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Government Republicans Stats United States Politics

Rubio and Kasich Are Living Out a Classic Game Theory Dilemma 428

HughPickens.com writes: Kevin Quealy writes in the NYT that the two remaining mainstream candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination — Marco Rubio and John Kasich — are living out an issue studied for decades in game theory. Game theorists might call the GOP predicament an anti-coordination game or a volunteer's dilemma but most of us might call it by a more familiar name: chicken. Although Rubio is the obvious establishment favorite, the two are splitting some votes. so to have his best chance against Trump and Cruz, Rubio needs Kasich to drop out. The longer both candidates remain in the race, the worse it is for both of them.

Kasich's first option is to stay in the race but he could go further, by committing to stay in no matter what. In a classic game of chicken between two drivers rushing headlong toward each other, this strategy is like removing your steering wheel, leaving you no choice but to drive straight toward your opponent. Kasich could hope for another robotic debate performance from Rubio or even an implosion from the Trump or Cruz campaigns. Kasich 's second strategy would be to cut a deal with Rubio — offer to drop out, for example, in exchange, for the second spot on a Rubio ticket or a cabinet post. Kasich's third strategy would be to threaten to support a different candidate, like Trump or Cruz. If the threat had the potential to damage Rubio enough, it could be a useful bargaining chip. "Being crazy is a strategy, but only if your opponent actually believes it," says Richard Thaler. Part of the problem is that this is a game that's played just once. "The chance to be your party's nominee for president comes along only every four or eight years, even for the very luckiest candidates," says Quealy. "If the candidates lived in a universe in which they could run for president hundreds of times, they might agree that, on average, their shared interests were better served by cooperating." But this is not an iterated dilemma. It's a one-time-only dilemma with a tremendous payoff for the winner. Ultimately, both Kasich and Rubio risk an outcome neither wants. But as Daniel Diermeier, the dean of the public policy school at the University of Chicago, notes, "A very important lesson of game theory is that sometimes the world is a grim place."
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Rubio and Kasich Are Living Out a Classic Game Theory Dilemma

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  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday February 25, 2016 @08:57AM (#51581497) Homepage Journal
    Kasich is smart enough to realize that he isn't going to win the general election in 2016. He also may be the only person on stage smart enough to realize that none of the GOP hopefuls will, either - hence there is no reason for him to negotiate with Rubio for a cabinet position that will never materialize. There has only been one national poll so far that has shown a GOP candidate beating Hillary, but it was within the margin of error. If the democrats nominate Sanders, however, it will be a GOP bloodbath as he beats the GOP candidates by much more than the margin of error.

    Kasich is more likely staying in the game for the same reason that Trump entered it - fame and recognition. Obviously Trump was already famous before announcing but now he is even more so; though very few people outside of Ohio knew of Kasich before he got in the ring. Much like several other past GOP hopefuls, Kasich has opened up great new opportunities for himself as a Fox News commentator, a Washington lobbyist, a think tank leader, or various other jobs of that sort which were previously beyond his grasp. The longer he stays in, the more his brand grows.
    • by slashping ( 2674483 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:12AM (#51581561)
      I still wonder how it is possible that the republicans can't come up with a single decent candidate. And this is not the first time that happened.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:23AM (#51581621)

        I still wonder how it is possible that the republicans can't come up with a single decent candidate. And this is not the first time that happened.

        Why would you need a decent candidate ? Primaries on the Republican side are governed by the most right wingers, racists, bible thumpers extremists. You cannot win the primary be being a good/moderate/compromising Republican. Hence the host of batshit crazies that sprout up. Trump is an anomaly because he's his own man. You can bet whatever you want he doesn't give a shit about the Republican constituency. He just wants the presidency, and can shout louder than anybody else. After all, he's being more Republican than all the other Republican candidates put together.. The Republican leadership has a lot of soul searching to do. You cannot cater only to extremists for more than a generation and think it won't fuck up the political process. We have already seen what the current bunch of uncompromising Republitards had done in Congress. This is simply more of the same.

      • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:49AM (#51581769)

        I still wonder how it is possible that the republicans can't come up with a single decent candidate. And this is not the first time that happened.

        Arguably neither party has a decent candidate this go around but I agree. The GOP candidates in particular all have wigs, red noses and large shoes. That party has kind of painted themselves into this ridiculous ideological corner and they get weird candidates that try to fit that impossible puzzle. They claim to want government out of people's business but then ignore that when it comes to "values" thanks to the religious wing of the party. They also claim to be about fiscal responsibility but they can't ever vote for raising taxes if they want to stay in office even when it is absurd not to. And despite their claims they wan to cut spending their actions show exactly the opposite - they just want to spend money on THEIR causes. So they have to argue the ridiculous idea that somehow we can achieve prosperity by continually cutting taxes, mostly for wealthy people, while not reducing spending (especially on the military) and staying out of people's private lives except when it offends their religious sensibilities. That's the very definition of conflicted messaging.

        And then they get a demagogue like Trump and they can't figure out how to deal with him because they have been so busy painting themselves into this ideological corner that any reasonable candidate can't even win a local election thanks to the Tea Party and social conservatives.

        • by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:11AM (#51582427)
          I'd argue that the democrats have two pretty good candidates. I'll be happy with either one, but I think Clinton has the skills, brains and experience to actually get some shit done.You can promise the world, but can you actually move the ball forward? I think she can. She's had a lot of shit thrown at her for the last thirty years. She's tough as nails. She also knows how to run very large organizations and has better foreign policy experience than all of the other candidates combined. The biggest problem is going to be dealing with an obstructionist congress and luckily she's married to someone who has a great deal of experience dealing with that problem.

          One downside though is that a lot of people are susceptible to the narrative that the media has been pushing for decades. Take a look at the vitriol many people immediately spew when her name comes up. The Bernie Bros are all over twitter calling her a lying cunt, etc.. The media decided long ago that she had trust issues with the american people, they kept saying it and now people have ... surprise surprise, trust issues with Hillary.

          Our press has become lazy and stupid and would rather talk about the horserace or youtube videos than actually spending time to inform people. I swear if I hear one more clueless reporter talk about how good Trump is at getting media attention while they give him said attention I'm going to shoot my TV.
          • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:50AM (#51582911)

            but I think Clinton has the skills, brains and experience to actually get some shit done

            But why would we want that shit done? You can't just look at capabilities, you also have to look at what the candidate has done. Here, committing multiple felonies just so you can evade FOIA requests is not the sort of person that I'd want for president.

            The Bernie Bros are all over twitter calling her a lying cunt, etc.. The media decided long ago that she had trust issues with the american people, they kept saying it and now people have ... surprise surprise, trust issues with Hillary.

            It would help here, if she didn't actually lie all the time. For example, coming up with evolving excuses about her private email server and why she couldn't be bothered to comply with US law on classified information and the handling of email for public business.

            I suspect however the nastiest trust issues comes from her willingness to sacrifice principle for the need of the moment. For example, she was an instrumental part of the propaganda machine that tore up women who had extra-marital affairs with her husband. I bet that rubs feminists the wrong way right there, having a candidate who supposedly cared about feminist issues, but readily threw that principle away the moment her meal ticket was threatened.

            • Just remember with Hillary that whatever polls well, will be her stance on any issue. She spends more money on polling than the entire Republican clown car combined, when they are supposedly the party of corporate money interest.

              But I'm sure she'll do something about Citizens United besides give speeches and hold fundraisers about how they need to outspend the Koch Brothers in order to get a fair shake; don't look at how Bernie is making waves without all that.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I have no doubt in my mind that Clinton is a very smart person - that shows through in the debates. I just don't fucking trust her at all, and am particularly concerned that the Democrats might be about to nominate someone that is a short-hair away from indictment.

