This study looks at the economic disincentive for states to switch to the proportional electoral voting system. Every four years during the presidential campaign, both campaigns spend a considerable amount of money in the battleground states. Switching from “winner takes all” voting system to “proportionality voting” will lead to economic consequences.
This model takes a game theoretical approach to solve the optimal budget spending problem in a presidential campaign. In a battleground state, a campaign’s spending is one of the deciding factors of the candidate’s chance of winning. A campaign is constrained by its budget and must wisely allocate resources to maximize the candidate’s expected votes in the Electoral College. This requires that the campaign consider not only its own spending in a state, but also the opposing campaign’s spending.
By solving the Nash equilibrium of the game, we show that battleground states have an economic disincentive to switch to proportionality voting system, because it will decrease the state’s importance in the campaign and lead to less campaign spending in the state.
Baiyang Huang, ’13
Amanda Brucker, ’13
Sponsors: Stephen Bean, Hans Hassell