Public Choice

, Volume 165, Issue 1–2, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Condorcet polling can yield serendipitous clues about voter views

  • Richard F. Potthoff
  • Michael C. MungerEmail author


Condorcet polling provides additional information about pairwise rankings often obscured in standard polls when there are three or more candidates. This paper analyzes an original dataset collected from Duke University students in North Carolina concerning the 2014 Senate race, wherein a Democrat, a Republican, and a Libertarian contested the election. The results illustrate that Condorcet polling is feasible in such a context, and that the information provided changes the strategic calculus of voters in ways that may have a positive impact on the way votes are cast and choices considered.


Polling Politics Condorcet Elections 

JEL Classification

D72 (political processes) D83 (information/communication) 



The authors thank Austin Wang for his technical help in setting up the survey. We also acknowledge the assistance of an anonymous reviewer, and the Editor, in improving the manuscript. Errors that remain are the sole responsibility of the authors, however.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Research involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This paper used human subjects as respondents to a survey. The survey was conducted according to the standards and requirements of the Duke University Institutional Review Board.

Informed consent

As part of the survey introduction the process was explained to the subjects, who had volunteered to be part of the Political Science “Subject Pool.” IRB approval was sought, and granted, for the procedures to obtain informed consent. The survey forms are included verbatim as attachments to the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Social Science Research InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political Science and Department of EconomicsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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