            • by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @03:06PM (#51585027)
              You've been told not to trust her by the media since 1992. How long have you been politically aware? She's not being indicted for the same thing that Colin Powell and Condi Rice did.
      • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @10:05AM (#51581865)
        "I still wonder how it is possible that the major parties can't come up with a single decent candidate. "

        FTFY.
        • That doesn't make my statement any less wrong, though, and it just muddies the waters by inviting people to say that Obama is a decent president, and then the discussion shifts to arguing about Obama. The point is, if the republicans could find a single decent candidate, then they'd easily win the elections, so what is stopping them ?
          • by msauve ( 701917 )
            huh??? Obama isn't a candidate, so that's a non-sequitur. By singling out the Rs, you politicized the statement, which invites polarizing argument.
          • by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:34AM (#51582735)
            What's stopping them is a fundamental flaw in the focus of the party. The republican party at its core is there to push the agenda of the rich. In order to do that they need to convince the poor and uneducated to vote against their best interests. Republicans can't win by being honest so they have to use the subterfuge of abortion, coded racism, xenophobia, gun rights paranoia to get elected. Over the years they have stoked the fears and stupidity and have created a voting horde of zombies. This worked very well for a while but now you have rich people like the Koch brothers who would rather have direct control of the Zombie horde. So the Koch's have a political apparatus that is at least three times the size of the political apparatus of the republican party. You have other players also trying to take direct control of the Zombies.

            Now the other problem is side of the problem is that of "decent candidates". The problem here again lies at the root of the purpose of the republican party... to further the goals of the rich. Republicans tend to pick(draft) candidates from business who they think will win an election. These candidates for the most part have no history of public service and often don't understand the role of government or how it works. They just take their orders, copy the legislation that was given to them by some PAC and repeat talking points. Democrats, on the other hand, generally have to work their way up doing real community service. The outlook is completely different. You have to demonstrate that you can and have worked hard for the working man in order to be a democrat on the national stage. Remember all the derisive comments about how Obama was a community organizer (like that's a bad thing?)? That's because the republicans don't see the US as a team or a community where helping each other out is valuable. It's more of a "fuck you, I've got mine" mentality rather than a serious problem solving mindset.

            Now there are still a few old school republicans in the senate who take their responsibilities seriously but they are being replaced with the new and improved scorched earth republicans. The house? It only has a majority of republicans because of cheating, AKA gerrymandering. The republicans can't win fair elections so they try their best to disenfranchise voters, gerrymander districts , cut voting hours so working class people have a hard time voting, etc...

            Trump is interesting because he's stealing the zombie horde from the Koch's, et al. He's tapped into that lizard brain that Fox News, Limaugh, etc.. have been grooming for decades. They original owners of the zombie horde are pissed, but there's not a lot they can do about it.
            • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @12:21PM (#51583263) Homepage

              And this is different from the democrats in what substantive way?

      • by O('_')O_Bush ( 1162487 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @10:15AM (#51581921)
        To be fair, the only arguably decent candidate from the DNP this go round is Bernie Sanders, and he is going to lose to Hillary-cesspool-of-lies-and-skeletons-Clinton. Ironically, that's because the black vote is going to a bougie fraud instead of someone who has actually worked for civil rights.

        Yea, the GOP has a circus going on, but the DNP has the biggest clown, and she's not funny.
        • Hillary-cesspool-of-lies-and-skeletons-Clinton

          This is why Bernie is going to lose. The Bernie Bros are over the top in their vitriol and turn off the swing voters he will need.


          People who engage in hyperbole are worse than Hitler.

          • And that's why Trump is going to win. Hillary will win the DNC nomination one way or another (probably involving some dirty tricks on the part of the DNC's leadership with DWS), and all the Millenials and other Bernie voters will either sit out the election, write in Bernie's name, or vote for Trump out of spite. Combine that with Trump's huge polling numbers, and the distrust and disdain that so many Americans (esp. on the right) have for Hillary, and we can look forward to a Trump Presidency. And AFAIC

      • I still wonder how it is possible that the republicans can't come up with a single decent candidate. And this is not the first time that happened.

        They had one in 2012, Jon Huntsman. He is not batshit crazy enough, and he committed the offense of being multilingual (he speaks Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese Hokkien) and the cardinal sin of having adopted a child from India and another one from China. How offensive to American values!

