candidate has 1237 delegates by the end of the last primary. A brokered convention means that no candidate wins on the first ballot at the convention.

Right now the odds of a brokered convention are 50%. Note also that the odds of a Trump nomination are 50% as well. And Trump is the only candidate with any chance of winning a majority on the first ballot (even if he doesn’t get 1237 bound delegates he will be close and no other candidate could combine their bound delegates with unbound delegates to get to a majority.)

Thus, if there is no brokered convention Trump is the nominee. The probability of no brokered convention is 50%. Thus *the entire 50% **probability of a Trump nomination is accounted for by the event that he wins on the first ballot.*

In other words there is zero probability, according to betting markets, that Trump wins a brokered convention.

The odds of a contested convention are 80%. That means that betting markets think there is a 30% chance Trump fails to get 1237 bound delegates but still wins on the first round. I.e. according to betting markets we have the following three mutually exclusive events:

- Trump gets to 1237 by June 7. 20% odds
- Trump fails to get 1237 bound delegates but wins on the first ballot. 30%
- Nobody wins on the first ballot and Trump is not the nominee. 50%

## 4 comments

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April 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

Assorted Wednesday links - Marginal REVOLUTION[…] 7. What the contested convention odds tell us. […]

April 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm

WC VaronesYep.

I see a Ryan-Rubio or Kasich-Rubio ticket.

That’s the ticket.

April 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm

buddyglassI’d prefer Kasich/Ryan, Kasich/Sandoval or Kasich/Ayotte.

April 7, 2016 at 8:44 am

jeffbrokered is now at 60% implying a 10% chance that Trump wins on a second ballot or later. To me this makes no sense. On the first ballot Trump has lots of pledged delegates. He needs just a few unpledged to switch to him. If he fails on the first ballot that means he cannot get enough of them to switch.

If he were to win on a later ballot these unpledged who didnt switch the first time switch later PLUS all or most of his pledged delegates don’t switch away.