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Trump, Condorcet and Borda: Voting paradoxes in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries

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  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter

Abstract

The organization of US presidential elections make them potentially vulnerable to so-called “voting paradoxes”, identified by social choice theorists but rarely documented empirically. The presence of a record high number of candidates in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries may have made this possibility particularly latent. Using polling data from the primaries we identify two possible cases: Early in the pre-primary (2015) a cyclical majority may have existed in Republican voters’ preferences between Bush, Cruz and Walker—thereby giving a rare example of the Condorcet Paradox. Furthermore, later polling data (March 2016) suggests that while Trump (who achieved less than 50% of the total Republican primary vote) was the Plurality Winner, he could have been beaten in pairwise contests by at least one other candidate—thereby exhibiting a case of the Borda Paradox. The cases confirm the empirical relevance of the theoretical voting paradoxes and the importance of voting procedures.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2016. "Trump, Condorcet and Borda: Voting paradoxes in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries," MPRA Paper 75598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:75598
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    Cited by:

    1. Darmann, Andreas & Grundner, Julia & Klamler, Christian, 2019. "Evaluative voting or classical voting rules: Does it make a difference? Empirical evidence for consensus among voting rules," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 345-353.
    2. Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2019. "Var det fortsat ”the economy, stupid!” i 2016 og 2018?
      [Was it still "the economy, stupid!" in 2016 and 2018?]
      ," MPRA Paper 97297, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social choice; Condorcet Paradox; Borda Paradox; US presidential election 2016; Jeb Bush; Chris Christie; Ted Cruz; John Kasich; Marco Rubio; Donald Trump; Scot Walker; voting system.;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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