What can Stage Cycling teach us about this year's political races?


#1

I was reading this article about the Republican party nomination race this year. It is very interesting from a Game Theory/Strategy perspective.

I was struck by the similarities to a cycling stage race.

What you have is a GC leader (Trump) who is being challenged by a bunch of contenders (everyone else). The problem for the contenders is that (much as you have in a stage race like the Tour de France) none of them, individually, has the strength to overtake the leader. The only way is to form alliances with other contenders. So you see Rubio, for example trying to ally himself with Kasich by telling everyone in Ohio to vote for the Ohio Governor. His hope is that Kasich will reciprocate and tell everyone in Florida to vote for Rubio.

But Kasich is behind Rubio. He’s not playing that game. It’s like a pair of GC contenders in a breakaway. The second place guy is going to try to convince 3rd place to help him by pulling the break for some time. But if you’re a third, you’d rather make #2 do most or all of the pulling because ultimately you want to pass him too.

A worrisome aspect for Rubio/Kasich/Cruz is that it is very difficult for a contender to overtake a leader even when they work together. The best way in cycling is to put your strategic moves in the mountain stages and time trials and hope the leader has a bad day. In the political race the analogy to a mountain stage is one of the large delegate states like Ohio or Florida.

I wonder if any of these political campaign strategists are into cycling? Maybe they should hire some of those guys as consultants. Might be too late though.