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The Closed Primaries versus the Top-two Primary

Author

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  • Pablo Amorós

    () (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de Málaga)

  • M. Socorro Puy

    () (Department of Economic Theory, Universidad de Málaga)

  • Ricardo Martínez

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

The top-two primary is the new primary system passed in several states of the US that creates a single ballot in which the top two vote getters pass to the general election. Primary elections induce a sequential game with three stages: the candidate-entry stage, the primary election stage, and the general election. We analyze the electoral winner in equilibrium of the top-two primaries versus the traditional closed party primaries in terms of the Condorcet Consistency criterion, when voters and candidates are strategic. We show that up to four potential candidates (with no more than two democrats and no more than two republicans), the top-two system generally elects the median voter?s most preferred candidate. On the contrary, with the closed party primaries, extreme candidates can be elected even when the median voter prefers the moderated counterpart. When there are more potential candidates, the closed primaries system does not show, in general, any other di¤erent deviation. The top-two system then shows every type of deviation from the Condorcet Consistency criterion: it can elect an extreme candidate when the median voter prefers the moderated counterpart, or it can elect a democratic candidate when the median voter?s most preferred candidate is republican (or the other way around).

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Amorós & M. Socorro Puy & Ricardo Martínez, 2014. "The Closed Primaries versus the Top-two Primary," Working Papers 2014-02, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mal:wpaper:2014-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jackson, Matthew O. & Mathevet, Laurent & Mattes, Kyle, 2007. "Nomination Processes and Policy Outcomes," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(1), pages 67-92, March.
    2. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    3. Hummel, Patrick, 2013. "Candidate strategies in primaries and general elections with candidates of heterogeneous quality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 85-102.
    4. Puy, M. Socorro & Martínez, Ricardo & Amorós, P., 2013. "The closed primaries versus the top-two primary," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1319, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    5. Laurent Bouton, 2013. "A Theory of Strategic Voting in Runoff Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1248-1288, June.
    6. Rafael Hortala-Vallve & Hannes Mueller, 2015. "Primaries: the unifying force," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 289-305, June.
    7. César Martinelli, 2002. "Simple plurality versus plurality runoff with privately informed voters," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 19(4), pages 901-919.
    8. Hirano, Shigeo & Snyder, James M. & Ansolabehere, Stephen & Hansen, John Mark, 2010. "Primary Elections and Partisan Polarization in the U.S. Congress," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 169-191, August.
    9. Bag, Parimal Kanti & Sabourian, Hamid & Winter, Eyal, 2009. "Multi-stage voting, sequential elimination and Condorcet consistency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1278-1299, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Puy, M. Socorro & Martínez, Ricardo & Amorós, P., 2013. "The closed primaries versus the top-two primary," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1319, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Closed primaries; Open primaries; Top-two primary; Citizen-candidate; Strategic Voting; Sequential voting. Condorcet consistency;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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