Proponents of ranked choice voting (RCV) often claim that voters using approval voting will “bullet vote” only for their favorite candidate. But even if that were true, it would result in the same winner as RCV in 96% of elections.
As of September 2021, there have been 440 single-winner RCV elections since 2004. In only 18 of those was there a come-from-behind winner. So in 422 of those 440, the winner was the same candidate who would have won with approval voting if everyone bullet voted. Here’s the data, courtesy of RCV advocacy organization FairVote.