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Catch Me if You Can: Using a Threshold Model to Simulate Support for Presidential Candidates in the Invisible Primary

Elizabeth A. Stiles (), Colin D. Swearingen (), Linda Seiter () and Brendan Foreman ()

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2020, vol. 23, issue 1, 1

Abstract: The invisible primary is an important time in United States Presidential primary politics as candidates gain momentum for their campaigns before they compete formally in the first state caucus (Iowa) and primaries (e.g. New Hampshire). However, this critical period has not been possible to observe, hence the name. By simulating networks of primary followers, we can explicate hypotheses for how messages travel through networks to affect voter preferences. To do so, we use a threshold model to drive our simulated network analysis testing spread of public support for candidates in invisible primaries. We assign voter thresholds for candidates and vary number of voters, attachment to candidates and decay. We also vary social graph structure and model. Results of the algorithm show effects of size of lead, an unwavering base of support, and information loss.

Keywords: Social Network Analysis; Threshold Model; Invisible Primary; Campaigns; Elections; Presidency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-31
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