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Encyclopedia > Spoiler (politician)

The spoiler effect is a term to describe the effect a candidate can have on a close election, in which their candidacy results in the election being won by a candidate dissimilar to them, rather than a candidate similar to them. An election is a decision making process where people choose people to hold official offices. ...


It can also refer to a similar phenomenon in sports: when a team has failed to win enough games to make the playoffs, it can often affect the playoffs anyway, by beating a more successful team before the end of the season.


One often cited example of the spoiler effect at work was the 2000 U.S. Presidential election. In that election, George W. Bush and Al Gore had a very close election in many states, with neither candidate winning a majority of the votes. In Florida, the final certified vote totals show Bush won just 537 more votes than Gore, thus winning the state and the Presidency (see Florida election results). Many Gore supporters hypothesized that most of the 97,421 votes that went to Ralph Nader in that state would have likely been votes for Gore had Nader not been in the election. They contend that Nader's candidacy "spoiled" the election for Gore, by taking away enough votes from Gore in Florida and many other states (in particular, New Hampshire being the allegation most statistically supportable) only to allow Bush to win. Nader supporters say he had to run to protest Gore's positions, and the punishment of defeat is a powerful weapon that democracy allows and encourages. Without Nader on the ballot angry anti-Gore voters might as well have voted for Bush to punish Gore. However, Nader himself and many of his supporters argue that most Nader voters would have chosen another minor party candidate, or refrained from voting altogether, had he not been on the ballot. Some observers began to refer to the spoiler effect as the Nader effect after the 2000 election, but this term has been fading from use, particularly following Nader's much less significant showing in the 2004 election. Presidential electoral votes by state. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... This article is about the former United States Vice President. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Ralph Nader Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934) is an American attorney and political activist. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,359 sq mi (24,239 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 3. ... Presidential election results map. ...


A similar effect was observed in 1992, when the conservative-republican vote split between George H.W. Bush and H. Ross Perot, allowing the more liberal Bill Clinton to take office with only forty-three percent of the popular vote. 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Order: 41st President Vice President: Dan Quayle Term of office: January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993 Preceded by: Ronald Reagan Succeeded by: Bill Clinton Date of birth: June 12, 1924 Place of birth: Milton, Massachusetts First Lady: Barbara Pierce Bush Political party: Republican George Herbert Walker Bush, KBE (born... Henry Ross Perot (born June 27, 1930) is an American businessman billionaire from Texas best known as a candidate for President of the United States (in 1992 and 1996). ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ...


The spoiler effect is one of the components contributing to the effect known as Duverger's law, which states that the first-past-the-post election system creates and preserves a two-party system. Duvergers Law is a principle which asserts that a first-past-the-post election system or in other words, a Single-member, Simple-plurality system, naturally leads to a two-party system. ... The first-past-the-post electoral system is a voting system for single-member districts, variously called first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP), winner-take-all, plurality voting, or relative majority. ... A two-party system is a form of party system where two major political parties dominate the voting in nearly all elections. ...


The effect is removed in jurisdictions using preferential voting, where a voter can vote for a minor party candidate and still record a preference between the major party candidates. (In the Nader example above, Nader voters could have voted 1 Nader, 2 Gore, 3 Bush, and then once Nader was eliminated their votes would have transferred to Gore.) Preferential voting (or preference voting) is a type of ballot structure used in several electoral systems in which voters rank a list or group of candidates in order of preference. ...

Contents

Mathematical definitions

Possible mathematical definitions for the spoiler effect include failure of independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) and vote-splitting. Independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) is an axiom often adopted by social scientists as a basic condition of rationality. ... Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ...


Independence of irrelevant alternatives

Arrow's impossibility theorem shows that rank-voting systems are unable to satisfy the independence of irrelevant alternatives criterion without exhibiting other undesirable properties as a consequence. However, different voting systems are affected to a greater or lesser extent by IIA failure. For example, instant runoff voting is considered to have less frequent IIA failure than First Past the Post. The local independence of irrelevant alternatives criterion is similar to IIA, but whch can be passed by some ranked ballot methods. In voting systems, Arrow’s impossibility theorem, or Arrow’s paradox, demonstrates that no voting system can possibly meet a certain set of reasonable criteria when there are three or more options to choose from. ... Independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) is an axiom often adopted by social scientists as a basic condition of rationality. ... A voting system is a means of choosing between a number of options, based on the input of a number of voters. ... When the single transferable vote voting system is applied to a single-winner election it is sometimes called instant-runoff voting (IRV), as it is much like holding a series of runoff elections in which the lowest polling candidate is eliminated in each round until someone receives majority vote. ... The plurality voting system, also known as first past the post, is a voting system used to elect a single winner in a given election. ... In voting systems, independence of irrelevant alternatives is the property some voting systems have that, if one option (X) wins the election, and a new alternative (Y) is added, only X or Y will win the election. ...


Vote-splitting

Voting methods that fail independence of clones may suffer from vote-splitting, teaming, or crowding. Vote-splitting happens when adding similar or clone candidates decreases the chance of any of them winning. Methods that suffer from vote-splitting include First Past the Post and two-round runoff. Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ... Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ... Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ... Strategic nomination is the manipulation of an election through its candidate set (compare this to tactical voting, where the manipulation comes from the voters). ... The plurality voting system, also known as first past the post, is a voting system used to elect a single winner in a given election. ... An example of runoff voting. ...


List of American spoilers in presidential elections

These are third-party candidates who feasibly could have denied victory to a major nominee.

The spoiler effect also sometimes occurs in congressional elections and elections for state offices. Charles Cotesworth (C.C.) Pinckney (February 5, 1746 – August 16, 1825), was an early American statesman and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... James Gillespie Birney (February 4, 1792 - November 25, 1857) was an American presidential candidate for the Liberty Party in the 1840 and 1844 elections. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862), nicknamed Old Kinderhook, was the eighth President of the United States. ... Summary President James Polk, having achieved virtually all of his objectives in one term and suffering from declining health that would take his life less than four months after leaving office, chose not to seek re-election. ... Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Henry Ross Perot (born June 27, 1930) is an American businessman billionaire from Texas best known as a candidate for President of the United States (in 1992 and 1996). ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ... Ralph Nader Ralph Nader (born February 27, 1934) is an American attorney and political activist. ... Presidential electoral votes by state. ...


Split vote

When a spoiler effect occurs, it is sometimes said that a split vote has occurred.


Vote splitting as an issue is usually confined to single-winner voting systems such as those used by the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. However, it can also be an issue in countries which use proportional representation with election thresholds such as Germany or Turkey - in these countries, "fringe" parties which do not meet the threshold can be seen to take away votes from larger parties with similar ideologies. A voting system is a means of choosing between a number of options, based on the input of a number of voters. ... Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems used in multiple-winner elections (e. ... In party-list proportional representation systems, an election threshold is a clause that stipulates that a party must receive a minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or within a particular district, to get any seats in the parliament. ...


See also

  • This entry is related to, but not included in the elections and voting series. Other related articles can be found at the Politics Portal.

 
 

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