        The GOP cannot find a decent candidate anymore because of its current constituency, one whose lunacy was cultivated by the GOP itself since the bad black man stole the White House for the express purpose of killing Baby J

      • The same reason NAMBLA can't come up with a decent candidate. The entire party panders to the worst of the worst in politics.

    • That, and he knows Trump needs to carry Ohio in the election. He's holding out for the VP spot. Notice he's the only candidate that's never directly attacked anyone on stage? He want's the POTUS job, but ultimately jockeying for VP. He isn't young, and he would rather end his legacy on a better standing.

    • by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:18AM (#51581601)
      Whoever wins the republican nomination could still win. Political races are funny things and swing voters are fickle and emotional. Let me give an extreme example. Kasich is almost the nominee and a fire breaks out in his hotel. He starts pulling people from the fire and saves some children and it's caught on camera. Suddenly he takes the nomination and the presidency. Yes, it's stupid but people have lost over less... see Howard Dean's scream.

      The thing that is scary about Kasich is how he has fooled the press into thinking he's a moderate. He's no moderate. He's one of the stealth anti abortion candidates of the 90's. He sounds moderate but his actions are pretty radical(anti abortion bills with no abortion exception even to save the life of the mother). I fear Kasich far more than Cruz. Cruz can't hide his instanity. Kasich does it quite nicely.

      The press has failed us. They tell us all about the horse race, but tell us little to nothing about policy differences.
      • by dirk ( 87083 )

        Kasich isn't a moderate, but he is what passes for a moderate Republican anymore. I'm from Ohio, so I know first hand how bad he is, but given the candidates remaining for the Republicans he is by far the best choice. I'm pulling for him because I want the least destructive Republican candidate to get the nomination because there is always a chance the Republicans win.

      • He sounds moderate but his actions are pretty radical(anti abortion bills with no abortion exception even to save the life of the mother)

        This is mainstream GOP policy. A human life amendment was in the GOP platform in 2012; see here (PDF) starting on page 13 [amazonaws.com]. Although the platform does leave some wiggle room for abortions in fetuses that cannot feel pain:

        We call for legislation to ban sex-selective abortions – gender discrimination in its most lethal form—and to protect from abortion unborn ch

    • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:21AM (#51581615)

      If Cruz or Trump wins and Hillary is the nominee. You will see Republican-leaning voters and blue dog democrats coming out of the wood work to support the Republican over Hillary. Cruz is not controlled by Wall Street and Trump is openly running a pro-common man, fuck the special interests campaign and he can pull it off because he's so rich he could moon Wall Street in public and not miss a single dollar from them.

      Clinton, on the other hand, is married into Wall Street. She's pro-amnesty, pro-every Chamber of Commerce fuck the little guy interest out there.

      And to add to the problem for Clinton, she consistently loses millennial female support every time the issue of her and Bill's behavior toward women comes up. Bill makes Trump look like Billy Graham in his treatment of women. Hillary has a proven legacy of keeping women from getting their due in court, including laughing at a 12 year old rape victim [dailycaller.com].

      Sanders is the only electable candidate they have unless it's a Kasich-Bush ticket.

      • by The Evil Atheist ( 2484676 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:40AM (#51581715) Homepage

        Cruz is not controlled by Wall Street

        You mean besides the huge loan from Goldman Sachs obtained through his wife.

        and Trump is openly running a pro-common man

        He may be saying what common idiots are thinking and saying to their common idiot friends, but that is hardly pro-common man.

        • You may be surprised by Trump. Despite the media trying to portray him as batshit crazy, he's actually the most politically moderate [huffingtonpost.com] of all the candidates I've seen (Paul and Christie were the others, but they've dropped out). Aside from a huge ego and a few really off-the-wall ideas the media keeps trumping up (no pun intended), his political views actually fall right smack dab in the center of the American mainstream. A lot of my friends on the left can't see this because they think anyone to the right
      • by N1AK ( 864906 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:41AM (#51581717) Homepage

        If Cruz or Trump wins and Hillary is the nominee. You will see Republican-leaning voters and blue dog democrats coming out of the wood work to support the Republican over Hillary... Sanders is the only electable candidate they have unless it's a Kasich-Bush ticket.

