From electowiki

Pushover is a strategy for voters to help a candidate win by voting insincerely for candidates other than one's sincere favorite, but without the intention to make the candidate one's voting for win.[fn 1] There are two types of strategies referred to as "pushover":

  • A narrow type, which involves encouraging voters to rank (or score) a candidate (called "B" in this example) lower than another candidate (called "A" in this example) in hopes that "B" is elected. This strategy won't work in systems that pass the mono-raise criterion.
  • A broader type (also known as turkey-raising or the pied-piper strategy) which can happen in two-round systems.[1][2] This broader type requires three candidates to explain: "A", "B" and "X". Let's say that voters are asked to choose (in the first round of an election) between "B" and "X". Voters who prefer "A" in the second round of the election may hope to have other voters vote for "the turkey" (candidate "X") who cannot beat "A", rather than see candidate "B" advance to the second round of the election, and may vote for "X" over "B" if they are allowed.[3]

Pushover is sometimes discussed in the context voting methods that operate with runoffs or otherwise have multiple rounds of voting where fewer and fewer candidates advance to the next round. The candidates who advance can depend on who they're facing in a given round. For example, if the majority prefer a Democrat to a Republican, many Dems prefer a Green>Democrat, but the majority prefer Republican>Green, then it can benefit Republicans to vote Green in the first round of runoff voting and then vote Republican in the runoff, even though they may have actually preferred the Democrat to the Green.

Though not immune to pushover, instant-runoff voting (IRV) is less vulnerable than non-partisan blanket primaries.[4]


  1. If one expects the candidate to win, then the strategy is compromising.


  1. Linskey, Annie (2022-09-13). "Democrats spend tens of millions amplifying far-right candidates in nine states". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  2. Norton, Ben (2016-11-10). "How the Hillary Clinton campaign deliberately "elevated" Donald Trump with its "pied piper" strategy". Salon. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  3. Munsterhjelm, Kristofer. "[EM] St. Louis and Pushover (Re: Reply to Rob regarding RCV)". lists.electorama.com. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  4. Ogren, Marcus (2023-10-02). "The effectiveness of dishonest strategies in different voting methods". Medium. Retrieved 2023-10-02.