Presidential Voting

Partisanship, Economy, Ideology

Authored by: Yan S. Carreirão , Lucio R. Rennó

Routledge Handbook of Brazilian Politics

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138684454
eBook ISBN: 9781315543871
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter surveys the core debates in the literature on Brazilian electoral behavior. We focus on studies covering distinct historical periods while emphasizing the contemporary democratic experience. We highlight debates on the most significant explanatory variables for voting in presidential elections. These include party identification (and, more recently, rejection), economic/retrospective voting, and ideological or issue-based voting. The debates provide mixed evidence about the electoral role of political parties and ideology, but they highlight the decisive impact of retrospective evaluations of the economy on vote choice. Partisanship matters for the PT. Either through identification or rejection, the PT is an anchor for vote choices in the Brazilian political system. All other parties seem hard to differentiate and identify. Although ideological predispositions should not be totally disregarded as factors influencing vote choice in the current period, the literature generally agrees that their influence is limited. On the other hand, there is a considerable consensus on the theses of retrospective voting and the economic vote.

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