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The cyclical social choice of primary vs. general election candidates: A note on the US 2016 presidential election

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter (2016): The cyclical social choice of primary vs. general election candidates: A note on the US 2016 presidential election.

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Abstract

The manner in which US presidential elections are organized make them ripe for empirical manifestations of the “voting paradoxes” identified by social choice theorists. This note illustrates the general point with polling data involving the two leading Democrats and the three leading Republicans at the beginning of the 2016 presidential primaries, suggesting that all five candidates may be alternatives in one or more cyclical majorities, i.e., where no candidate cannot be beaten by at least one other candidate.

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