We suggest a model of electoral competition between two parties which is extended by a third player : mass media. The classical one-dimensional competition model is changed by introducing an issue-specific sensibility-coefficient and by allowing for non-voting. The winner is selected by majority rule. The voter potentials of the parties are determined by their current policy choice. Deviating from (exogenous) traditional party policy reduces the credibility of a party in the eyes of potential voters. The number of non-voters increases with the sensibility of individuals to the issue and with the deviation distance. By reporting with political bias, mass media has selective influence on the sensibility-coefficient of potential voters of both parties. They get either desensitised or over-sensitised in respect to party credibility which alters the number of non-voters. Parties being able to successfully communicate with mass media can manage to turn an unfavourable situation before election campaigning into an electoral victory.
Public choice electoral competition mass media reputation credibility