Date of this Version
Wolbers, C., Preferential Politics, 2018
Preferential voting is a unique system of voting that, while enjoying popularity abroad, has yet to make a significant impact on American political culture. However, within that past few years, preferential voting has been adopted by a number of cities across the country and the state of Maine. This dissertation examines the growing role of preferential voting in the United States, the impact of preferential voting on the electoral process, and the public’s perception of preferential voting. This project uses survey data and data collected through Twitter to demonstrate that preferential voting is generally popular with the electorate and reduces campaign negativity, but it can confuse certain voters. Ultimately, this project demonstrates that preferential voting has the potential to address many of the complaints directed towards plurality voting.
Advisor: Kevin Smith