Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar
Abstract: We compare multi-candidate elections under plurality rule versus ranked choice voting (RCV). In our framework candidates choose whether to pursue a targeted campaign that focuses on a narrow segment of voters, or instead pursue a broad campaign that can appeal to the entire electorate. The possibility of winning second preferences under RCV can intensify candidates' incentives to pursue a targeted campaign at the expense of a broad electoral appeal. Our results challenge widely held contentions about the benefits of adopting RCV.