Ambiguity in Election Games

We construct a model in which the ambiguity of candidates allows them to increase the number of voters to whom they appeal when voters have intense preferences for one of the alternatives available. An ambiguous candidate may offer voters with different preferences the hope that their most preferred alternative will be implemented. We find conditions under which ambiguous strategies are chosen in equilibrium. These conditions include the case in which there is an outcome that is a majority winner against all other outcomes but is not the most preferred outcome for a majority of voters. It is shown that if the number of candidates or parties increases, ambiguity will not be possible in equilibrium, but a larger set of possible policies increases the chance that at least one candidate will choose to be ambiguous in equilibrium.

Download Paper

Paper Number