Saturday , April 4 2020
Home / Naked Capitalism / The Candidate’s Dilemma: “I Call on My Opponents To Stop Calling on Me To Drop Out.”

The Candidate’s Dilemma: “I Call on My Opponents To Stop Calling on Me To Drop Out.”

Summary:
Yves here. A useful discussion of a flawed but widespread take on Dem candidate viability. By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny! If you put all of the crowds that flock to watch Warren, Buttigieg, Bloomberg and Biden into this arena, would they fill even half of it? The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a game often analyzed in game theory. In its simplest form, it looks like this: Two prisoners are accused of a crime. If one confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses will be released immediately and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months. If both confess, they will each be jailed 15 years. They cannot communicate with one another. So what’s a prisoner (player) to do? Self-interest suggests each player

Topics:
Yves Smith considers the following as important: , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Barry Ritholtz writes Breaking Down the Stimulus Bill

Lambert Strether writes 2:00PM Water Cooler 3/31/2020

Yves Smith writes Alejandro Nadal, a Giant in Global Conservation

Yves Smith writes Developing a Vaccine for Covid-19. What To Expect?

Yves here. A useful discussion of a flawed but widespread take on Dem candidate viability.

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

The Candidate’s Dilemma: “I Call on My Opponents To Stop Calling on Me To Drop Out.”

If you put all of the crowds that flock to watch Warren, Buttigieg, Bloomberg and Biden into this arena, would they fill even half of it?

The “Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a game often analyzed in game theory. In its simplest form, it looks like this:

Two prisoners are accused of a crime. If one confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses will be released immediately and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months. If both confess, they will each be jailed 15 years. They cannot communicate with one another.

So what’s a prisoner (player) to do? Self-interest suggests each player will race to confess in order to win the Get Out Of Jail Free card. Yet doing that guarantees both will lose, and a long jail sentence for each. The only way for both to win is for each to stay silent and trust that the other do the same. The problem for both? They have no way to coordinate their responses.

The current Democratic candidates for president may be playing a variation of that game — or not, depending on whether you think Bernie Sanders could today beat each of them in a head-to-head contest.

But if you do buy into the argument that Sanders would lose to most of them if he faced only one of them, the problem can be stated like this:

Bernie Sanders has only 30% of the vote. Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Klobuchar each have 18%, 14%, 10% and 5% respectively, for a combined total of 47%. If Biden, or Bloomberg, or Buttigieg, or Klobuchar were running alone against Sanders, Sanders would lose since the anti-progressive forces would coalesce. But none of them can win because all of them are running. [Data snapshot here.]

If this correctly analyses the state of the “game,” what’s a player to do?

Obviously, all but one of the players must drop out. But which one should stay in? That’s the Candidate’s Dilemma. They all want to be the one who stays in.

The Candidate’s Dilemma: Why Won’t the Rest of You Let Me Win?

Alexandra Petri has caught this dilemma perfectly in a satirical piece for the Washington Post. Petri imagines herself a candidate (she could be one, after all; the field contains at least one person who has yet to campaign and has amassed no delegates).

Thus “Candidate Petri” writes:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *