There are two ways of winning a competition, by increasing one’s own chances of winning or by decreasing those of one’s opponents. I consider a model of contest with attack and defense and propose an application to negative political campaigns, where two candidates choose between disparaging their opponent or valorizing their own image. I provide sufficient conditions for the existence and uniqueness of the symmetric Nash equilibrium of the contest game. Through this model, I then contribute to the controversy concerning the effect of negative campaigning on voter turnout.
Contest with attack and defense: does negative campaigning increase or decrease voter turnout?
14 January 2014