October 28, 2020
In the United States, there are several different ways that people vote:
There are also some different ways that political representation is given at the federal level:
Almost everyone in the US is probably stressed right now about politics, so why not apply this math to something more fun:
What candy would the US choose based on on different types of elections? I asked 545 different individuals in a survey across the United States what their favorite candies were in 2 different ways given a list of over 40 candies:
With these two questions combined, in addition to the state and demographic information of each response, wecan look at how candies would be chosen given different voting methods and different types of representatio (popular, electoral college, and senate-based)
As you can see from the above map, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the usual favorite among most in the united states when using plurality or instant runoff voting. There are a lot of ties due to the large number of candies listed, large number of states, and limited sample size.
The borda count doesn't suffer from any ties in this case, as it creates a lot more variation, even with a small sample size.
There are also a lot of ties for the approval and disapproval voting rankings. It is interesting, though, to see that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not usually the most popular in each state: Kit-Kat Bars and M&Ms are.
While the above is a bit messy because of a lot of ties, the overall results are more robust and tell an obvious picture.
The national-level results are likely the most accurate, as ties are not issues, and weighting can be done to achieve a proper estimate. Tap the image below to cycle through different methods. The instant runoff vote is animated to show the final 6 steps of the process, since votes are reallocated at each step.
These results resemble the national results, since there is still a high correlation between electoral votes and the size of a state. Votes are currently divided evenly in the event of a tie. Tap the image below to cycle through different methods.
These results are a lot more varied than the national results, since smaller states influence the results the same as larger states. Votes are currently divided evenly in the event of a tie. Tap the image below to cycle through different methods.
Sample Size: 545 responses were collected, with at least 5 from each state.
Time: Responses were taking during the month of October 2020.
Medium: Responses were taken via a form in Google Forms.
Survey Distribution: Responses were primarily gathered from Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and sharing via email/other messengers. Some responses were directed from LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other sources. Sampling on Twitter and Facebook targeted individuals more likely to be interested in Halloween, fall, candy, cooking, and baking.
Compensation: Three random participants will receive $13 Amazon gift cards via email.
Requirements: Respondents must be ages 18+ and be a resident of the United States
The following visualizes the demographic breakdown of the sample:
In case you were wondering what the comprehensive candy list is: 100 Grand; 3 Musketeers; Air Heads; Almond Joy; Blow Pops; Bubble Gum; Butterfingers; Candy Corn; Circus Peanuts; Cotton Candy; Cow Tails; Crunch Bar; Gummy Bears; Gummy Worms; Hershey's Chocolate Bar; Hershey's Kisses; Hot Tamales; Jelly Beans; Jolly Ranchers; Junior Mints; Kit-Kat Bar; Kit-Kat Bars, flavored (e.g., grape); Laffy Taffy; Lemonheads; Lifesavers; M&Ms; Milk Duds; Milky Way; Nerds; Peanut M&Ms; Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; Reese's Pieces; Rock Candy; Skittles; Smarties; Snickers; Sour Patch Kids; Starburst; Swedish Fish; Tootsie Pops; Tootsie Rolls; Twix; Twizzlers; Warheads
The current version of source code can be found in https://github.com/mcandocia/CandyRanking. The data will be updated once I have more thoroughly analyzed the data.