The elimination paradox: apportionment in the Democratic Party
To award delegates in their presidential primary elections, the US Democratic Party uses Hamilton’s method of apportionment after eliminating any candidates (and their votes) that receive less than 15% of the total votes cast. We illustrate how a remaining candidate may have his or her delegate total decline as a result of other candidates being eliminated; this leads to a new elimination paradox. We relate that paradox to the new states, no show, and population paradoxes and show that divisor methods are not susceptible to the elimination paradox. We conclude with instances in which the elimination paradox may occur in other contexts, including parliamentary systems.
KeywordsElimination paradox Democratic primary Population monotonicity
Mathematics Subject Classification91B32 91B12 91F10
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