        Based on what? If you're so confident on that you could make a fortune betting with your claimed convictions (strange that so many people don't). Bookies are basically assuming Clinton is going to win the nomination and have a 60%+ chance of winning. The only other possibility they give anything approaching a decent chance to is Trump who they think is half as likely to be President as she is.

        I think Sanders is great, you clearly do, but that's no reason to be delusional. People who stand to lose a lot of money by getting this wrong and have a good track record are literally betting billions that you're wrong.

        • by bmo ( 77928 )

          Bookies are basically assuming Clinton is going to win the nomination and have a 60%+ chance of winning. The only other possibility they give anything approaching a decent chance to is Trump who they think is half as likely to be President as she is.

          I think Sanders is great, you clearly do, but that's no reason to be delusional. People who stand to lose a lot of money by getting this wrong and have a good track record are literally betting billions that you're wrong.

          60 percent, you say?

          Delusional you say?

          T

      • by moeinvt ( 851793 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:47AM (#51581743)

        " Cruz is not controlled by Wall Street ... Clinton, on the other hand, is married into Wall Street."

        Clinton may be figuratively married to Wall Street, but Cruz is LITERALLY married into Wall Street! His wife works at Goldman Sachs and GS has provided financing for Cruz's Senate campaign. If it's Cruz vs. Clinton, Wall Street wins the presidency.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          >Clinton may be figuratively married to Wall Street

          Clinton's daughter Chelsea is married to investment banker and hedgefund manager, Marc Mezvinsky. Mezvinsky lists Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as an investor in his hedgefund (which was founded by Mezvinsky and two former Goldman Sachs colleagues).

      • by monkeyxpress ( 4016725 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @10:00AM (#51581837)

        Cruz isn't going to win. He is almost a compulsive liar, of the type that keeps trying to bend the truth into worse and worse contortions to support the pre-existing thread of lies. I have dealt with these sorts of people before, and I can see Trump dealing with them in the standard way - keep calling them out until they get so tangled up in their web that their lying becomes comically obvious. These people are common in business, so don't underestimate Trump's ability to deal with it (as much as I hate the guy).

        Some might say that Trump is also a liar, but actually I think this mis-reads him. Trump believes what he says, he just changes his beliefs based on his present situation. This is very different from Cruz who has more rigid beliefs but hides them to suit his present situation. One comes across as more genuine, while the other as dishonest. Both of them are ultimately just an expression of narcissistic self interest.

      • Trump is openly running a pro-common man, fuck the special interests campaign and he can pull it off because he's so rich he could moon Wall Street in public and not miss a single dollar from them.

        No he isn't. Sanders it running a pro-common man campaign. Trump couldn't care less about the "common man". The only thing Trump is for is Trump and you'd have to be an idiot (like his supporters) to not see that. Trump has ALWAYS been 100% about promoting himself. He isn't a policy wonk, he doesn't care about or understand what "common people" need, he speaks in sound bites with no content, and it's not clear how he would go about getting a consensus for anything from Congress. The President isn't a

      • Voters at large do not care who is married to wall street. Voters at large don't give a crap about Bill's behavior anymore. Hillary is the most mundane nomination who sits firmly in the can't do any worse, can't do any better line. No one is going to be energized to go out and vote against her. The right will certainly keep trying, it's why they dug into the email thing, Benghazi so early, even before this began. They knew they really had nothing to paint her as evil with, so they took what they could and r

    • Kasich is smart enough to realize that he isn't going to win the general election in 2016. He also may be the only person on stage smart enough to realize that none of the GOP hopefuls will, either - hence there is no reason for him to negotiate with Rubio for a cabinet position that will never materialize.

      If he really cared about the GOP he would drop out if only to spare his party the agonizing international humiliation of the GOP personified by Donald Trump. The GOP makes an ass of the United States every so often, we have grown used to that. Take for example the Scalia replacement blockade that they are launching. What are they planning? To blockade the supreme court appointment until after the next election? However, it's looking like there will be a democratic president so what then? Will the GOP blocka

      • Take for example the Scalia replacement blockade that they are launching. What are they planning? To blockade the supreme court appointment until after the next election? However, it's looking like there will be a democratic president so what then?

