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Is the 50-State Strategy Optimal?

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  • Dan Kovenock
  • Brian Roberson

Abstract

In 2005, the Democratic National Committee adopted the 50-state strategy in lieu of the strategy of focusing solely on battleground states. The rationale given for this move is that campaign expenditures are durable outlays that impact both current and future campaigns. This paper investigates the optimality of the 50-state strategy in a simple dynamic game of campaign resource allocation in which expenditures act as a form of investment. Neither the 50-state nor the battleground-states strategy is likely to arise in equilibrium. Instead, parties employ a modified battleground-states strategy in which they stochastically target non-battleground states.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Purdue University, Department of Economics in its series Purdue University Economics Working Papers with number 1211.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pur:prukra:1211

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Keywords: Political Campaigns; Dynamic Contests; Elections; All-Pay Auction; War of Attrition;

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References

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  1. Konrad, Kai Andreas & Kovenock, Daniel J., 2005. "Equilibrium and efficiency in the tug-of-war," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) SP II 2005-14, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. Konrad, Kai A & Kovenock, Dan, 2006. "Multi-Battle Contests," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Dan Kovenock & Brian Roberson, 2008. "Electoral Poaching and Party Identification," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , , vol. 20(3), pages 275-302, July.
  4. Baye, M.R. & Kovenock, D. & De Vries, C.G., 1991. "The All-Pay Auction With Complete Information," Purdue University Economics Working Papers, Purdue University, Department of Economics 1007, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Alex Robson, 2005. "Multi-Item Contests," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics 2005-446, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
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  8. Marinelli, Carlo, 2007. "The stochastic goodwill problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 389-404, January.
  9. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Aner Sela, 2012. "Sequential two-prize contests," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 383-395, October.
  2. Aner Sela & Reut Megidish, 2012. "Sequential Contests With Synergy And Budget Constraints," Working Papers, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics 1212, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  3. Megidish, Reut & Sela, Aner, 2011. "Sequential Contests with Synergy and Budget Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8383, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Aner Sela & Eyal Erez, 2013. "Dynamic contests with resource constraints," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 863-882, October.

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