District Ballot of the 2008 Legislative Yuan Election:A Multilevel Model
Voters are nested in electoral districts and are therefore often affected by the macro-level characteristics of the districts. By incorporating both the individual-level and district-level variables, we construct a two-level model to analyze voters’ voting choices on the single-member-district ballot in the 2008 legislative election. We find that indeed some theoretically important variables at both levels play significant roles in voters’ decisions. At the micro level, we confirm that candidate evaluation, party identification, political generation, ethnic origin, as well as ethnic identity are significant factors. Furthermore, the evaluation of the then President Chen Shuibian’s performance also figures significantly; that is, the more negative the evaluation is, the less likely it is for a voter to vote for the DPP candidate. This finding fits the expectations from the referendum voting and retrospective voting theories. At the district level, on the other hand, we also find that regardless of whether the candidate is an incumbent legislature, whether the candidate’s party affiliation coincides with that of the county magistrate/city mayor, the unemployment rate in the area, as well as the percentage of population in the farming and fishery industries also affect voters’ choices. In particular, we find that in the 2008 legislature election voters in districts with a higher percentage of population in the farming and fishery industries were more likely to vote for the KMT candidates. This may indicate that the KMT has more or less maintained its mobilization capability through local networks in rural areas.