cy (cychan) wrote,

First-mover advantage

I've recently heard many others complain about how unfair it is for two states to have such a disproportionate influence over the nomination process. If it were up to me I'd have all of the primaries on the same day. Of course, Iowa and New Hampshire would have a cow over losing their first-mover advantages.

Why is it that the 1% of US voters who live in these two lucky states have such a huge influence on our political process? It's apparently human nature:
You will recognise your predicament in their results. First, when orders were called out publicly, people tended to avoid duplicating the choices of others. Second, that mattered: the people who chose first were significantly happier with their choices than those who felt obliged to choose whatever beer was left over. (This survey was done in the US. When transferred to Hong Kong, people instead tended to emulate the first choice. But, again, those who chose first were happier.)
Just as hearing someone else's beer order at a restaurant affects our decision, hearing who Iowans and New Hampshirites declare "the winner" affects our voting behavior. Some people just like voting for "winners". Others are contrarian and prefer voting against the "established". I have a feeling there are more people in the first category, which is why so much time and effort are spent in the first-mover states. Regardless of which direction the bias skews, that a bias exists at all is a problem that should be addressed.

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