Manipulation through political endorsements
We study elections with three candidates under plurality voting. A candidate is a Condorcet loser if the majority of the voters place that candidate at the bottom of their preference rankings. We first show that a Condorcet loser might win the election in a three-way race. Next we introduce to the model an endorser who has private information about the true probability distribution of the preferences of the voters. Observable endorsements facilitate coordination among voters who may otherwise split their votes and lead to the victory of the Condorcet loser. When the endorser has an ideological bias towards one of the candidates, the coordination impact of endorsements remains unaltered, moreover the endorser successfully manipulates the outcome of the election in favor of his bias, even if his ideological bias is known by the voters. The results are true for any endorsement cost and any magnitude of bias as long as the electorate is large enough.
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Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1227-1248, May.
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