Optimal Campaigning in Presidential Elections: The Probability of Being Florida

Stockholm University Working Paper No. 706

54 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2002  

David Strömberg

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 23, 2002

Abstract

This paper delivers a precise recommendation for how presidential candidates should allocate their resources to maximize the probability of gaining a majority in the Electoral College. A two-candidate, probabilistic-voting model reveals that more resources should be devoted to states which are likely to be decisive in the electoral college and, at the same time, have very close state elections. The optimal strategies are empirically estimated using state-level opinion-polls available in September of the election year. The model's recommended campaign strategies closely resemble those used in actual campaigns. The paper also analyses how the allocation of resources would change under the alternative electoral rule of a direct national vote for president.

Keywords: Elections, political campaigns, public expenditures

JEL Classification: D72, C50, C72, H50, M37

Suggested Citation

Strömberg, David, Optimal Campaigning in Presidential Elections: The Probability of Being Florida (April 23, 2002). Stockholm University Working Paper No. 706. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=303464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.303464

David Strömberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+46 816 4376 (Phone)
+46 816 1443 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

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