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Mathematics Problem Solving
Volume 5, Number 20, February 14, 2000

The Will of the People


There is a great debate in the state about a proposed law to control the price of pizza. Almost everyone has a very strong opinion on the matter.

There are three candidates running for governor. The candidate who gets the most votes (a plurality) will win the election. Two of the candidates, Mr. A and Ms. B, support the Pizza Protection Bill and would sign it into law. One candidate, Mr. C, opposes (is against) the bill and would veto it.

Of the people who will vote, 60% (60 out of 100) are for the bill and will vote for a candidate who supports it. The remaining 40% of the voters are against the bill, and will vote for the candidate who opposes it.

The voters who support the Pizza Protection Bill are evenly divided as to which candidate they prefer. Half of them will vote for Mr. A; half of them will vote for Ms. B.

Based on the above information, which statement is true?

a. Mr. A will win the election.
b. Ms. B will win the election.
c. Mr. C will win the election.
d. Either Mr. A or Ms. B could win, because they both have the same position about the bill as most of the voters.
e. Mr. A and Ms. B will tie for the most votes.
f. Any of the candidates could win. There is not enough information here to predict the winner.


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