Numerous empirical studies have been conducted to determine if Condorcet’s Paradox is ever observed in actual elections. After surveying these studies, we must conclude that the evidence does not suggest that the phenomenon is widespread in voting situations. However, there clearly are cases in which the evidence shows that Condorcet’s Paradox has occurred in actual elections. The most typical observations of the phenomenon occur when there are a large number of candidates in an election, but there are cases in which it has been observed in three-candidate elections. Following notions that are suggested in some theoretical studies, examples have also been found to show that various means occasionally have intentionally been used to create PMR cycles in election settings to gain a political advantage. It is clearly of interest to determine what the characteristics of voting situations are that make the possible existence of Condorcet’s Paradox most likely to occur.
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