Game Theory of Voting

In perusing web writing on issues about the Electoral College, I ran across two pieces at Slate, both by Jordan Ellenberg, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Part I: Vote!

Part II: Game Theory for Swingers

The first piece makes, in part, the point I was driving at below: that one of the effects of using the Electoral College is to make a voter, both in actuality and personal expectation, more likely to be decisive in determining the outcomes of an elective process.

Where to allocate campaign efforts as computed through game-theoretic strategies is the subject of the second piece. In a roundabout way, this continues to make my point. As the probability of winning in certain states approach 50-50, one would expect to see more campaign resources allocated to precisely those states. If we make the effect of campaigning dynamic (rather than fixing a certain percentage point gain or loss tochances of winning the state) as well, then it demands that a candidate further divide efforts among states. Concentration of electoral power into a few cities reduces the number of places that would be of interest to candidates. Additionally, assuming that current trends in voting patters for the major cities continue, the candidate that has a high probability of winning the largest cities need spend little time campaigning at all. All the time and money spent going to midsize cities could easily be drowned out by the relatively cheaper efforts made by a candidate in big cities.

Read 'em all, as they say.

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 25, 2004 8:51 PM.

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