With downvotes being worth twice as much as upvotes, you would need one heck of an ideological commitment...even two-for-one would result in a stalemate, not a win. So if the Fighter wins, it means that there are more than two fans for every detractor, which means something weird is going on. Like, really weird...like a bunch of people conspiring together to save it at all costs, or the fighter class being fun and popular enough to already have enough fans.
My money is on Cleric. It's middle-of-the-road enough to avoid controversy: it's not universally hated enough to provoke the immediate wrath of the haters, and it's not universally loved enough to provoke the jealousy of the people despetately trying to protect their darlings. It's martial enough to avoid being labeled a "caster," and enough of a caster to avoid being labeled a "martial." When the Artificers and Psions and Fighters and Rangers have all finished destroying each other, I predict the Cleric will take the lead.
This presumes that all negative
votes go in the same direction. Until there are only two options left, though, it doesn't need to be like that, and in fact almost never will
be like that.
E.g., if there are six options, and downvotes are spread about equally across all six, but say 40% of all upvotes go to Option A and the rest are split evenly amongst the other five options (meaning they get 12% apiece), we can get something like the following after 50 votes:
A: 20+20-20 = 22
all others: 20+6-16 = 6
Note that this is
assuming that Option A gets more downvotes than any other option, getting 20% and the others getting 16%. But because it's getting 2/5 upvotes but only 1/5th of downvotes, Option A has perfectly held its own, and thus (comparatively) gained a LOT of ground; being at 20 when everyone else is at 6 is quite an achievement in one of these threads. For most of the race, you do not need to have the vast majority of people supporting one option for that option to keep it afloat, you just need enough to counteract that option's share
of the downvotes. Sort of like that old adage about running from zombies: you don't need to be the fastest
to win, you just need to be faster than the slowest
Of course, the above example is also fictitious because it presumes (near-)equal spread of downvotes across all options, which is very unlikely. It's much more likely that specific options will get dogpiled first. It is, of course, possible that Fighter could get dogpiled early, but my expectation is that Mystic and Artificer will be the first to die, probably in that order too, followed shortly thereafter by Warlock, Sorcerer, and Ranger.
My predictions in list form:
First blood - Mystic, Artificer
Early kills - Ranger, Warlock, Sorcerer, maybe Bard (if not here, then swap with Monk)
Middle fodder - Druid, Paladin, Barbarian, maybe Monk
Likely finalists - Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, maybe
Wizard (it could die a lot earlier if a dogpile occurs)
If I were a betting man--which I am not
, to be clear--I would legit place a bet that Fighter or Cleric ends up being the final winner. Because, again, one has a sufficiently
large cadre of folks dedicated to it, which both reduces the possibility of dogpiling and pushes scores up early on, and the other is blandly inoffensive.
Time will tell whether I eat my words or not. But I would be very surprised if things don't cash out broadly similar to the above.