Q184. A campaign director is flying blind. Two tossup states both have 20 electoral votes. All current information is that the chances of winning in each is 50:50.
Draw the event tree that describes the possible election outcomes.
Our campaign director has the opportunity to do one last ad buy of $1 million. Research and experience have shown that an ad buy in a right state where a significant portion of the electorate is still open minded could shift the odds of winning to 60/40. How do we know? We've done lots of audience research that shows how particular electorates respond to this ad's approach. But doing the ad buy in the wrong state (one where folks have really made up their minds) will have no effect on the outcome. What we don't know is which, if either, of these states is the best fit for this type of campaigning.
Draw this decision tree.
Now suppose there is a poll she could do to find out whether state A or state B is the more promising state for the new ad. There is a 50% chance the poll says state A and a 50% chance it says state B. If it says state A then you do the ad buy there and you are certain to increase your chances while things in B stay the same. And vice versa.
What is the value of the information the poll can provide, in electoral votes?