        Because after the election there is a >0 chance of a Republican doing the selecting.

        If you believe the present candidates for selection from the one side are unelectable for their morality, intellect, or a position contrary to one dear to your heart, you have to be incensed that the other side is putting forth such poor candidates.

      • by N1AK ( 864906 )

        If he really cared about the GOP he would drop out if only to spare his party the agonizing international humiliation of the GOP personified by Donald Trump.

        Maybe this is exactly what the GOP needs to happen. If an 'establishment' candidate scrapes through and loses, you may well have the same people voting Trump now pushing even harder for a candidate like him next time (under the belief that he would have won if they hadn't been robbed by the 'establishment'). If Trump does win the nomination and then get

        • The Republicans are now going through what the Democrats went through in the late 60s and early 70s. A relatively small but extremely vocal faction is making it just about impossible for them to nominate a candidate who has a reasonable chance of winning the broader election.

      • I almost hope that Trump wins the nomination process, just so it will burn the current GOP to the ground. And I say that as a registered Republican, who is ashamed of what this party has become.

    • Kasich is smart enough to realize that he isn't going to win the general election in 2016. He also may be the only person on stage smart enough to realize that none of the GOP hopefuls will, either - hence there is no reason for him to negotiate with Rubio for a cabinet position that will never materialize. There has only been one national poll so far that has shown a GOP candidate beating Hillary, but it was within the margin of error. If the democrats nominate Sanders, however, it will be a GOP bloodbath as he beats the GOP candidates by much more than the margin of error.

      Kasich is more likely staying in the game for the same reason that Trump entered it - fame and recognition. Obviously Trump was already famous before announcing but now he is even more so; though very few people outside of Ohio knew of Kasich before he got in the ring. Much like several other past GOP hopefuls, Kasich has opened up great new opportunities for himself as a Fox News commentator, a Washington lobbyist, a think tank leader, or various other jobs of that sort which were previously beyond his grasp. The longer he stays in, the more his brand grows.

      Kasich is smart enough to realize that he isn't going to win the general election in 2016. He also may be the only person on stage smart enough to realize that none of the GOP hopefuls will, either - hence there is no reason for him to negotiate with Rubio for a cabinet position that will never materialize. There has only been one national poll so far that has shown a GOP candidate beating Hillary, but it was within the margin of error. If the democrats nominate Sanders, however, it will be a GOP bloodbath as he beats the GOP candidates by much more than the margin of error.

      Kasich is more likely staying in the game for the same reason that Trump entered it - fame and recognition. Obviously Trump was already famous before announcing but now he is even more so; though very few people outside of Ohio knew of Kasich before he got in the ring. Much like several other past GOP hopefuls, Kasich has opened up great new opportunities for himself as a Fox News commentator, a Washington lobbyist, a think tank leader, or various other jobs of that sort which were previously beyond his grasp. The longer he stays in, the more his brand grows.

      Bush, Sr. was well on his way to a second term with as little as 2 weeks before the Democratic convention, when Perot dropped out the morning of Clinton's acceptance speech.

      A lot can change, especially when No Name suddenly has national attention.

      If Hillary hadn't been married to No Name, she'd be long gone. She suffers the benefits of being well known at the moment.

      I wonder if Trump isn't a Ross Pert here, who, on hindsight wanted Bush to lose, not himself to win.

    • by Kartu ( 1490911 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:44AM (#51581731)

      Uh, last time I've checked, Rubio vs Clinton was rather very GOP (+5% to Rubio):
      http://www.realclearpolitics.c... [realclearpolitics.com]

      Rubio to Clinton is roughly what Clinton is to Trump:
      http://www.realclearpolitics.c... [realclearpolitics.com]

      Cruz vs Clinton also doesn't look bad for GOP at all:
      http://www.realclearpolitics.c... [realclearpolitics.com]

      Cruz + Rubio have more votes, than Trump, had one of the two dropped out in favor of the other... Nobody would care about what Kasich does.
      (I don't see how him supporting Rubio allows Rubio to beat Trump, if Cruz is still there with 20% of the votes)

    • He also may be the only person on stage smart enough to realize that none of the GOP hopefuls will, either

      Remember you said this when you're watching President Trump deliver his inaugural address.

