Targeted Campaign Competition, Loyal Voters, and Supermajorities
33 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2014 Last revised: 6 Oct 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2014
We examine an endogenous, sunk budget extension of Myerson's (1993) two-candidate model of political competition in which candidates simultaneously allocate an exogenous level of a use-it-or-lose-it persuasive advertising resource across a homogeneous electorate of unit measure. We completely characterize equilibrium for the majoritarian objective game and compare that to the vote-share maximizing game. In the standard zero-sum formulation of the game, the majoritarian and vote-share maximizing objective games share the same unique equilibrium which features micro-targeting, or in Myersonian terms the cultivation of favored minorities. With endogenous campaign spending, the zero-sum feature of the Myerson game is eliminated and the equilibria arising in the games under each of the two objectives qualitatively differ. In comparing the equilibria under these two objectives, our results support the puzzling phenomenon of the emergence of supermajorities in majoritarian systems.
Keywords: Campaign competition, continuous General Lotto game, vote buying, flexible budgets, supermajorities
JEL Classification: D72, D78, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation