#### Probabilistic Voting: An Addition to theDowns Two Party Voting Model

This paper proposes that voter decision making is determined by more than just the policy positions adopted by the candidates in the election as proposed by Antony Downs (1957). Using a vector valued voting model proposed by William Foster (2014),…

This paper proposes that voter decision making is determined by more than just the policy positions adopted by the candidates in the election as proposed by Antony Downs (1957). Using a vector valued voting model proposed by William Foster (2014), voter behavior can be described by a mathematical model. Voters assign scores to candidates based on both policy and non-policy considerations, then voters then decide which candidate they support based on which has a higher candidate score. The traditional assumption that most of the population will vote is replaced by a function describing the probability of voting based on candidate scores assigned by individual voters. If the voter's likelihood of voting is not certain, but rather modelled by a sigmoid curve, it has radical implications on party decisions and actions taken during an election cycle. The model also includes a significant interaction term between the candidate scores and the differential between the scores which enhances the Downsian model. The thesis is proposed in a similar manner to Downs' original presentation, including several allegorical and hypothetical examples of the model in action. The results of the model reveal that single issue voters can have a significant impact on election outcomes, and that the weight of non-policy considerations is high enough that political parties would spend large sums of money on campaigning. Future research will include creating an experiment to verify the interaction terms, as well as adjusting the model for individual costs so that more empirical analysis may be completed.

**Contributors**

- Coulter, Jarod Maxwell (Author)
- Foster, William (Thesis director)
- Goegan, Brian (Committee member)
- School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (Contributor)
- Department of Economics (Contributor)
- Dean, W.P. Carey School of Business (Contributor)
- Barrett, The Honors College (Contributor)

**Created**