On the Resource Allocation for Political Campaigns

Sebastián Morales, Charles Thraves

In an election campaign, candidates must decide how to optimally allocate their efforts/resources optimally among the regions of a country. As a result, the outcome of the election will depend on the players' strategies and the voters' preferences. In this work, we present a zero-sum game where two candidates decide how to invest a fixed resource in a set of regions, while considering their sizes and biases. We explore the Majority System (MS) as well as the Electoral College (EC) voting systems. We prove equilibrium existence and uniqueness under MS in a deterministic model; in addition, their closed form expressions are provided when fixing the subset of regions and relaxing the non-negative investing constraint. For the stochastic case, we use Monte Carlo simulations to compute the players' payoffs, together with its gradient and hessian. For the EC, given the lack of Equilibrium in pure strategies, we propose an iterative algorithm to find Equilibrium in mixed strategies in a subset of the simplex lattice. We illustrate numerical instances under both election systems, and contrast players' equilibrium strategies. Finally, we show that polarization induces candidates to focus on larger regions with negative biases under MS, whereas candidates concentrate on swing states under EC.

Knowledge Graph

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