      People don't like Trump, but they FUCKING HATE Hillary.

    • ...none of the GOP hopefuls will [win], either....>

      You could be in for a rude surprise.
    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      Kasich is more likely staying in the game for the same reason that Trump entered it

      I don't buy that argument. Kasich is a sitting governor, that is a pretty significant political post, and he has been in the US House. He isn't a young man. I can understand wanting to be president but I really doubt he cares all that greatly about a cabinet position; maybe he would want to be VP. If he wants a career on Fox he can have that too just based off his brand as a governor. I don't think he needs this for brand building. A few on air commercial spots and spouting off on some hot button is

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      There has only been one national poll so far that has shown a GOP candidate beating Hillary, but it was within the margin of error. If the democrats nominate Sanders, however, it will be a GOP bloodbath as he beats the GOP candidates by much more than the margin of error.

      As someone who supported Bush on his reelection (but was slightly too young to vote), and voted libertarian last election, at this point if Sanders gets the nomination over Hillary I am seriously considering voting for him. But I will never vote for Hillary, nor are there any Republican candidates I have any desire to vote for. The current Republicans are literally driving moderates/undecideds away to third parties or people who might as well be third party like Sanders.

    • by Yunzil ( 181064 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @10:59AM (#51582289) Homepage

      If the democrats nominate Sanders, however, it will be a GOP bloodbath

      No, it won't. If the Dems are dumb enough to nominate Sanders the GOP will frame the election as "Capitalism vs. Socialism" and Bernie will get destroyed. Sorry.

    • by bigpat ( 158134 )

      What you wrote is untrue. Many current polls show most of the Republican candidates would beat Clinton in the general election [realclearpolitics.com] And that has been true for months. Hillary Clinton has a good chance of beating Trump, but that is about it.

    • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @11:10AM (#51582405)

      There has only been one national poll so far that has shown a GOP candidate beating Hillary

      You' assume Clinton will still be running by November despite having pulled several felonies with her private email server and failure to handle classified information. Not everyone will ignore that.

  • by WPsim ( 170565 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:07AM (#51581541)

    ..because it assumes only rational agents.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:20AM (#51581611)

    No candidate can win the convention on the first ballot unless they have a majority in 8 states.

    None of the candidates are currently poised to do this. None have won a majority in any state yet. The implication is that this game is considerably more complex than chicken. It's very possible for any candidate to lose a plurality but win the nomination.

    • Are you forgetting about Trump? Or have you just not read the rules for yourself?

      https://prod-static-ngop-pbl.s... [amazonaws.com]

      (b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a majority of the delegates from each of eight (8) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.

      Trump won a majority (50 out of 50) of the delegates in South Carolina, so he's already at 1.

    • No candidate can win the convention on the first ballot unless they have a majority in 8 states.

      A majority of delegates. This is not the same as a majority of the primary vote! In winner-take-all states, you just need a plurality of the primary vote to win all the delegates.

      The roll call of states' delegates continues until a candidate emerges. This is not necessarily on the first round!

      None of the candidates are currently poised to do this.

      Only four states have even had primaries yet! And half of those were caucuses.

      ...
      It's very possible for any candidate to lose a plurality but win the nomination.

      Don't confuse the voting of the delegates with the popular vote. A candidate can lose a plurality of the popular vote, but a proposed c

  • They should send him in, so that he can show these lightweights how to play the game!

    Oh wait...

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:29AM (#51581651)
    When I studied Game Theory and couldn't work out an answer I would simple posit "What would the biggest d-bag in the entire world do?" Not just some asshole, but the biggest dbag on the entire planet. This served me very well.

    Often in GT there are questions where you will have something where the end question would be "How would the captain share the 100 gold pieces among his 5 sailors?" Obviously the biggest d-bag in the entire world would keep 95 and share only 5. This or something very close to it would be the answer most of the time.

