Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Tyler Cowen

Puzzled About Republicans and Trump? Game Theory Helps

With GOP leaders, as with North Korean generals, one can't rebel until all do.
Collective action.

Collective action.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Corrected

How did the Republican Party end up in such a mess? Their presidential candidate is being pressured to pull out of the race and now there is a chance they will lose control of both houses of Congress. “Poor judgment” is a good start at an answer, but a bit of what economists call “game theory” can help put some structure on that explanation.

The first question many people have been asking is why it took so many Republicans so long to condemn Donald Trump. After all, a pattern of racism and sexism from the candidate had been in place for a long time, and on the public record.