- Ranked Choice Voting
- Details about Ranked Choice Voting
- Data on Ranked Choice Voting
- Campaign Civility
Ranked Choice Voting and Civil Campaigning
RCV encourages more civil discourse between candidates because candidates campaign not only for first-choice support, but also the second-choice support of other candidates. Consequently, candidates need to appeal to a broader range of voters in order to win. Candidates have less incentive to make negative statements about their opponents because they risk alienating that opponent's supporters.
- A 2020 study by Eamon McGinn of the University of Technology Sydney finds that in debates for ranked choice voting races, civility was improved with candidates substituting negative or neutral words for positive words.
McGinn, E. July 2020. Effect of Instant Run-off Voting on Participation and Civility.
The Eagleton Poll surveyed voters in 2013 and 2014 about their perceptions of the tone of campaigning. The study found likely voters in RCV cities were more satisfied with the conduct of candidate campaigns and perceived less candidate criticism and negative campaigning compared to voters in non-RCV cities.
John, Sarah and Tolbert, Caroline. April 2015. Socioeconomic and Demographic Perspectives on Ranked Choice Voting in the Bay Area.
The survey methodology document for the Eagleton Poll is also available.
- Fine-grained analysis by socio-economic and demographic groups is possible for the California 2014 portion of the Eagleton Poll results. Virtually every demographic group studied – including low-income respondents, college graduates, Latinos, African-Americans, women, Independents and unmarried people – reported less negativity in RCV cities than in plurality cities.
A 2013 analysis of sentiment in press coverage by Martha Kropf of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte showed that articles in RCV cities were 85% more positive than negative, compared to only 77% of articles in non-RCV control cities.
- Further work by Martha Kropf combined Twitter analysis and newspaper analysis to examine three 2013 RCV elections compared to non-RCV elections.
- Qualitatively, candidates seem to be more likely to engage each other in RCV cities than in plurality cities. However, the Twitter discourse is not more positive than in non-RCV cities.
- In newspaper articles, RCV city articles have significantly more positive than negative words.
Kropf, Martha. June 2021. Using Campaign Communications to Analyze Civility in Ranked Choice Voting Elections.
- Fairvote published the following reports in our Ranked Choice Voting Civility Research Report series:
1. Douglas, Andrew. April 2014. Ranked Choice Voting and Civility: New Evidence from American Cities.
2. John, Sarah. February 2015. Ranked Choice Voting in Practice: Candidate Civility in Bay Area Elections, November 2014.
3. John, Sarah. February 2015. Ranked Choice Voting in Practice: Content Analysis of Campaign Tone in Newspapers and Twitter Feeds in 2013 RCV Elections.
4. John, Sarah and Tolbert, Caroline. April 2015. Socioeconomic and Demographic Perspectives on Ranked Choice Voting in the Bay Area.
- A 2018 exit poll of Santa Fe voters found that 67% of respondents believed the tone of their first mayoral election with RCV was more positive than prior mayoral elections. Only 3% of respondents said it was more negative.
FairVote. March 2018. Santa Fe Voters Support Ranked Choice Voting and Have High Confidence in City Elections.