    Where Game Theory often gets it wrong is that there is a second tier of math that people will impose on a GT scenario. So in the classic prisoner's dilemma the whole snitching as a default strategy is rebalanced by Mario cutting your face off if you snitch.

    Also Game Theory is balanced culturally. For instance in most parts of Canada a four way stop sign will work very well with everyone taking their turn 99% of the time. A cultural sense of fair play keeps it functioning even though game theory says to never take your turn. I have been in some third world cut-throat countries where a four way stop would just end up with a bunch of cars all jammed in place nose to nose with scooters weaving in and around the mess. In these countries everyone is a snitch in the prisoner's dilemma.
    • When I studied Game Theory [...]

      From what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you *had* studied game theory.

      • From what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you *had* studied game theory.

        Do you suppose that when a guys math skills are weak is it then more or less likely that his logic skills are also weak?

    • Driving in Canada, I find it aggravating when people who have the right of way try to do the 'polite' thing and wave somebody else through.

      This, of course, is far more dangerous than simply taking your turn.

  • The argument that this is a classic game theory dilemma assumes that only the actions of candidates matter and that voters don't think and aren't aware of this situation. But the situation is a lot more complicated because there are more than a hundred million game players.
    • The argument that this is a classic game theory dilemma assumes that only the actions of candidates matter and that voters don't think and aren't aware of this situation.

      Early-career politicians have different motivations than as does late-career politicians. The best move for the young/new players is to always to keep running, to keep building up their own constituency. If you want to play the presidential election game you have to build up a reliable base of supporters on a national level.

      Staying in for them is a dominant strategy.

      Its certainly no prisoners dilemma if a player is playing a dominant strategy. The entire premise is bullshit.

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @09:48AM (#51581751)
    What the article doesn't get is the following in terms of voters.

    Rubio + Kasich is less than Trump

    It's going to be a lot less than Trump. Not a little but a lot. As the campaign goes on, Trump will pick up momentum and he will easily begin to get over 50% of the vote in states with the rest of the candidates fighting over the scraps. I'm not his biggest fan, but to me there are certainly worse alternatives in the Republican primary and his ability to win a national election is vary badly underestimated by many on the left, just as they are very likely grossly overestimating Bernie Sanders ability to win a national election.
    • There's a theory circulating at the moment that Trump actually isn't going to climb higher, based upon the fact numerous candidates have dropped out thus far, but Trump's figures have barely budged.

      I'm not sure how true it is, I suspect someone like Cruz is probably the wildcard there as he has a potent mix of Tea Partiers and Theocrats as his base, and it's not certain any of them would be natural Rubio voters.

  • by dcooper_db9 ( 1044858 ) on Thursday February 25, 2016 @10:44AM (#51582137)

    I don't know game theory but I do dabble in political strategy. Most Republicans, or Americans for that matter, have at least heard of Rubio. Few outside of Ohio have heard of John Kasich. The tie for last place has finally put Kasich in the public eye. Rubio can only drop in the polls and Kasich can only rise.

    There's very little chance that either Rubio or Kasich could win the Republican nomination, but there's also little chance that either Trump or Cruz could win the national election. This primary season has made it all but impossible for Cruz or Trump to pivot to the center after the primaries. The only two candidates who could still do that are Rubio and Kasich. The best scenario at this point is if Cruz drops out and throws his support behind one of the moderate candidates. The last moderate candidate standing is the only Republican Party candidate with any chance of winning the presidency. If I were betting I'd put my money on Kasich.

  • The usual, tired and trusted solution is:

    1) Leave any decision (including this one) until the last possible moment
    2) Often make a bad decision rather then the one the voters or common sense would suggest
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

    In American politics, that means:

    1) You'll only find out hours or minutes before the deadline for such things
    2) You'll be left wondering why the person that dropped out really did
    3) ???
    4) Both candidates ultimately don't get elected, drop out of future races and decide to concentrate on being

  • "Being crazy is a strategy, ..."

    Being crazy seems to be THE strategy of the Republicans this year.

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