Virginia Social Science Journal
The truel, or three way duel, has distinct properties from duels: the weakest contestant often has a very good chance to win. This paper explores application of the logic of truels to election campaigns involving negative advertising. We show that negative campaigning that pits the leading candidates against each other can create circumstances in which the third (or worse) place candidate wins in one or more of the Nash equilibria of the game. We then study whether the simulated existence of an opportunity for Nash equilibrium victory by third place candidates predicts such outcomes in U.S. state-wide elections.
Original Publication Citation
Richman, J. T. (2020). Victory by the weakest: Effects of negative advertising in N>2 candidate campaigns. Virginia Social Science Journal, 54, 30-39
Richman, Jesse T., "Victory by the Weakest: Effects of Negative Advertising in N>2 Candidate Campaigns" (2020). Political Science & Geography Faculty Publications. 29.