Many people have remarked that the more Republican candidates there are, the greater the likelihood that the anti-Trump vote will split into a gazillion pieces and Trump will win the nomination by default, with only a plurality rather than a majority. There is an obvious solution to this, and it’s already been done by Republicans in Virginia. It’s called ranked-choice voting. … What do you think is the likelihood that some GOP primaries/caucuses will adopt this voting method, which ensures the victor majority support rather than just plurality support?
– Asked March 14, 2023 in our live election chat
Ranked choice voting took a hit in many GOP circles after the 2022 elections, when ranked-choice contests resulted in a Democrat winning Alaska’s House seat, while helping Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) overcome a Trump-backed challenge.
Former president Donald Trump delicately called it “ranked choice crap voting” and “a total rigged deal.”
Answered by Michael Scherer
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The effect of ranked choice on election outcomes is also complicated, and sometimes difficult to predict.
Some scholars have opined that Trump would have done better in 2020 if ranked choice had been in place in the general election.
That said, Republicans do have a very decentralized approach to setting voting rules. As we wrote about here, the nomination rules will be set state-by-state, and state parties have until Oct. 1 to submit them to the Republican National Committee.
The Trump campaign has already begun the process of lobbying to make sure they get the most favorable rules.