The Duellist Theory –

As it has develop into fairly even between left and proper-wing events and the race has develop into extra aggressive it’s logical to make use of varied marketing campaign methods to maximise occasion’s profit in election course of.  We imagine that detrimental communication may be extraordinarily helpful in an in depth race.

Skaperdas and Grofman (1995) developed a mathematical and recreation-theoretic mannequin of detrimental campaigning known as the Duelist idea. With an adaptation of terminology from Surlin and Gordon they used the time period detrimental campaigning to consult with that which assaults the opposite candidate personally, the problems for which the opposite candidate stands, or the occasion of the opposite candidate. The Duelist mannequin was developed on some widespread-sense attributes corresponding to that candidates know the place they stand within the polls however have no idea future vote shares with certainty, that some voters are undecided, that voters can change their thoughts over the course of the marketing campaign and even transfer from assist to a place of undecided or vice versa, and that campaigning can matter. A key assumption about political competitors was that detrimental campaigning reduces the assist stage of the candidate who’s attacked and may additionally scale back the attacking candidate’s personal assist due to voters who’re disgruntled by detrimental campaigning, a minimum of within the quick run

Inspired by the rational alternative concept the mannequin tries to resolve excellent worth maximizing methods for the completely different candidates given completely different ranges of assist for every of them. Certain logical recommendations may be derived from the evaluation. For instance, in two candidate competitors the entrance runner will have interaction in much less detrimental campaigning than the opponent, typically probably the most correct duelist has a decrease likelihood of survival than the second-finest (and even third-finest) shooter. The motive for this result’s that the optimum technique of both of the opposite duelists is to shoot on the duelist who’s the very best shot. A candidate’s technique is selecting the quantity of optimistic and detrimental campaigning to be employed (Skaperdas & Grofman, 1995). More-over, the consensus amongst political journalists and consultants, even when not backed by proof that’s absolutely compelling in social science phrases, is that “[while] there is room for argument about whether negative ads will damage the system in the long run, there is no argument about their short-term impact, [that] they work and they win elections. Voters pay attention to them” (Ehrenhalt 1985, 2560).


Skaperdas, S. & Grofman, B. (1995) Modelling detrimental campaigning American Political Science Review, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 49-61.

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