Network Strategies in Election Campaigns

20 May 2016  ·  Javarone Marco Alberto ·

This study considers a simple variation of the voter model with two competing parties. In particular, we represent the case of political elections, where people can choose to support one of the two candidates or to remain neutral... People operate within a social network and their opinions depend on those of the people with whom they interact. Therefore, they may change their opinions over time, which may mean supporting one particular candidate or none. Candidates attempt to gain people's support by interacting with them, whether they are in the same social circle (i.e. neighbors) or not. In particular, candidates follow a strategy of interacting for a time with people they do not know (that is, people who are not their neighbors). Our analysis of the proposed model sought to establish which network strategies are the most effective for candidates to gain popular support. We found that the most suitable strategy depends on the topology of the social network. Finally, we investigated the role of charisma in these dynamics. Charisma is relevant in several social contexts, since charismatic people usually exercise a strong influence over others. Our results showed that candidates' charisma is an important contributory factor to a successful network strategy in election campaigns. read more

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Physics and Society Social and Information Networks Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems